The Autumn Crocus


I was out in the yard yesterday, getting those last few things in the garden ready for the snow, when stumbled across this delicate purple flower peeking out through the leaves.  A few years ago I planted some autumn blooming croci along the front walk.  For the first year or two they did really well, but then they started to peter out.  I blame the chipmunks.  This seems to be the last remaining autumn crocus in my yard, and a joyful reminder of why I planted them in the first place.  One final bloom to help carry me through the long winter months ahead.

Plant your autumn blooming croci in the early Fall around the same time that you would plant your Spring bulbs.  Unlike your Spring bulbs, your autumn croci will begin to bloom in a month or two.  I have heard autumn croci fondly referred to as “naked ladies” since while they bloom in the Fall their foliage does not surface until the Spring.  I think the most commonly known autumn crocus is the Saffron Crocus.  Unfortunately, the Saffron Crocus is not hardy where I live, but if I did live in a more moderate region I would love to experiment with growing my own saffron.  I did read that you might be able to grow them in a pot.  I might have to try that next year.  It will not have the same charm as stumbling across them in the leaf strewn yard, but it might lead to a peaceful compromise between me and the chipmunks.

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