A big birthday tomorrow and to prepare for it here’s a really small plant blown up by the magic lens. Fritillaria michailovskyi is a Turkish bulb I acquired last year with a number of other unusual varieties I’m looking forward to seeing bloom. This is the first to flower and we all need something beautiful for big birthdays, don’t we. I actually take a lot of trouble with the photographs for the blog, today lying down in mud for the perfect shot of a rare erythronium, a current obsession. Sadly all the muddy trousers in the world won’t make a duff plant with slug damaged petals look good. Luckily there are buds to open yet. For now admire this purple pendant with its yellow curved frills. Although I say it myself, a lovely photograph. Gardening certainly, photography too. All the fun of My Galanthus Garden blog. And with the restrictions on travel shortly to be lifted, we plan to visit some gorgeous gardens in the next few weeks. All to share ….
Fritillaria Crown Imperialis Lutea bosses the spring border. The pendant shaped flowers of daffodil yellow have a strong musk smell you either like or dislike. Hard to be neutral. One thing I do know from the wonders of Google analytics is that my earlier post on the orange variety had more views than anything else I’ve posted for quite some time. Must be that musk.
In the early days of lockdown here in the UK travel was strictly limited to short walks for no more than 50 minutes and our garden became all consuming, vital for ‘mental health’. I’d not realised how important visits to parks and gardens were to my state of mind. Luckily I’d new plants in our own garden to look out for and boy did I treasure them. And then there were those I’d taken for granted. Fritillaria uva-vulpis is a small bulb that grows in the front garden in our ‘wild area’. Photographed on 4th April when things were grim with Covid and glorious in terms of weather small things mattered. This tiny fritillaria was one of the ingredients of our memorable spring. Don’t you think it’s a beauty?
Another fritillaria today. I have no idea what happened to our white form of Fritillaria meleagris though I suspect unintelligent weeding accounted for the lot. Like a number of plants I’ve featured lately they are a member of the lilaceae family and a plant even the uninitiated notice in the garden. The Snakeshead Fritillary is named after the chequered, tessellated pattern – fritillary means chequered. They flower in light shade in our backgarden and I confess I sometimes mistake their leaves for grasses when I’m tidying up. I have planted some more of the ‘Alba’ form expecting to see them unmolested in April. There is some variation in the colour. I’ve posted two images from April 1st though sadly no white one.
The crown imperial is well named. It is a dominant plant in the spring border. You smell it before you see it – quite a feat given its size. I’m sure the neighbours believe I’m smoking something I shouldn’t. The skunky smell deters deer, cats, rodents, delivery drivers and burglars. All right, I exaggerate – the latter like the smell. Fritillaria imperialis “William Rex” has a lovely bronzy-red colour. I wouldn’t want a garden full otherwise we would fail to have deliveries.