Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Signs of spring

It must be spring! My purple fritillaria are blooming. To some, this might seem unimportant or very confusing (purple frit-a-who?), but it is a happy, happy day for me.

I tried to grow purple fritillaria for years in my garden; from bulbs, from bigger bulbs, from imported bulbs, from more expensive bulbs...but every year those bulbs just disappeared, never to be seen again once they were planted. A couple years ago I started buying them from the nursery, just days before they were ready to burst open. Finally, success! (OK, so really someone else's success because they did the hard part, but never mind that).

Anyway, I think this is such an under-recognized and under-appreciated flower. They are simply amazing, from their delicate, droopy profile with stems bent as if in apology, to the perfect bell-shaped blooms with the intricate checkerboard pattern more detailed than a sheet of graph paper. Nature continues to stop me in my tracks...

Originally from Britian, they are now pretty rare in the wild as habitat continues to decline. However, there is a land preserve in Oxford where they carpet the fields. Each year, volunteers painstakingly count and record the current population of purple fritillarias by making a grid over the entire land trust and counting every plant. Last year? 42,000!

So today, meet the purple fritillaria. Please adopt this poor mistreated, difficult, step-child of a flower into your heart!

And in honor of this sign of spring, an inspiration board for a purple fritillaria wedding.

Row 1: Table from Martha Stewart, bouquet by Ariella Chezar, necklace from Abaloria, table by Rebecca Thuss. Row 2: Dress by Jenny Yoo, macaroons by paulette macarons, table by Martha Stewart, invitation from Wedding Paper Divas, dress by Jenny Yoo. Row 3: Stacked centerpiece from brown turtleneck sweater, bouquet by Martha Stewart, purple fritillaria from dear kitty, dresses by Jenny Yoo.

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