This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

garden surprise - a saffron crocus blossom

saffron crocus 2
saffron crocus 3 saffron crocus in the garden

What a surprise in the back garden today! A stunning saffron crocus. I planted a few of these fall blooming bulbs many years ago and they never fail to startle me. The stamens are an unreal intense piercing orange. A color all of its own. And the blue petals are so gentle in contrast. Soft and quiet with a fine pattern. And all this on the background of dry rustling and fall leaves. I sat and watched with my coffee cup for quite some time.

Here's where I got this: McClure & Zimmerman, crocus sativus

© Skippy's Vegetable Garden



Blogger Matron said...

I came by some fresh saffron strands a few years ago. Such a wonderful fragrance, and so much more pungent than the dried stuff from the shops. Treat yourself to some fragrant pilaf rice!

October 31, 2009 4:17 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I've never harvested them. I only have one flower every year and can't bear to pick the saffron. Maybe I'll get a few more.

October 31, 2009 5:29 PM

Anonymous Erin said...

Oh wow ... it's stunning. What a wonderful surprise. I didn't even know there were fall-blooming crocus. Gorgeous!

October 31, 2009 6:32 PM

Blogger lkw said...

I love saffron crocus just for their appearance -- I have about 8 plants, and I try to carefully snag the stigmas and dry them. But, they don't really seem too different than what you can buy (unlike so many other things!)


October 31, 2009 9:17 PM

Blogger Ali H said...

Oh, I was coming to ask if you ever harvest the saffron! Maybe you could try tweezering the threads out without disturbing the rest of the flower, so you can enjoy the lovely crocus and see what real fresh saffron tastes like?

November 01, 2009 9:13 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh I would love to have a field of saffron crocus growing as far as I can see. They are absolutely gorgeous, not to mention the diamonds and gold of the herb world.


November 04, 2009 8:42 PM

Blogger Elaine Hatcher said...

What kind of camera did you use to take this picture? It's really lovely.

November 10, 2009 11:08 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I have a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi. A fantastic camera that I highly recommend. Its relatively light and small for a digital SLR, a good size for my hands. I take it everywhere with me.

I have two lenses. A general purpose Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens. Also a wonderful Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens. I used the macro for these photos.

November 10, 2009 2:25 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will any crocus do for harvesting saffron, or is it a special crocus bulb?

March 27, 2010 10:04 AM

Blogger kathy said...

No, it has to be a Saffron Crocus. There are several varieties of saffron crocus, all bloom in the fall.

March 27, 2010 2:36 PM

Anonymous Olen said...

A few things I have learned in researching and practical experience: Most crocuses are poisonous, especially the spring-flowering varieties, and meadow crocus, that most of us are used to. Nichols Garden Nursery is a good source of bulbs (corms) and also for various old variety plant seeds. Do a web search for them. Saffron should not be watered during the summer, when they are normally dormant...Hence, most of us would be advised to plant them in pots. BUT, they get planted deeper than spring crocuses...6-7 inches, so you need a deep pot.

January 10, 2011 1:32 PM

Anonymous Olen said...

BTW...As most of you probably know by now, most saffron substitutes are useless for flavor, though they can give the saffron coloring. But, I have tried drying marigold petals and drying them and the both give color and some flavor that is closer to saffron than any other substitute. Not perfect, but better than nothing.

January 10, 2011 1:34 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Sounds good. Thanks!

January 10, 2011 11:00 PM


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