Fritillaria meleagris, the snake’s head fritillary, is, most people claim, indigenous to the United Kingdom and was abundant in the days before we ploughed up most of our meadowland. I have always tried to grow them as, well, they’re wonderfully exotic for an English plant. These grow in an old trough that I’ve taken with me from various homes and, either them or their ancestors have been with me for a long time now.
They look like Victorian lantern shades when they come in their traditional chequered pattern but they can also be pure white as if they decided that the contrast was aesthetically pleasing. They are right. As my daffodils are now over and the tulips are still in bud, these classy little flowers are among my favourites in my garden this weekend.