The snake’s head fritillary or a tale on regret

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Yes, snake’s head fritillary is the name of this flower and it is a real flower – it is even a wildflower. It is with the wild version that this story begins; many years ago in my university days.

Walking distance away

Like many others at university I tried to fit in, probably more than others as I felt I didn’t really fit. This may have been the countryside girl in the city or countless other reasons. So, when I heard of these amazing flowers called snake’s head fritillary and how they were very scarce I really wanted to see them. In a similar and much more tame way that many go on safari to be awed by the last of the rhinos.

Yet, I was embarrassed, too embarrassed to admit that I liked flowers and yes plants in general. That would make me really weird. I should just stick to going to the pub with everyone else.

The bit that makes this particularly regretful is that the plants are scarce but one of the best places to see them was walking distance from my halls. I just didn’t know where exactly to go, or exactly when and (you may have already guessed) this was before everything was on the internet.

If I wanted to visit I would have to ask someone, probably lots of people until I found the right person. I was too embarrassed, too much of an introvert and too socially anxious to take that seemingly small step.

After I left university and began my career other things filled my time. There was never a good year to go take the time and see this incredible checkboard flower in the wild. Every year as spring rolled around I would feel a tiny pang of regret that I had not been braver or tried harder.

Turning regret around and into a business

Would I have changed careers and started my floristry business much earlier in life if I had been able to admit I was deeply uncool and just really liked flowers? There is no way to know, but taking a tiny step rather than looking back with regret is the reason I started Limewood Flowers. Not just because of the snake’s head fritillary but because we never know when it will be too late to take that step.

Today, I look back on starting the business and cannot think of any other way it could be. I absolutely adore being a florist and use all the experience from 17 years in nature conservation to create the most naturalistic designs – inspired by the beauty of nature.

I even try to sneak in a little snake’s head fritillary into all my spring weddings as a little reminder to myself – H and M got more than a few in their day

Choose happiness

Now, every time something seems difficult, or I find myself nervous to pick up the phone I remember this and remind myself how much I love what I do. The joy on the faces of my couples, the fabulous community of wedding professionals and the indescribable feeling of creating something beautiful.

The happiness far outweighs the nerves.

If you would like to see more of my floristry journey, please give Limewood Flowers a follow on Instagram and let me know if this post has helped you.

If instead you would like to go and see some snake’s head fritillaries in the wild, this is the best place to go (yes it is all on the internet now!) and I’ll see you there in 2024.

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