As I stood at the kitchen window first thing this morning, my eyes were immediately drawn to a glimpse of deep purple at the front of the border.
My heart leapt – the handful of crocus corms that my mum gave us last year, which I planted in the autumn – the rather unfortunately named Crocus vernus ‘Negro Boy’ – had begun to flower. I hastily grabbed a jacket, pulled on my wellies and dashed outside, to find two or three plump inky black buds waiting for the sun to coax them open.
It is hard to do justice here to their depth of colour, from sable night to electric purple, with the most lustrous satin gleam.
The first crocus in our garden and I think I am in love.
I cannot fault their magnificent stripy leaves, which I have been admiring and watching hopefully for some weeks now; and their voluptuous buds, which spill open in the sunshine to reveal stamens of egg-yolk yellow and mandarin orange.
I hope to add many crocuses (croci!) to the garden in the years to come, but these, our first, are something rather special.