For those of you who have been with me for a long time, know that each year at this time, I do a post purely about Fritillaria meleagris or Snakedhead fritillaries.
Thirty years ago when we moved here, the woodland was full of brambles, docks and nettles. It took me a while to clear it all between the ancient trees before I could start planting.
I found one end of the woodland was always wet or damp and in the spring there was plenty of light and sunshine before the leaves came onto the trees so I thought I would try planting one packet of Fritillaria meleagris bulbs. I know they are really plants for damp meadows, but I would wait and see if they survived.
They certainly did survive, in fact they have liked it so much that they have increased 10 fold, 20 fold, even more! I now sprinkle the seed each year into areas in the woodland that aren’t so damp and they are increasing in those areas too, but the plants aren’t so tall.
For years we had problems with a local pheasant who came and thought what fun it would be to wander through grabbing at the flowers as he passed by, hence the rusty pheasant which my daughter gave me one year, to be the guard of the fritillaries. Don’t know if it has worked but I haven’t seen or heard Mr. Pheasant for a long time now.
I’m now ready to spread the fritillaries into the main garden, but that will be in the autumn and then you and I will have to wait until next April to see if my plan has worked!