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|
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 crown imperial - deep orange and yellow - they can also be found in pale orange and ruby shadesFritillary 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.