On her very first visit to Morton Hall, it was love at first site for owner Anne Luetcke. As she drove up the driveway to the house, the spectacular bulb meadow, famed for its fritillaries, was in full flower. It has shaped Anne’s redevelopment of the garden ever since and although the fritillary thrives in the garden’s damp soil, which floods most winters, Anne has carefully managed and enhanced the area to preserve it beauty.
Here you’ll find some useful tips from Anne on how to manage fritillary meadow.
Managing a fritillary meadow
- The fritillaries are allowed to go to seed in late spring, and the meadow is cut in June. The growth is left to lie, so that the seeds disperse, and is then removed as hay.
- A second cut is made at the end of September, and the growth again removed. This helps to keep soil fertility low, allows for easier autumn bulb planting, and also ensures that the grass is short come spring to show off the fritillaries when they are in flower.
- At Morton Hall approximately 20,000 bulbs are planted each year throughout the spring gardens, to improve the show and extend the season.
- Each type of bulb has its own planting method. The fritillaries are planted in clumps of 15 beneath a lifted flap of turf.
- Chilli powder is considered the best squirrel deterrent. Each bulb or clump of bulbs is dusted with the powder once it is in the ground.
Morton Hall Gardens
Morton Hall Lane
Worcestershire B96 6SJ
Morton Hall Gardens are open from the beginning of April to the end of September. All visits must be booked.
Words Lia Leendertz, garden writer, author and columnist
Photogrpahy Clive Nichols