IT is a flower that has become linked with world-renowned artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh and featured prominently in his designs.

Now the small purple and white chequered fritillaria will provide a burst of colour at Scotland’s Covid memorial in Pollok Country Park.
They will provide the contrast leading to one of the main focal points of I remember: Scotland’s Covid memorial at its Riverside Grove location.

Read more: Sir Tom Hunter and Lord Haughey help Covid memorial campaign fund reach halfway target with generous donations
With the support of Glasgow City Council’s countryside rangers’ teams, families who lost ones to the pandemic have already been helping to shape the grove and have planted some of the fritillaria, which are now being brought on in greenhouses before being put in the ground close to the site.

The Herald: Nicola Sturgeon has offered her support for the memorialNicola Sturgeon has offered her support for the memorial
The Herald has been campaigning to create a memorial to those who died during the pandemic and last month 
we revealed we had passed the halfway mark in our bid to raise £233,500 to create at fitting memorial in the grounds of Pollok Country Park. We have now raised more than £136,000.
Glasgow City Council generously offered to host the memorial within the park and it is our hope the Riverside Grove will open in spring.
Allison Greig,  senior countryside ranger with Glasgow  City Council, said: “They are very elegant flowers, which many people associate with Charles Rennie Mackintosh. They are almost fragile and very slender, but look great in little clumps. They are rich in nectar and will support pollination, which will help the park’s environment as well as the bees.
“We have already been working with some families and also some of our learning groups, such as students from Glasgow Kelvin College, to plant the bulbs, but it is not just about the planting. We have been able to bring people together and do something positive. It is not just about the flowers, it’s about sustainability and building a greener future and also nurturing people as well as nature.”

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon backs Scotland's covid memorial campaign and announces £25k boost to fund
Work is due to begin on site in the coming weeks and it is hoped there will be other planting events that relatives will be able to attend.
Ms Greig and her team will be looking to plant at the site to ensure the seasons are reflected and will be introducing snowdrops as well.
Last month we revealed two of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs, Sir Tom Hunter and Lord Willie Haughey, are backing our campaign drive and have donated £25,000 each.
We also received support from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and a pledge of a further £25,000 from the Scottish Government after its initial donation of just over £16,000 last year.

The Herald: Artist Alec Finlay is creating the memorialArtist Alec Finlay is creating the memorial (Image: free)
The memorial in Pollok Country Park is being created by artist and poet Alec Finlay and his colleagues Ken Cockburn and Lucy Richards.
I remember: Scotland’s Covid Memorial is a concept that would also involve significant other memorial sites in the park – the Beech Grove, Hillside Grove and Birch Grove.
Mr Finlay said the park gave him a great landscape to work in and he was inspired by it when creating the memorial.
The memorial’s figures represent supports and are formed by people conveying emotion and feelings at a moment in time.
Among those involved in creating the poses are bereaved relatives Peter McMahon and Carolyn Murdoch.

The Herald: Debbie and Peter McMahon. Sadly Debbie died from Covid in 2020.Debbie and Peter McMahon. Sadly Debbie died from Covid in 2020.
Mr McMahon, whose wife Debbie died from Covid at the age of 53 in October 2020, said he thought the images of the proposed memorial had a personal touch.
“To see these images of how the memorial will look is really something and it is also very personal,” he said. “Many of us have been involved in shaping the poses for the supports and it might be something others can relate to.
“Having somewhere for families to go is very important and it could bring people together.”
Carolyn Murdoch’s father, John Connelly, also died from the virus.
The RAF veteran, who was described as a devoted family man who loved to tell his grandchildren stories, developed coronavirus in April 2020 and died within a few days on April 23 at the age of 104. 
Ms Murdoch said: “The images are really lovely and I think it will be a place that people very much need.
“I went along to a planting day at the park for families who have lost someone or been affected and we just began talking and I think this is something that could really help people.”
“The memorial is something people need and now is the right time.”