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.
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.