Thursday, 14 March 2013

Eye Candy

Plant of the Week - The (humble) Crocus.


Eye Candy Credentials - What is there to say other than the sight of swaths of these lovely little flowers naturalised in grass really herald the start of spring.  The colours positively glow and if you get up close and personal many of them have a beautiful perfume.  Bees are quite partial too - so grow them for this reason alone.  They are a valuable early source of nectar and pollen.

How to Grow - They need full sun or dappled shade and well drained soil so that they don't rot.  Look best planted in drifts in lawns.  Get the corms in Autumn and plant about 8 - 10 cm deep.  Try planting in a circle around the trunks of deciduous trees or shrubs.  This way you will know where they are so that you don't mow the lawn until their leaves have died back.

Look Good With - Galanthus nivalis (Snowdrops), Cyclamen coum, Iris reticulata.
Technical Stuff - a genus of about 80 species of dwarf perennials grown from corms. Originating from a wide range of habitats from coastal to sub-alpine regions in central and southern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and Western China.  Crocus tommasinianus is the best variety for naturalising in grass.

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