Thursday, 1 March 2012


Spring for many has begun and includes in full all the months of March, April and May, but for more traditional calendar watchers it has yet to start with the ‘vernal equinox’ of 20th March. Here at Levens however, we make the break with winter this weekend as our first seedlings sown a while back under glass begin to germinate. It is with their magical emergence that we celebrate the arrival of new life and the new season.

Its cold still out in the garden, but things are stirring there too. As the days slowly lengthen, plants sense it and take their place in the annual sequence of bud-break and flower as in time, their turn comes.

Eagerly away is the first of our crocus, the wonderful Crocus tommasinianus. Sometimes known as ‘snow crocus’ for their earliness, or simply nicknamed ‘Tommies’, they carpet the grass in sheets of colour across our riverside lawns. 

Individual flowers are held high on slender stems, tissue thin petals an iridescent, cobalt lavender surrounding contrasting orange anthers. When warmed by spring sunshine, they are a favorite destination for bees, eager for fresh pollen after their long winter’s rest.

They look wonderfully natural in huge drifts across short turf, and where happy self-seed easily and spread freely, an exciting opener for spring....


  1. thanks for these beauties and the info. Saw swathes in our local garden square and for a moment thought they were Autumn crocus. Tommasinianus are more delicate than most of the Spring crocus I see - a lovely alternative.

  2. radha and PatioPatch- they are beauties indeed! Self-seeders too, which has to be a bonus...

  3. Crocuses are beautiful with the many eye-catching colors in the spring. Thank you for the beautiful photographs.
    It greets Harald

  4. Thanks Harald. The crocus display will be coming to an end soon, but the daffodils are beginning. Spring has sprung!


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