Fewer than thirteen ways of looking at a crocus

Crocus season – and something to celebrate at last. Thanks to Stacy for the idea of following Wallace Stevens and his blackbird, and to Dave for bringing it to my attention.

It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

In point of fact, although there is snow carpeting the hills, the sun is actualy shining in Scotland, the backbird is singing and the crocuses have had the chance to open out for a change:

Crocuses and birch trees go well together – especially if you have power-washed the birch tree.

Crocuses are easy to photograph, even for cack-handed amateurs like me.III

The invention of colour photography was of great benefit to the crocus.IV

Slugs and birds take great pleasure in the humble crocusV

Crocuses can be a substitute for a missile siloVI

Some crocuses look like tigers, but few behave like themVII

Yellow crocuses prefer to be on their ownVIII

In Scotland it is a rare sight to see the interior of a crocus


Crocuses seldom appear as an appetiser, even on the best menusX

The death of the crocus is not elegant.

14 thoughts on “Fewer than thirteen ways of looking at a crocus

  1. Very impressed with your pristine silver birch, you can come and do mine anytime!! Crocus are so wonderfully hopeful aren’t they, they put their flowers up and get battered by the wind, they open up and the birds peck them to death, especially the yellow ones here, even so they delight us with their wonderful colours and show us that spring has sprung!

  2. I see you have Spring Fever too Kininvie, like Alberto and maybe all of us. And you are justifiably pleased with the clean birch–lovely ghostly tree. I think you need to grow some saffon crocus so you can cook with them. Please keep your missile silos directed away from Oregon…

    • Hi Linnie, I’ve looked into saffron crocuses now and again, but they appear to like it hot and quite dry – so I don’t think there is much future for me in that direction. Even if they grew, I suspect the saffron might taste of mud….
      I’ll stick to the markets of Istanbul and Tunis I think. Haggling for saffron is one of the greatest pleasures of travel….

  3. Hehe, your power washed birches are a triumph, Mr K. A veritable triumph! And that was such a quickly put together post – well done indeed. I particularly like the tiger crocus (I’m a sucker for stripey flowers) – has it a name? D

  4. Kininvie, I laughed aloud at the computer screen about your black and white crocuses. (It didn’t notice.) I was in an “envying the UK” mode today because of things like your beautifully pristine birches and the way artless drifts of crocuses look in smooth, green lawns. Then you mentioned slugs, and New Mexico turned back into a desirable place to be.

    I’m so pleased that you wanted to pursue the Wallace-Stevens-for-gardeners idea. Thank you!

    • Hello Di,
      I can’t be sure of the exact variety – but it is a crocus korolokowii of some sort. Try searching ‘Yellow Tiger’ (although I don’t think that’s the exact one I have….but there are many similar

  5. You power wash your silver birches, Dave wipes his down…is this a man thing? Mine don’t look quite as pristine or glowing as yours but they’re Jaquemontii and they look okay!
    Great post Mr K. Sme of them really made me laugh…and the markings on the tiger crocus are really unusual and it pays to get up close to them.

    • No, of course it’s not a man thing….it’s an ‘astound your neighbours, visitors and readers’ thing. I heartily commend begging or borrowing or stealing a power washer and having a go yourself (I certainly wouldn’t go in for ‘wiping’ – but if Dave enjoys that kind of thing, who am I to question it?

  6. Rare sight to see an open Crocus in Scotland, yer havin a laugh Mr K, are yi? Never seen that tiger variety before, pretty impressive. Yi made a good job o yer jacquemontii or fitiver yi ca it, tae mak i job even easier, wash it doon wi fairy liquid first, mine tae dilute it.

  7. Are you planning to buy that machinery for hydraulic mining and wash an entire wood of birches?!
    This was a funny post, it seems you are getting over the ‘winter growl’ and that bad mood! Soon are we seeing primulas? how long for them?

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