Fritilleria imperialis ( crown imperial)
This lovely plant won’t be in flower for a few more weeks, but it’s a lovely picture to brighten a wet Monday.
It’s the most dramatic member of the fritilleria family of bulbs, though unlike most of their cousins these prefer a well-drained sunny spot in the garden.. It has a rather foxy smell, so is best placed at the back of a border.
The metre tall stem is topped by a cluster of either orange (Fritilleria imperialis Aurora) or yellow coloured bell shaped flowers under a crown of fresh green leaves.
Make a note to order some at the end of the summer, ready for planting in early autumn. Plant the bulbs on their side, to prevent the damp seeping in, 30cm (12″) deep and apart in rich well drained soil.
image: Jill Anderson