Tag Archives: crocuses

A Carpet of Crocuses

A charming display of crocuses greeted us on a trip to Brighton last week. The bulbs had been planted in sweeping curves and were an impressive sight.

The flowers appear from spring to early summer but during mild winters they can bloom as early as February. Although these carpets of crocuses were impressive it was clear that I had caught them at the tail-end of their splendour and they are known to have a rather brief flowering time. Crocuses belong to the Iris family and other popular members are freesias and gladioli.

The Dutch crocus is said to be an ideal bulb to naturalise in grass. The striking white flowers veined with deep purple are the ‘Pickwick’ variety and are lovely to view by themselves or in clusters with plain coloured varieties. The colour can vary enormously although lilac, mauve, yellow and white are still the most common. When growing crocuses in grass it is best to leave the grass uncut for six weeks after flowering to encourage self-seeding. Bulbs should be planted in autumn preferably in a sunny position.

It’s lovely to find them creating splashes of colour under trees like those visible in the photo below taken near a pub in Newick.

Interestingly the spice saffron is obtained from the stigmas of Crocus sativu. Unlike the spring flowering crocuses the saffron crocus is an autumn flowering species with lilac or white flowers. It needs to be planted in full sun in soil that is well-drained, gritty and poor to moderately fertile. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world and needs to be harvested by hand. It is estimated that over 4,000 dried crocus stigmas yield one ounce (28.35g) of saffron. Its wonderful to know that you can grow saffron in your own garden but equally wonderful that these fragile flowers brighten our world.

Thirty-two crocuses dressed up for spring

are clumped in a chorus and ready to sing.

Their melodies burst from deep inside.

Their golden throats are open wide.

 ~EMP, 2/28/12

Vanessa Lee Thomas

Of Fables, Flora and Freelancing

Welcome to the Fables, Flora and Freelancing blog!

It seems appropriate to commence this blog when the signs of spring and new beginnings are all around us. The sights of budding daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses make me, Vanessa Lee Thomas, want to spend all day outside with my camera and also to write.

So what’s in the name? It centres around the things I love doing storytelling, taking photographs of flowers and my journey into the world of working as a freelancer.

Fables of course pertain to those short fictional tales often including animals that can speak or some other mythical creatures that provide a moral or life lesson. Now that I have embarked on a career of writing I plan to write some tales to distribute via this blog and take some time to reminisce about the old favourites.

My photographic skills leave a lot to be desired at this stage but I am hoping that my enthusiasm carries me through the learning process. The technical detail and techniques I encountered when I first bought a digital photography magazine were rather daunting but at the same time very exciting. The lessons I learn will be shared and you can judge the outcome based on the content of my Flickr photostream. Comments and tips would also be appreciated.

Working from home as a freelance writer fits in nicely with being the mother of two small children with busy schedules but also has its challenges so finding ways to stay motivated is key. Snippets on freelancing and writing will therefore also appear from time to time.

I hope you will enjoy this journey with me and will leave you with these famous words by William Wordsworth:


I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.