Thursday, 2 May 2013

Spring flowers

It is wonderful to see the first daffodils and tulips in  the Spring, but for me the season wouldn't be complete without the arrival in our garden of Erythroniums and Fritillaries. Erythroniums can be found in many shades of white, lemon, pink, and mauve, each one having a slightly different centre. One morning they will have their little flower buds firmly closed and the next day they are wide open.
Erythronium white beauty
Erythronium pagoda

They are very promiscuous and have spread themselves all around the garden. This is perplexing because they were initially grown from a small bulb so they must also spread themselves by seed.
Fritillaries respond in much the same way - hang their heads with tightly shut buds and then hey presto they are suddenly open and showing all their glory. Over the years our Fritillaries have multiplied so that we now have many.  
The snakeshead range in colour from palest cream to deepest pink. You never know what colour might appear, in fact they seem to vary their colour from year to year. There are other Fritillaries too which are also worth giving a try.
Fritillary persica
Fritillary uva-vulpis

Fritillary crown imperial - deep orange and yellow - they can also be found in pale orange and ruby shades
Fritillary crown imperial - botanical print from 'The British Herbal' 1769 - by John Edwards
As Crown imperials have what is called a 'foxy odour' it is best not to plant them too near to where you like to sit and relax. However, the smell is said to repel mice, moles and other rodents.
They flourish very well in the UK even though they originate from the plateau that runs from Iran to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the foothills of the Himalayas.

50 comments:

  1. Hi, Rosemary - What a glorious collection of bulbs! Beautiful flowers. As mentioned previously, I've never grown fritillaries. Actually they are not very common here in DC. Obviously yours are very happy and healthy. My camassia flowers are blooming now.

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    1. Dear Loi - I am making a guess now, but are your Camassia' s white? Mine are in bud - they are blue - I love their little star shaped flowers. I do not know whether Fritillaries would be happy with you or not. They used to grow here in the meadows during the medieval period but with the advancement of mechanisation and heavy ploughing swathes of them were lost. There is a meadow near where I live that is still full of them because it has only ever been managed with the old fashioned scythe.

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  2. Incredible, Rosemary! Do they really all grow in your garden? Unbelievable! You seem to be the queen of flowers! Brilliant that we can participate as well! Thanks a lot! Christa

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    1. Dear Christa - the flowers are all in our garden apart from the deep orange crown imperial which I photographed at Tintinhull garden. I do have some growing in the garden but this year they have disappointingly come up 'blind'. Over the years I have grown lots of flowers that I have lost because they are not happy here or the conditions are not right - it is really a question of trial and error.

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  3. For me your second picture is the best. Love your flowers.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. That is interesting Filip - the buds not the flowers!

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  4. Erythronium White beauty is stunning Rosemary. I shall be hunting down some to come and live with me in my magical garden this year.
    Have a wonderful bank holiday.
    Paul
    :)

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    1. You would be happy with 'white beauty' Paul - after a few days it curls its petals right back like a turks cap. The best place to track it down would be the internet, though possibly not at this time of year, unless you have a specialist nursery.

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  5. I love useful plants - I'll remember that tip (for the far end of the garden!)

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    1. I am sure that they would be happy with you in your 'far end' - I have seen them growing in Aberdeen.

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  6. The spring flowers in your garden are wonderful and it is always lovely to see favourite flowers appearing all over the garden.I love the erythronium, so pretty I will have to plant some.
    Sarah x

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    1. The internet is probably the best place to find some Sarah - hope you find some and that they give you as much pleasure as I get from mine.

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  7. Gorgeous garden, Rosemary. You have such wonderful blooms. I can't wait for our garden to start growing. While most of our snow is gone, nothing in the garden is over an inch tall...never mind blooming. Until then, I'm going to be enjoying your summer/spring flowers.

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    1. I know spring arrives much later in Canada as my brother lives in Toronto, but I also know that when it does come it announces itself with a great swoosh of flowers.

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  8. I love Erythroniums! But only know them from seeing them in magazines or on the internet. I can't seem to find any to plant in the garden. I read they love shady conditions and a bit of wet soil, so they should be ideal for our rather difficult garden. You must already know by now that I love Frittilaries as well. They're in full bloom here now as well, but just the regular ones, think those are perfect for our garden. You have an extended collection of all kinds of them though! I took some pictures of the blooms already but lately it seems like I just don't find the time to post anything on time. I'm running behind schedule when it comes to blogging at the moment....
    Bye,
    Marian

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    1. Dear Marian - try the internet to buy some Erythronium bulbs - the 'white beauty' and 'pagoda' are easy to grow and once planted I leave them to their own devises. The other fritillaries are more difficult to grow and I am crossing my fingers that they decide to stay. However, the Crown Imperials are easy too.

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    2. Hi Rosemary, I've never bought bulbs online but I might give it a try this year. Thanks!
      Marian

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    3. Hello Marian - I searched high and low for some Martagon lilies a couple of years ago but found them online almost immediately, and I have been happy with them. Some of these bulbs, and plants are best coming from specialist dealers.

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  9. I don't think fritillaries grow many places in Australia, maybe in some very cold areas, so I live vicariously through your lovely specimens. Fritillary persica is divine! x

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    1. I doubt if they do grown with you - they prefer our more temperate climate - they are gorgeous flowers, and once planted, if they are happy, will stay.

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  10. I do have many tulips and daffodils in my garden, but no erythoniums or fritillaries. Beautiful flowers!! I have only seen them in books and I don't know if they would flourish in Greece.
    I could always try, couldn't I??
    I wish you a good month of May and a nice week-end in your beautiful garden! We have our Greek Orthodox Easter this coming Sunday.
    All the best!
    Marie-Anne

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    1. Dear Marie-Anne - you could always try, but I do not think that perhaps they would flourish - they prefer a more temperate climate and moisture.
      Do hope that you have a wonderful weekend this coming weekend and Happy Easter to you.

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  11. Dear Rosemary, as a garden lover I am quite drooling over your beautiful blooms, and imagine your garden which must be quite superb. I have not heard of erythroniums or fritillaries, and what pretty plants they are! Love that term promiscuous for them, which is great if it is something attractive. Less so for a few plant hereabouts who will henceforth be described similarly!

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    1. Dear Patricia - glad that you enjoyed seeing the erythroniums and fritillaries - they are graceful pretty little flowers and I was happy to discover that they liked our garden. Over the years I have planted so many flowers that have failed, but if you don't try you don't know. I have as long a list of failures as I do of successes.

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  12. Those blooms do look lovely and would you believe some or our spring bulbs are peeking through the soil and it's autumn here.

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    1. Yes, I can believe that - last November I remember seeing bulbs showing here, but then they became dormant again following the long, long, winter. However, that is not likely to happen to you. Do you really have a winter?

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  13. Don't know those at all but they are delightful - thank you.

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    1. It is always interesting, I find, to see some flowers which I have never seen before.

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  14. You have indeed a wonderful garden Rosemary!
    I like very much that vintage botanical illustration.

    wishing you a lovely (and hopefully warm) weekend : )

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    1. It is looking good weatherwise at the moment Demie but as long as it is dry I shall be happy. Glad you enjoyed seeing the flowers, and look forward to seeing your posts on your new blog.

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  15. So beautiful flowers and lush Rosemary. The colours are so vibrant. So nice to know their history too.

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    1. Sometimes it is nice to include some different flowers into the garden especially when they thrive and do well.

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  16. Wonderful images of lovely flowers. Your garden must be an absolute dream just now, Rosemary.

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    1. Most of the flowers that we have in the garden now are ones that are happy to reside with us. I have got through so many different plants over the years which have died that we now know what is happy and what is not.
      Oxford yesterday was gorgeous - wall to wall sunshine all day.

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  17. Dear Rosemary, It may be freezing here but you have brought sunshine and beauty to my part of the world. All of your Fritillary are special. It's amazing how very different they are...hard to believe they are in the same family. Your close-up photographs are sensational. ox, Gina

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    1. Dear Gina - this is just a small representation of fritillaries as there are many more. Most of them have very unusual colour combinations and patterning - they are a very pretty species. Glad you enjoyed the photos.

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  18. It's such a pleasure to discover a garden like yours!And some flowers are unknown for me...never seen them before.I think this is a very good moment of the year for blooming and greening!Your photograph talent appears gloriously once again!

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    1. Dear Olympia - that is so very generous of you - I enjoy seeing plants that are new to me too - isn't blogging such a wonderful way to make new discoveries?

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  19. They are marvelous Rosemary.

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  20. Dear Rosemary,

    I am especially taken by your Eryhorniums, and the way that the petals lift up as they unfold. If I were an industrial designer, I can imagine that they would inform a wonderful packaging solution!

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    1. As the erythroniums open a bit more each day their petals curl increasingly backwards until they end up looking like turkish caps - they are dainty, pretty, little flowers.

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  21. Hello Rosemary, It's interesting how many of the spring flowers have nodding blossoms. I suppose that it is to protect them from heavy spring rains, and they also might be a factor in pollination, but this shy habit forces us to get close in order to observe and interact with the flowers.

    Which is good, because I don't believe that Nature should be kept at a distance.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. With the Fritillaries I have noticed the big fat bumble bees going right inside the flower and staying there quite a while. Once the Erythroniums throw back their petals then the stamens are an easy target for the bees. However, you are right it does pay to crouch down low and have a close look at them as their structure is very refined and beautiful.

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  22. Dear Rosemary,so beautiful Spring flowers in your garden!Wonderful pictures!I like daffodils and tulips!Thank you for your comment on my blog!Have a lovely weekend!
    Dimi..

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    1. Dear Dimi - thanks for your visit especially at this busy time for you all in Greece - have a wonderful Greek Easter Sunday.

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  23. I've never come across the Fritillaries - so diverse and pretty, particularly the crown imperial. I noticed that they have nodding heads. Is this a permanent feature due to bashfulness or some sort of palsy!? :)

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    1. I think that it is mainly a means of encouraging the bee to get inside the flower cap.

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  24. What exotic flowers! I have tulips and daffodils, primulas and hyacinths, but I see I am going to have to look for some of these gorgeous specimens.

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    1. The best place to find them is online from a nursery that specialises in their bulbs.

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