The Crown Imperial (Fritillaria Imperialis) begins to emerge from the ground in late February, at the same time as the early tulips, but comes into flower much earlier. The one pictured here flowered on the 18th March, but none of my tulips has the hint of a flower as yet. They are planted deep down and our free draining soil seems to suit them. They may be lovely to look at but boy do they stink!. It’s the foliage, not the flowers. Their malodorous scent seems to have two advantages. First, the deer don’t touch them; secondly, there is not temptation to pick them and put them in vases, so that they will look pretty in the garden until the tulips have taken over.