Fritillary Fest!

In response to some of you lovely people saying that they would like to see more photos of the fritillaries in the woodland, here are a few that have been taken at different times over the last week. The first ones show that I must have let my guard down a few times as there are big chunks taken out of the flowers, I’m sure we know who is to blame!

Damaged fritillary

Damaged fritillary

Damaged fritillary

I think that’s enough of damaged flowers. All the damaged ones are right by the path, the rest haven’t been touched, thank goodness. The pheasant must have been in the woodland while I was out one afternoon, I can’t stand guard all the time!

Fritillary and cowslip

With sprinkling the seed around, we are getting all shades of purples, some very pale like this one, some all white.



The cowslips like the same sort of conditions, nice damp soil. I never thought the heavy clay soil would turn out to be such a bonus, this proves that there are plants for every type of soil, it’s just a question of finding them!

Cowslips and fritillaries



I think I’ll plant some cowslips around this side too as I prefer it when there is a contrast to the purple of the fritillaries.



The sun shining through the petals makes the chequered pattern show up more than normal.


I’ll also save seed from the cowslips this year to increase the numbers in the garden as Mr P has been nipping these flowers off too!


I can extend the area that these plants are in, at the moment it is relatively small, just about 8ft x 10ft, but I could almost double that. Then I can start some new ones off on the other side of the path where a few have already put themselves, although it will be at least a couple of years before they start flowering.  I do like it when I can just give nature a helping hand, sprinkle a lot more seed then sit back and wait and see what happens!

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32 Responses to Fritillary Fest!

  1. catmint says:

    Dear Pauline, these flowers are quite divine especially when lit up so you can clearly see the patterned markings. I like that you’re sharing your garden with Mr P and others, it’s a garden community of humans and nonhumans!

    • Pauline says:

      The chequered patterns are beautiful Catmint, in a way the flowers look like Tiffany lampshades! We share the garden with such a lot of wildlife, it’s a miracle that more doesn’t get eaten!

  2. rusty duck says:

    Absolutely gorgeous Pauline. I was at a nursery yesterday and was seriously tempted. But I’m thinking I’ll save my pennies until autumn and plant a lot of bulbs. I’m also thinking about temporarily foresaking my vegetatarian yearnings and partaking of a roast..

    • Pauline says:

      I started with a bag of bulbs from the garden centre, many years ago Jessica, I think there were 20 in the packet. Ever since I have just sprinkled the seed and year on year more lovely flowers open. I think they flower in the third year after sowing.
      If ever there is pheasant on the menu when we go out for a meal, I thoroughly enjoy it!

  3. Alison says:

    They are such pretty and interestingly different flowers, with that checkered pattern. I need more of them. You have so many! Glad the pheasants have taken chunks out of just a few.

    • Pauline says:

      It would cost a fortune to buy so many bulbs Alison, 90% have grown from seed that I have scattered. I started with just 20 bulbs, many years ago, but have no idea how many I have now! I still hear the pheasant but he is on the field next door, he seems to have had enough of eating my flowers for this year, thank goodness!

  4. Sharon B says:

    Absolutely lovely!
    I first saw these in a public garden about 5 years ago. I bought some bulbs and not a one came up. Yesterday a friend gave me several clumps of them so I will be anxious to see how they do next spring. I love that you have so many.

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you Sharon, thanks for leaving a message.
      I wonder why your original bulbs didn’t come up, was it too hot or dry where you planted them? Mine are in semi shade in a woodland in a permanently damp spot, I think they need more moisture if they are in the sun. Here in England they are one of our native flowers and usually grow in damp meadows. You have a wonderful friend, parting with a clump for you, I really hope you succeed with them.

  5. Anna says:

    It seems that your helping hand is winning out Pauline as your fritillary meadow is increasing by the year. It’s a glorious patch of colour. Do you think that Mr P. recognises the sound of the car door shutting and the engine starting up?

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Anna, they are certainly increasing, so obviously they are happy where they are, it was trial and error to start with! I agree, I think Mr P. is highly intelligent and wouldn’t put it past him to wait for us going out! The rusty pheasant which is on guard duty is now lost among all the flowers which are now taller than he is, if I put him on the bark chipping path, he doesn’t show up, so I think it’s up to me to stand guard for a little longer, until the flowers fade!

  6. Annette M says:

    That is how fritillaires should look. Wonderful!

  7. Cathy says:

    They are so pretty, Pauline. I also like them best with the cowslips as a contrast and when the light shines through them they really do look like little lampshades! Keep spreading the seed and you’ll have a whole forest one day. 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      That would be wonderful Cathy, to have a whole forest of them! The cowslips will be easy to increase, either through sowing seed or from splitting what I already have, I should soon have my cowslip barricade.

  8. debsgarden says:

    Wow! Only 8ft x 10ft? It seems much larger! Yes, extend the area. It will be doubly wonderful! A mass of flowers always has an effect that only a few can never have. I have never seen fritillaries grown here. Perhaps I should try! I have recently planted a large number of hellebore seedlings in the woodland garden, hoping to have a wow moment someday. We gardeners must be patient people!

    • Pauline says:

      I have some rhododendrons in the area where I could extend the fritillaries Deb, they are just sitting there, not doing anything, it is time for them to go! Here in England where they are a native flower, they usually grow in damp meadows, I don’t have a meadow, but I do have plenty of damp soil and they seem happy where I have put them. Maybe I ought to try them in the bog garden too?! I’m sure your woodland will have a Wow moment once your hellebore seedlings are flowering, drifts are far better than singles!

  9. Sigrun says:

    Masses from Fritillaria meleagris -I’m impressed. They needs a lot of water to grow good. I give them water in the moment – but I have only some.


    • Pauline says:

      They are growing in a low part of the little woodland Sigrun. It is always very wet there in the winter and I think stays moist in the summer, so they feel very much at home, I never have to water them!

  10. Angie says:

    What’ left to say, not much but I do echo all the compliments above Pauline. I wonder, did the pheasant visit your garden before you has so many Fritillaria or have they drawn him in? I see pheasants over the way regularly and the Frits are slowly but surely, spreading themselves around my garden and wonder at what point they’ll venture in!

    • Pauline says:

      I’m trying to think back Angie, through the mists of time! I think he was here first but don’t think the fritillaries drew him in when I started growing them, I think he just found them on one of his days strutting round the garden. It is so long ago now, it can’t be the same pheasant, I wonder how they pass the message on! I’m so glad you are growing them, they really are such beautiful flowers.

  11. Chloris says:

    Absolutely stunning. I always carefully collect seeds and sow them in pots, but this is far more effective and easier too. I shall be doing it this way in future.

    • Pauline says:

      My way is far easier Chloris, I don’t believe in making work for myself! So much seed is produced by each flower and the woodland floor has a nice leaf mould mluch on it, so it makes an ideal seed bed for them and nature waters them for me from time to time!

  12. Alberto says:

    That strip looks fantastic, really! All the shades of different seedlings give depth to the whole planting and the cowslip just makes it better! You let your guard down for a while on Mr P but the damage isn’t a bother at the end of the day. Your pictures have noticeably improved I guess you got a new a camera or you can kneel again, so your back should be better…

    • Pauline says:

      No Alberto, still the same old camera! I didn’t risk kneeling, I would have been stuck forever, so I think the back must be feeling a bit better as I didn’t have a problem bending! Mr P still struts around the garden as though he owns it, but I think he has lost interest in the fritillaries, thank goodness.

  13. I can’t get enough of these fritillaries….I have some in purple and white but definitely need more. Stunning!

    • Pauline says:

      I’m so glad you like the fritillaries Donna, just sprinkle their seed when they have finished flowering and you will soon have plenty.

  14. Christina says:

    Wonderful show Pauline, I don’t think I like anything more than the Fritillaries in your woodland. As you so rightly say by choosing the right plant for the right situation we are in the great position of only having to help nature along rather than trying to fight it. thank you!

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Christina, I’m so lucky that they like it in there as really they are plants for damp meadows! I think as long as they have moisture they are happy. It was Beth Chatto that started me off on the right path, thank goodness her’s was the first gardening book I bought!

  15. snowbird says:

    What a lovely post, your jewels are such an asset to your garden, I just love them, amazing little plants! You are so lucky to have so many, I shall now be on the lookout for seed!xxx

    • Pauline says:

      My flowers are now past their best Dina, it won’t be long before the seedheads straighten up ready to spill their seed. If you would like some seed, please let me know, because I will have more than enough for spreading in new areas.

  16. Frank says:

    I’m glad you took the time to post these photos, fantastic! -and even better that they are one of your own native plants and you’ve found them a spot the can be so happy in. I love the blend of colors which have shown up, it really adds interest to the planting, but I would expect no less from your wonderful woodland!

    • Pauline says:

      I too like the different shades of colour Frank that we get by sprinkling the seed, the pale ones show up the dark purple ones beautifully. Really it has come about through pure laziness on my part, the thought of growing them in pots for a few years, then potting them on before planting out, made me decide just to sprinkle the seed. There is always a lovely layer of leaf mould for them to grow in and I can just sit back and let them get on with it!

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