The humble crocus
Spring is well underway now and we are starting to see great burst of colour erupting around the garden. While the first of the spring bulbs , snowdrops, have already been on show for the past few weeks, it is only now that gardeners are starting to see an injection of colour.
Crocus bulbs are an extremely underrated bulb in my opinion as they can add a great splash of colour to those troublesome areas in the garden. Now while there is much debate within the garden world as to whether you should call them crocuses or croci, I have always called them crocuses and I don’t plan to change that now!
Due to the fact crocuses are so small many people only think about using them in pots and window boxes, which while is a fantastic way to use them, it is not the only way to use them. Crocuses can work extremely well planted in flowerbeds when placed in large clumps or sways weaving through the bed.
They can also be used to add an injection of colour underneath trees during a time when they do not have much interest on offer themselves. By simply scattering some crocuses and miniature daffodil bulbs in a random pattern will add prolonged colour that can see you right through to end of spring.
While I have a particular love for purple crocuses and tend to buy just them, there is a great selection of colours available to buy. The white and yellow varieties can work tirelessly to brighten up dark and lackluster parts of a garden.
Many people will just know crocuses as a spring flower but they are actually also an autumn flowering flower too. Crocus sativus is one variety which is actually grown for their stigma which are harvested as saffron. For any culinary minded people who know how expensive it is to buy saffron you will be glad to know that you can successfully grow this crocus in Ireland and harvest (very small amounts) of saffron from them too.