Sunday, November 7, 2010
If you don't grow the autumn-flowering crocuses, or if you know only C. kotschyanus (C. zonatus) or C. speciosus, then you are missing out on a big part of the crocus season. In mild years crocuses of one sort or another bloom from late September until sometime in March. If the winter is harsh, there will be a gap in mid-winter, but the potential for a crocus season nearly six months long is there.
In most years, the November blooming sorts are a sure thing. The December blooming ones are a bit chancier, and the January crocus are in many years as much a thing to be desired as something experienced in fact. The plants themselves are hardy, so if bitter weather spoils the bloom one year, the plants will be back in future years to try again.
Place them carefully: be sure they have plenty of sun. And group them with some thought: at the end of the growing season, there will not be much else in bloom, so give them the few companions available to make a spot of late year color in the garden.