RIP my little Snake’s heads
Am a tiny bit sad…
There is a lovely house not far from here where I walk a lot. It was on the market and I would indulge in moments of ‘it belongs to me’ as I went wondering past. Security men were in resi and we know this from the note on the gate and the tiny cars that raced at top speed along the road, filled with giant uniformed men. Then one lovely cold cold day when almost nothing gives pleasure, I was gathering twigs and in audacious spirits when I chanced upon one of these security men taking a stroll beyond the gate. Hello Sir, and how are you? Can we go in. Reeeeally, are you sure? I didn’t need to ask twice.
Nosing around houses and gardens is wonderful at anytime but there is nothing like an illicit viewing. We (for I was not as one) pressed our noses up against window panes and ran about. Pure Glee. At the front for all to see if you walked passed was a raised bank with grass and it was just teaming with beautiful Fritilaria. Snakes head fritilary. Hundreds of them. Mostly purple but interspersed with white ones. It looked elegant and befitting of this old country house. There was a gentle breeze and they all rustled their little heads. They must have taken years and years to have reached these numbers. We asked and were allowed to pick a few… an egg cup full. Well it was nearly Easter.
Time moves and the house was sold. All manner of decorating trucks arrived and the landscapers moved in. Bright orange diggers carved up the perimeter and beech hedging went in. Of course I understand change and plans but I had a heavy heart. The grassy area was entirely scrapped off and re-seeded.
Oh well, what can one do and there is no rant here as it might be simply be that the new owners really didn’t like them BUT what if it was because they didn’t know they were all there at all? My little moral is that it is not the end of the world to live with what you have for a while, look at the light and see what the seasons bring you and keep a gentle hand. Maybe at the very least employ someone who looks properly at what is going on.
One thing’s for sure, if I ever find myself the custodian of a mini meadow filled with fritilaria I would treasure every quivering one of those watermarked heads.
Maybe if you have the right conditions you could plant some; they like moisture and somewhere that will not dry out in summer and full sun or partial shade. Perfect to naturalise in grass under a deciduous tree. Simply elegant.