Sarah’s favourite crocus varieties

In this video Sarah shares her favourite varieties of crocus and why she loves them

It’s the most beautiful early spring day today and I thought it was the perfect day to talk about crocus. I love crocus they remind me of my childhood botanising with my dad on Monty Grappa just above Venice where you just see carpets of these things, on the snow melt, so just where the snow turns to slush basically but you get this line, this moving line, of beautiful crocus and then in my 20s I remember going to Great Dixter and in the first week of March and just seeing this beautiful beautiful drift of crocus and then finally, a friend of mine, Carien van Boxtel who’s a garden designer in Holland I remember waking up in her house in again, I think last week of February or first week of March, and looking out the window at this beautiful delicate sort of Boticelli painting type carpet outside my window, of crocus.

And these are actually all inspired by her and this very delicate one comes pretty early so that’s called ‘Blue Pearl’ and then this one is is ‘Cream Beauty’ and it’s got a slight scent. And then this white one here is ‘Snow Bunting’ and this is ‘Tommassianus’ and I just want to stop and talk a little bit about that one because we’ve got carpets of this in the garden and I planted it only 5 years ago a few bulbs of this and each of those bulbs has now formed like honestly 25 or 30 and they are humming with bees they are completely covered in bees as soon as the sun is out. 

That goes over and then out comes crocus vernus which is this one and then I love the sort of zappy brightness of ‘Zwanenburg bronze’ and it looks really bright but actually it’s also incredibly delicate because it’s got beautiful crimson markings on the exterior of the petal. So those for me are just sort of absolutely the essence of early spring and some people don’t like this one which is a slightly chunkier form, but I love it for picking and that’s ones called ‘Flower Record.’ 

So, with these and with these the iris reticulatas you really turn winter into spring and that for me is such an important moment like the clocks changing crocus are a marker than the year the growth year is beginning.