Planting crocuses requires a little planning but first of all it requires new corms. The garden centers are full of them, carefully labelled with a lot of important tips. I suggest that we concentrate on the flower size and flowering period of the crocuses we are about to purchase. Crocuses vary from quite small (and usually the most early ones) to relatively big, flowering a week o two later then the previous ones. These two characteristics let us prolong the festival of bright whites, yellows and purples so that we can get a fair reward for our late summer toil with a trowel. In order to make that reverie real, look for a real trowel. Right now!
The majority of crocuses flower early in the spring. But Mother Nature likes to create exceptions to her own rules and, of course, there are crocuses, the symbol of early spring, which open their flowers in the fall. One of that exceptional species (Crocus sativus) is famous for its deep orange stigmata (stigmas), the source of saffron, which is said to be the most expensive spice in the world. We will make this fall flowering spring symbol the hero of some future post but now let us concentrate of the rightly blooming crocuses.
They also form corms, which now contain the primordial flowers and leaves hidden inside. If planted in the right spot ( well-drained soil, sunny or partially shaded) the young leaves will sprout before the winter comes. Doing the planting early enough we help the plant to better get ready for the gruesome winter time, which in turn assures healthy flowering in the spring.
In order to enjoy the future display, it is a good idea to plant them in large groups. The clumps will increase in beauty from year to year if we left them undisturbed. Occasional dusting with good fertiliser applied on the soil after planting in autumn, will definitely promote healthy growth and abundant flowering in the spring. The only problem might be moles and rodents like bank voles or other nasty creatures, which can destroy our intricate spring visions by tunnelling under the corms or simply devouring them with appetite.
As I wrote earlier, the best place for crocuses should be well sun-lit. That is why they can be naturalised in grass or planted in rock gardens. The moment their flowers break open they attract hungry bees which love to feast on the tasty pollen produced by brightly yellow stamens. I need to observe the bees now, on saffron crocuses, whether they prefer stamens to stigmas. If they frequent the latter, it might mean they too like the taste of bouillabaisse soup. Well, who does not?