Purple river

Spring is definitely here. I know, because not only is the birdbath still regularly frozen over, it’s also occasionally glittering in sunshine and thawing. There’s that, and the fact that the bottom garden is transformed.


One minute there aren’t any crocuses at all, and the next minute it’s difficult to walk in that direction without doing serious damage. They’ve spread under the hydrangea (that’s it, it’s definitely coming out), over two lawns, up the side of the path:

path purples

and they change. In some light they appear almost blue or a reddish imperial purple,


in others they are lavender or a more conventional, coloured pencil purple. I don’t care; they are beautiful whatever the conditions. But they really, really come into their own in sunlight,


and we’ve been lucky enough to have had some of that rare commodity recently.

The tree is an old cherry, and unfortunately its days are numbered. Cherries aren’t particularly long-lived anyway, and this one has already needed surgery, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it hangs on a little longer as it is such a good foil for the crocuses. Not that they really need it, mind:


I suppose one of the reasons I love these so much is that they’re really a transitory pleasure – they’re at their spectacular best for a short period of time, a couple of weeks if I’m lucky. And this year they are the best that I can remember. So I make no apologies for a swift succession of crocus glamour shots.


wowzer 4


The dragons (or foxes) which have been excavating the bed further up have shown no interest in digging here at all, even though it is perilously close to their preferred site, which is another bonus… That’s probably just as well, because if they did I’d have to start looking for dragon traps. Nothing interferes with the crocuses. And there’s another enjoyable and traditional sign of spring: P tiptoeing delicately through them in his boots…


23 thoughts on “Purple river

  1. Christina

    I can see why you’re so happy, they are very beautiful. I have yellow ones, but they were only planted last autumn and aren’t yet making a statement like yours, envy, envy! Christina

    1. kate Post author

      Mine have been rampaging since I took over ten years ago, but I didn’t plant them so heaven only knows how many years they’ve had to spread like this. I did plant some deliberately elsewhere a couple of years ago and they’re starting to bulk up, though. Fingers crossed for your yellows – the birds have a go at mine, but just the yellows.

  2. Pauline

    Absolutely fantastic, they look really beautiful and show just how much we need the sunshine! I only have them in the woodland at the moment, must try them in the lawn, they would have more sun there and would open better. Have you been warm enough for any bees to be visiting them?

    1. kate Post author

      Mine started as a few around the base of the tree, quite well disciplined (the previous owner had been in the RAF; this was a well-ordered garden). Under me they’ve been allowed to roam free – well, fat chance of stopping them. Haven’t seen any bees yet – it may be sunny, but it’s cooooooold…

  3. Cathy

    I had to laugh when I first read your post, Kate, as I read it on my phone and there was text but no pictures – just their titles!! I have just looked again to remind myself what they were, but now there are photos on the phone as well as text …. You were clearly impressed, and quite rightly so, as these are absolutely wonderful, all the more so because there are so many of them, of course. Lucky you, to have had some sun too 🙂

    1. kate Post author

      Ha – wowzers 1-6 or something! They are gorgeous; I can’t make up my mind whether they’re so wonderful because it’s such a fleeting visit (even more fleeting if you add the possibility of sunshine). Pretty pretty…

  4. Dobby

    You managed to drain the boating lake then?
    Stunning. Lovely bright colours to cheer us all up. Glad the dragons haven’t dug them up.
    As you say, some sun but still damned cold!

    1. kate Post author

      No, dragons evidently don’t like crocuses – maybe they’re colour blind? Crows do – spent some time today throwing things. They’re such a gorgeous colour. The crocuses, not the feckin’ crows…

  5. hillwards

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Purple crocuses really are my favourite, and yours form such a stunning carpet. They do look particularly good sprawled at the foot of a tree, so hope that you don’t have to uproot your cherry any time soon.

    1. kate Post author

      They are gorgeous, and I can say that because I can’t claim any credit for them – they do what they want to do. Spread, basically, which is fine by me…

      Me too on the cherry. Will fight to keep it as long as possible.

    1. kate Post author

      Bits of sunshine…. today we have a mist rolling in from the sea. I suppose it all makes a welcome change from rain, anyway – hope the sun reaches you soon.

  6. croftgarden

    How lovely. This year I had a flower and some leaves. So at the current rate of progress I might see a mini-drift (voles permitting) by the time I’m ready to hang up my gardening gloves!
    Do dragons eat voles?

    1. kate Post author

      I’m sure they’ll build!

      Don’t know about voles but I wish dragons ate jackdaws. It must be the chafer grub season, because my ****** jackdaws are now attacking the lawn too, argh.


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