Temptation was too great!

Looking at all the snakeshead fritillaries which are opening each day in the woodland, I couldn’t hold back any more, the temptation to photograph them was too strong!

Fritillaria meleagris

To start with there was just a couple,

Snakeshead fritillaries

…then a few more.

snakeshead fritillaries

Each day more and more are opening.

Snakeshead fritillaries

Lots more purple ones coming from the seeds that I have sprinkled over the years.

Fritillaria meleagris

This clump of  Leucojum aestivum beside the fritillaries is amazing, twice as tall as the rest of them in the woodland, they are at least 4 ft tall and have so many flowers along each stem. This part of the woodland is in a dip so the soil always stays damp, the plants here certainly love the conditions.


A couple of white ones have popped up among the purple…

Snakeshead fritillaries

There is a clump of flowers that can’t decide what colour they are – part white and part purple.

Snakeshead fritillaries

But this is the first year that I have had one with two flowers on one stem,

Fritillaria meleagris

Do you think if I save seeds from this one, its offspring will come up double headed?

Double Fritillary

I’ve just found another so maybe they’re not so different after all!


A couple have jumped over the path in the woodland, I seem to recall that seed was blown everywhere one year, there was so much wind when I was sprinkling it. I’ll try sowing more here and maybe we can start off a drift this side too.

Fritillaria meleagris

So far I have managed to keep my fritillaries “pheasant free”, I can’t see that he has managed to bite or chew any of the flowers, I think he has changed to primroses instead! I will finish with a view from the end of the woodland, I do love my woodland garden at this time of year.  I wish you all a very Happy Easter and hope that you and your garden have a wonderful time together!

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28 Responses to Temptation was too great!

  1. Alison says:

    Happy Easter to you as well! Fritillaria meleagris is one of my favorites, I plan to add more this year. I love photographing them too.

    • Pauline says:

      Fritillaria meleagris are a wild flower of England Alison. At one time they were everywhere in damp meadows, but with new farming practises and draining land for agriculture, they aren’t often seen these days. I don’t think they should really grow in a woodland situation, but they seem very happy in the damp soil at one end.

  2. Patrick says:

    Hey Paula,
    How wonderfully beautiful for you to enjoy, and now for all your subscribers. Will have to check with the head of our botanical garden to see if they grow in Kansas as I have not seen any to date. Happy Easter to you, my dear friend.

    • Pauline says:

      I always think of Kansas summers being very hot Patrick, I would think that they would need shade and moisture to grow for you. I’m glad you like them!

  3. Rosemarie Eccleston says:

    What a beautiful collection Pauline. They seem to be so good this year – thank goodness for your false pheasant. A very happy Easter to you both as well. x

  4. Cathy says:

    I love the paler ones Pauline, and the white ones too. How lovely to see so many and that they are spreading! They are quite magical. So glad the pheasants have been kept at bay this year!

    • Pauline says:

      I have been sprinkling the seed for years now Cathy and this is the result. They take about 3 years from seed before they flower, so I’m spreading them further each time. There are still lots of buds to open yet, I will just have to be patient!

  5. debsgarden says:

    What an Easter treat for me! I love your woodland every time I see it, but these views are certainly among my favorite. The fritillaries are a fantastic addition to your woodland garden, and they obviously love being there. It must be so exciting watching to see what the seedlings look like. I am glad the pheasants have left them alone, but, oh! Your primroses! Another of my favorites!

    • Pauline says:

      While the snowdrops are flowering Deb, I think that is my favourite time in the woodland, but at the moment, there is so much going on with so many different varieties flowering away, I now think this is my favourite time! The fritillaries are really flowers of damp meadows, but mine haven’t read the books and seem very happy where I’ve put them. There is more light at that end of the woodland now from when one of our oaks lost its top in a gale last year, this could be why there are so many flowers this time.

  6. So beautiful! I’m glad you were tempted in to sharing, you have inspired me to try seed sprinkling myself. From my two fritillaries. How long before I have a drift like yours, do you think?!!

    • Pauline says:

      It’s so wonderful Janet when all the sprinkled seed starts to flower. I bought a small bag of bulbs to start with (probably 20 bulbs) and I think I have been sprinkling seed for about 12 yrs. Good luck with your seed sprinkling!

  7. snowbird says:

    Your header is absolutely stunning!!! Oh wow….how marvelous it must be to have so many adorable fritillaries!!! Your woodland garden is a real delight. I hope you had a lovely Easter.xxx

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Dina, the header photo is one I took last year and I have to admit, I am rather pleased with it! Now you know why I have to protect the fritillaries from the pheasant, who thinks they are there for his breakfast!

  8. Jayne says:

    So envious! I tried many times to grow those checkered lovelies, but success was not to be! They must love where they are planted!

    • Pauline says:

      So sorry to hear that you had problems growing fritilleries Jayne, mine here are in a damp soil in the woodland. I don’t think they need the shade, but they do need a certain amount of moisture at all times. I think mine must be happy!

  9. Cathy says:

    Oh how lovely – and how unsullied by pheasants! I hope mine will spread as much as yours so if I allow then 12 years then perhaps… Surprisingly they seed around my Mum’s drive in the Inner Hebrides! I am amazed at your leucojum – four feet high!!

    • Pauline says:

      The Leucojum by the fritillaries are in a damp spot Cathy, the ones at the other end of the woodland are only half the height! They have been all been flowering for such a long time now and look so beautiful arching over with lots of flowers on each stem.
      Keep spreading the seed Cathy, eventually your fritillaries will spread around if they are happy, they only take 2 or 3 years before they flower. I have to be careful not to pull up the baby frits. as they look like grass for a while!

  10. pbmgarden says:

    I enjoyed the way you teased us by showing just a couple of fritillaries and increasing the number in subsequent photos. Glad your practice of spreading the seeds has proven successful. Hope you had a Happy Easter Pauline.

    • Pauline says:

      Just sprinkling the seed has certainly worked here Susie, we get so much seed from all the flowers, I might try sprinkling it in other areas too this time.
      We had a lovely Easter, thank you, being with the family and yesterday a lovely garden visit, more about that to come. I hope you had a good weekend with weather to match!

  11. Chloris says:

    How wonderful to have so many gorgeous fritillaries. I always painstakingly sow the seeds in pots, I never thought of simply scattering them. They are magnificent. I love your header.
    What an amazingly well trained pheasant you have. I get heads nonchalantly nipped off and thrown about all over the place.

    • Pauline says:

      The ground is always damp in that area Chloris, so sprinkling the seed seemed the easiest option! The header photo was taken last year when all the buds had opened, there are still a lot more to open this year and so far have escaped the pheasant! I think the pheasant is staying away most of the time because he is fed up with a mad woman chasing him! He has taken his frustration out on the poor primroses!

  12. Christina says:

    Simply perfect Pauline. One of my favourite flowers that I’ve never had the right conditions to grow. Yours get better each year. you can post about them as much as you like, I’ll be happy.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Christina! I just say, thank goodness I discovered that these fritillaries like my damp, heavy soil! There are so few of them left in the wild, now that farmers drain any wet soil, really they are plants of wet meadows, not woodland, but shhh….I won’t tell them, if you don’t!

  13. sally says:

    BTW….I’ve never seen a pink Violet before. Just beautiful!

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