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Gardens in Bloom

Wes, our Head of Horticulture, shares an update from the Gardens as we head into Spring.

Over the last few weeks the Horniman Gardens have been bursting into colour with a dazzling display of crocus, snow drops, and daffodils.

The crocuses in particular have been stunning, and are naturalised in many areas of our lawns.

  • A riot of colour from our crocuses, These are growing near the Animal Walk
    These are growing near the Animal Walk

Crocuses are in the Iris family, and there are quite a lot of them: about 90 species and many more cultivated varieties. They grow throughout Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and China.

Crosuses grow from a 'corm' in the ground, which in appearance are similar to bulbs and act as an underground plant stem that store nutrients and water.

Saffron is a spice derived from the dried stigmas of the Saffron crocus Crocus sativus, it has been used as a fragrance, dye and medicine and is one of the world’s most expensive spices. Visitors can see these flowering in our Dye Garden during the autumn.

Naturalising bulbs in lawns is great way to grow certain plants and it’s a really easy way of providing an amazing spring display. If you want to do this with crocus, you need to plant them in autumn, simply buy as many as you can afford, and scatter them randomly over the grass, and wherever they land plant them in that space. Using a trowel or bulb planter, plant them to 3 times the depth of the bulb and you’re good to go.

We'd love to know if you've got any crocuses growing in your Gardens at home, or whether you've seen any in other public Gardens around London. Why not share them with us in the comments or on Twitter @HornimanMuseum.