The Boys Are Back In Town

(cue air guitar)

Earlier in the week, a hard overnight frost gave way to clear blue skies and sunshine.  Warm, zesty spring sunshine, that put a bounce in my step all day.

Glimpse of Crocus 'Negro Boy' with snowdrops and Crocus 'Zwanzenburg Bronze' behind

Rather miraculously, this fine sunny day coincided with a day of working from home; thus at lunchtime I slipped eagerly into the garden to take a quick peep at the world, and luxuriate in the surprisingly warm sun, when I was stopped in my tracks by a glimpse of vibrant purple.

dark purple Dutch Crocus 'Negro Boy' flower

Not just one, but several, clumps of my favourite and first Crocus, still rather unfortunately named ‘Negro Boy’, had burst out of the ground almost overnight – or since the weekend, at least.

I love the rich velvety saturated depths of these purple goblets; surely the most regal Crocus to be found? Along with deep ruby red, this must be one of my favourite colours, and quite unusual in the garden, particularly at this time of year.

Mosaic of dark purple Dutch Crocus 'Negro Boy' flower

Their petals are polished to a high shine, so that their tips almost seem to be dipped in white as they gleam in the sun, wrapped around contrasting stamens of a rich egg-yolk orange. Last year they were keenly visited by discerning bees, though I haven’t seen any yet this month.

dark purple Dutch Crocus 'Negro Boy' flower buds

Apparently I planted a young Stipa tenuissima right on top of this clump. Oops.

I had been (rather impatiently) canvassing the border for signs of these beauties for weeks; although last year I recorded their first appearance on March 10th, so they were clearly quite on schedule. I’ve been paying the most attention to the largest clump of these lovely striped leaves, which funnily enough turns out to be one of the last to flower, having not even pushed up buds yet. Since it has been raining almost non-stop for the past few days, and is unlikely to stop any time soon, I hope they manage to bide their time for the next sunny spell, so that at least some will escape being beaten to the ground by the incessant rain.

Crocus tommasinianus flowers backlit by the sun

When I could tear my eyes away from these splendid flowers, I found more of the smaller and gentler violet Crocus tommasinianus continuing to pop out of the crown of this plant across the garden, positively glowing with the sun behind them.

purple Crocus tommasinianus flowers

Aren’t they beautiful too? And you mustn’t for a moment think that I am neglecting the lovely golden Crocus ‘Zwanzenburg Bronze’, which continue to light up the garden.

Yellow Crocus Zwanzenburg Bronze and snowdrop flowers

But I can’t keep my eyes off these boys, with their swagger. Welcome back; the pleasure is all mine.

Crocus 'Negro Boy' dark purple

Now, if only the sun would come back too.


15 thoughts on “The Boys Are Back In Town

  1. Gosh – your ‘Negro Boy’ is a real dandy, with that wonderful deep purple satin waistcoat. An absolute stunner!

  2. That is one fabulous glossy boy! Sadly I forgot what I was doing bulbwise last Autumn and planted neither crocii (? ) nor dwarf iris which I am now deeply regretting as those first rich colours are so uplifting at this time of year.

    • Isn’t he just divine? I’m quite quite smitten. I only have a small range of crocus/crocuses/crocii (argh!) but hope to build it up, as every year they bring so much pleasure so early! Although I’m still a little perturbed that the daffodils were a couple of months(!) earlier than the crocus/es/ii.

  3. Those Crocuses (all of them) are stunning! I hope mine will be as good – though they are currently sulking in the rain and showing just a few tiny slim splashes of colour.

    • Thanks, Mark. Ours are all sulking in the rain at the minute too, all their colour hidden away in tight bundles that blend into the wet soil. I hope the sun comes back soon!

  4. Your crocuses are wonderful! I don’t have the rich purple, but I do have the yellow and the C. tommasinianus. Very eager to see my own blooming, but first the snow has to melt.

  5. That is a rather unfortunate name. Mine are only just opening although I saw some near Leominster three weeks ago flowering away, maybe it was a more open aspect there.

    • Hope there’s lots of sunshine to enjoy them in! Our new gold-coloured ones opened around Valentine’s Day, so these are just a bit later to the party. 🙂

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