JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Snakeshead fritillaries

The snakeshead fritillary is the county flower of Oxfordshire, and this is its moment. You'll find it in damp ground, particularly in the water meadows of Oxford - those lovely wild places in the busy city centre, where, apart from the occasional wail of a nearby siren, you can imagine yourself far from modern life.

A few years ago, I planted three snakeshead fritillaries here. Now there are many more, dotted about, none of them where I put the original three. We went out in the drizzle on Sunday evening to look for them - the children were just giving up on what was clearly a maternal fantasy, when I found one, right outside my study window, in amongst the flame orange Ballerina tulips.

These photographs were taken yesterday in the Wild Garden at Trinity College.


Cottage Smallholder said...

I love these bulbs. They are exquisite. I planted some in the garden a few years ago and they vanished after a few years. Perhaps planting them under trees was a mistake.

Joanna said...

No, mine flourish under trees. I think it's that your East Anglian soil isn't damp enough, heavy enough. Or something. It's a shame for you, because they are lovely, one of life's simple, fleeting pleasures


Sandra said...

Likes damp heavy soil. Sounds perfect for my garden! Thanks Joanna.