Archive for March, 2011

Two of the fascinating period plants currently in flower in the Exedra Garden are:

Hermodactylus tuberosus (Snake’s Head Iris/Widow Iris)  – before 1600

  • Its triangular pointed leaves emerge early in the year.  Our first iris-like flowers appeared at the beginning of March.  They are green, with curved falls of deep purple.  The flowers are scented.  We grow the plants in a  border, which is slightly sheltered, and like many native Mediterranean plants they tend to prefer good drainage.  We cover the soil surface with hoggin  to help this (as a mulch layer).  They associated well with snowdrops, which we grow along the perimeter of the border.

Widow Iris in flower in the Exedra Garden

Fritillaria meleagris – Snake’s Head Fritillary – recorded since 1519 (British wildflower)

  • Linear grey-green leaves are followed in early spring by nodding heads of flowers.  Ours are the most common ones with a delicate chequerboard pattern in shades of purple.  In the Exedra Gardens they are scattered along the fringes of borders, but can look impressive when naturalised in grass.

Snake's Head Fritillary in the Exedra Garden


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