Autumn-Flowering Crocus & Colchicums…


Harvesting saffron…

Traded and used for over 4,000 years, saffron (Crocus sativus) is one of the most expensive spices in the world. Subtle and fragrant, its delicate flavour is used in many rice and other dishes and it has long been prized for its medicinal and health benefits. The Romans bathed in saffron water and the ancient Greeks used it to scent and purify temples.

If you’ve got a warm sunny spot in the garden you can plant the bulbs and grow your own saffron – just 40p each or 10 for £3.80 – while stocks last!! Producing a gram of saffron takes about 150 flowers – but a little goes a long way in cooking… Plant in late summer for flowering in the autumn – they look good too!!

Other autumn-flowering bulbs we currently have in stock:

Crocus speciosus (large autumn crocus) producing silvery lilac-blue flowers with darker veins and a white throat. The flowers appear on bare stems, the leaves developing afterwards. Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. 15p each, 10 for £1.30

Colchicum byzantinum (Byzantine meadow saffron) is long-cultivated and very reliable in gardens. The light pink flowers appear in autumn and have a central white stripe and purple tips. RHS Award of Garden Merit. Colchicums need moisture-retentive, fertile soil to flower well. They do well in a sunny, sheltered spot. Plant bulbs 7.5cm – 10cm (3in – 4in) deep. Don’t cut the dying leaves off – they should be left to die down naturally to feed the bulb for the coming year. £1.20 each or 3 for £3.30.

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