Saturday, 4 October 2014

Orange Crocus?

I nipped along to the local GC for some bird feed earlier this morning.  I was standing in the queue for the check out, it was surrounded by Christmas Time!  For me it's a bit too early to be thinking of Christmas, I much prefer to focus on Christmas when we reach November.  It seems I wasn't the only one, the couple behind me and the two ladies behind them were commenting on just how early these displays appear.  I know not if it's because the weather is still great and it's way to sunny to contemplate the cold dark days of winter or if these displays are appearing earlier.  I seem to remember that stores used to wait until Halloween was over before tempting us.  Is this just my imagination or are those marketing managers getting earlier?

Amongst the Christmas Cheer, the racks of spring bulbs, stood tall, teasing us all with their wares.  I decided to take my eye off Christmas and distract myself by perusing the bulbs.  I wasn't on the look out for any more bulbs.  In fact, I had just spent a few hours earlier in the week under planting the new roses with a couple of hundred of Crocus bulbs, I had no plans for more bulbs at this precise moment.  My back is still a bit stiff from all that crouching and crawling.

Amongst the selection of Crocus on offer I came across a variety I had never seen before.  Orange Monarch Crocus.  On any of my days out at Early Bulb shows, I had never seen Crocus looking quite so orange.  Deep golden yellow, verging on the orange yes, but orange? No! And it comes complete with it's own purple flame.  It sounds ever so warm and cosy doesn't it?

  
You know where this is heading don't you?  The novelty alone made these totally irresistible.  Marketing Managers 1 - Angie's Garden 0!  The bee friendly stamp gave my purchase all the justification it needed.  Have I ever seen a bee in my garden at Crocus time?  Certainly not in a regular winter, that's for sure.  Maybe like me, they'll be taken in by the novelty value!  You never know til you've tried, right? 

As you can see from the label, they are described as 'The Only Orange Crocus' complete with capital letters on every word.  What's that all about?  Further investigation on the web, I have found many sites offering these bulbs up for sale.  It seems the name varies depending on which one you visit.  I found it listed a both C. chrysanthus and C. vernus Orange Monarch.  An image search produces colours ranging from orange to yellow.  I wondered if the image been fiddled with - time will tell, won't it?  The fact that this is a relatively new cultivar means there was little information readily available.

Or so I thought.  I came across a thread on the forum of the SRGC, here, where this bulb is the topic of discussion.  A couple of submitters seem to think this is in fact Crocus olivieri balansae Zwanenburg that has been given a fancy new trade name, complete with it's own ® just to make it more appealing and has been about for quite some time, 1983 to be precise.  Just to confuse maters even more, an image search produces what look like, to me, identical looking flowers.  In fact, the same picture seems to do the rounds for both.  I say that as a complete novice and these are just my observations.  

Crocus Orange Monarch is far easier to say than Crocus olivieri balansae subsp. Zwanenburg, providing you even know how to pronounce most of the later, that is.  It's a bit of a mouthful, so I can see why breeders might want to change the name for us common folks!  They are not the first and certainly won't be the last to do such a thing.   
 
All I need do now is select a nice sunny spot and hope to share them all with you come springtime.  Will there be Orange Monarchs in Scotland?  We shall see.    



 

32 comments:

  1. Whatever you call it, I want some! I think I have seen orange crocuses before, though not with that wonderful purple mixed in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you manage to source it Jason - good luck with the hunt.

      Delete
  2. Look forward to seeing how the orange crocus performs. Far, far, far too early for Christmas December 24 is early enough for me! It;s so frustrating when garden centres abandon lots iof gardening items for Christmas (dare I say it - yes) tat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too Sue. You've a last minute gal then :) I think the fact that some stores abandon their gardening items is kind of cheeky, especially if you are looking for something specific that would otherwise be there.

      Delete
  3. Zwanenburg is the name of a village close to our national airport in Amsterdam, Schiphol. It's Swanstown translated from Dutch. The colour is beautiful, but I think they also now how photoshop works when it's up to giving a real vieuw at the colour. But I am very currious to see what it realy is in your springgarden.
    Have a wonderful weekend Angie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the info re Zwanenburg Marijke. I hadn't looked it up but had a feeling it was something swan related.
      I think you are right re photoshop, we shall see what happens come spring.

      Delete
  4. Its publicity photos are beautiful. Of course, you couldn't leave without it. I hope it lives up to its promise for you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I fiori arancioni sono i miei preferiti e questi devo proprio trovarli!!! Grazie per avermeli fatti conoscere :D

    Un saluto :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Felice di presentarvi Pontos :)

      Delete
  6. Hi Angie,

    Good luck with the Crocus! I do hope they are actually orange and not just deep golden yellow/orange.

    Would you like to come plant my bulbs for me???? heehee. I've a few hundred here that need planting at some point... Hrm.

    I'm torn on the whole Christmas thing... I used to wait until after my birthday in mid November. Then I realised it just isn't long enough as it's only 40 days until Christmas and working really hinders things so I felt it just crept up too quickly. But also, if I begin shopping too early then I spend far too much because I still panic just before and end up spending double the amount!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's still plenty time to get those bulbs in Liz, I'm sure you'll get round to it. If I was nearer, I'd pop over and give you a wee hand.
      I tend to be quite organised for Christmas, just not this early. I'm guided by working hours too as I work extra in the lead up to Christmas. I can see the argument in starting too early, I'd probably spend way too much if I did too. It's all about balance!

      Delete
  7. Goodness, I haven't planted any bulbs this year yet!! I've grown Zwanenburg before, but it wasn't as brilliantly orange as that photo suggests, and didn't pass the year two test either, I hope you do better with your impulse purchase!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the info Janet. I do hope mine do better than yours but I suspect they will fair exactly as you describe!

      Delete
  8. I suspect you are right; the photos seem indisputable. Hopefully, though, it will live up to expectations. You never know unless you give it a try. Gardeners are nothing if not optimistic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly Marian - you've got to be in it too win, so to speak!
      We are always an optimistic lot aren't we.

      Delete
  9. I hope, whatever the name, they turn out to look like the ones pictured.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was just at the nursery yesterday with some friends, checking out their late season 75% off sale, and we all noticed a bin for orange Crocus in their bulb display. Alas, the bin was empty. I fear the images have been doctored a bit to emphasize the orange color. Please let us know in the spring when they flower.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wonder just how many they had for sale Alison and just how many disappointed gardeners there is going to be come spring time. I will be looking forward to doing a blog in springtime. Fingers crossed!

      Delete
  11. No it's not just your imagination Angie - the seasonal items in garden centres and other shops appear earlier and earlier each year :( I tried to buy tulip bulbs locally in November a couple of years ago with no joy at all. It will be interesting to see what shade your so called orange crocuses are when they appear. You may be surprised and see the odd honey bee. My bee keeping friends tell me that they do leave the hive on warm winter days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I hope we have warm enough days for the bees to visit and that they like my orange crocus Anna.
      Glad you have confirmed it's not just my imagination - I had a feeling others would agree.

      Delete
    2. Certain plant catalogues do the same messing about with the colours of plants that they are trying to sell. Bees do come out on nice, sunny winter days. I used to keep bees and they loved winter flowering heather. I should think crocuses would be good for them too.

      Delete
  12. Yes, too early for Christmas decor, but what a great find! I've never heard of orange Crocuses before. Like the others, I'll look forward to a post about them next spring. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll read about them here first Beth. I'm lucky enough not to be so ignorant that they might not in fact be Orange, but I wonder just how many folks might be disappointed.

      Delete
  13. I'm with the "too early with the Christmas stuff" group... hope the crocuses are like those on the picture, look forward to seeing them in Spring :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The too early for Christmas stuff group is filling up quickly Julie :)

      Delete
  14. Looks like there is a new breed of ad exec. focusing on those of us who are impervious to early Christmas but unable to resist something new in the realm of Flora.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Far too early to think about christmas when there is so much gardening yet to be done !
    Lovely orange crocus, and I love the dark veining up the sides.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Darned nurseries & their darned marketing ploys!
    I to have have been lured in by their tricks....Darn!
    Hope that orange crocus lives up to all the hype. The excitement is almost too much to bear!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Angie, I am definitely with you regarding the early Christmas cheer. Our nearest garden centre in late September was completely turned into what looked like an over the top Santa's grotto. I asked the assistant where I would likely find some bags of top soil, none left he said, tongue in cheek, I couldn't help myself (bah, Christmas humbug) telling you, Ebineezer hasn't a look in. I really want that orange Crocus, bloody squirrels will probably dig them up though!.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are appreciated. My blog is currently experiencing issues with some readers reporting problems when posting their comments. Please bear with me whilst I try to rectify the problem.
I have temporarily switched on word verification. I apologise for this, personally, I don't like it either, I am hoping this may help.