I didn’t realise until I read the Telegraph this morning that my lovely patch of Snake’s Head Fritillary are doing their bit to conserve wild flowers that are becoming extinct. In the paper it says “the snake’s head (or leper’s bell) has declined because it has been picked and sold as cut flowers” and “the land where it grew was drained and given to crops”.
We started growing these many years ago in the same space as we grew crocus. So early on we get a show of crocuses, followed in April by the Snake’s Head Fritillary. They have spread over the years and the only things that we have to do are to avoid mowing the grass until the flowers are over and the plants are starting to die down and pick off the lily beetles which seem to like them. (Talking of lily beetles, when you squash them they scream, a noise my wife and daughter can hear but not me).
Anyway, they’re lovely and we will keep growing them and giving them space to expand in the garden. The white ones seem to be doing particularly well this year.