// text and photography by Marjolein den Hartog


Snake's head

One of my favourite flowers is the snake’s head fritillary. I’ve always been intrigued by its name and appearance and am delighted that I’ve been able to grow some of them in my own garden for the first time this year. It took a lot of patience – mainly due to the cold weather in March and April – but finally the first of these gorgeous flowers with their chequered purple pattern have popped their heads above the grass. But what about its curious name? I guess ‘snake’s head’ refers to the pointed flower head when still in closed shape, but I don’t really see the resemblance when it’s in full bloom. I prefer them open anyway, with their petals slightly curled outwards. These plants can take a while to get established, but hopefully in the years to come our grass will be scattered with plenty more of these jewels.