I added some new crocus to the garden last fall, adjacent to some established ones, so that made a nice sweep of colour from early May. After an extended winter, all of the bulbs came out at once, and the garden was full of beautiful crocus flower combinations.
Here are two shorter crocus. In front is Crocus chrysanthus ‘Prins Claus’ and behind is Crocus sieberi ‘Tricolor’. ‘Prins Claus’ is mostly white with some purple on the outside of its petals, which matches to the more saturated purple ‘Tricolor’. ‘Tricolor is one of my new favourites, with its purple, gold and white zones of colour.
Crocus vernus ‘Striped Beauty’ in the front and Crocus vernus ‘Vanguard’ behind make a pretty purple and white crocus combination. ‘Striped Beauty’ has a white background on the petals with dark purple striped running through them, while ‘Vanguard’ alternates between mauve and silver gray petals. I’m very pleased with the look of these two together. I have other areas where this striped crocus is combined with a dark purple crocus, but I would repeat this combination again.
A closeup of ‘Striped Beauty’ and ‘Vanguard’ shows how the colours are similar, with varying patterns.
Here’s a section of purple crocus around the golden yellow Crocus x luteus ‘Yellow Mammoth’. In the front are ‘Vanguard’, Striped Beauty’ is behind, and ‘Silver Coral’ is the mostly white crocus in the middle.
Crocus can be very eye catching in a contrasting colour scheme of gold and purple. ‘Yellow Mammoth’ is shining in front, and another striped purple crocus, Crocus vernus ‘Pickwick’ is in back.
‘Yellow Mammoth’ makes a strong contrast to the solid purple Crocus vernus ‘Remembrance’ at the back of this picture.
This combination has more yellow in it, with the smaller Crocus chrysanthus ‘Fuscotinctus’ in the middle. When the petals on ‘Fuscotinctus’ are closed, they show maroon stripes on the outside, but the stripes are not showing up well in the picture above. They are usually earlier flowering than the larger crocus, with only a bit of overlap in bloom time in the garden.
This combination of three Crocus vernus goes from light crocus flowers in the front to dark purple at the back.
The picture above was taken before my garden cleanup, so you can see how amiable crocus bulbs are about coming up thorough anything in the garden, including layers of fall leaves. Those long slender leaves pierce holes in the garden debris, and the flower buds poke their petals through, or the flowers just push the layers up like rakish hats, and then toss them to the side.
Here the sunlight is streaming through the flower petals, showing a delicate flower look, belying the actual hardy nature of crocus. Usually if it snows after the flowers have opened, they just close up and wait for warmer weather to open them again.
The picture above shows how vibrant ‘Pickwick’ with ‘Yellow Mammoth’ flowers look together, with their purple and yellow combination. Crocus leaves look good, too, with their distinctive silver racing stripe down the middle of each blade.
This photo is looking across part of the garden with lots of purple crocus flowers and some gold highlights.
The Crocus vernus are at the front here, and in the back of the photo are some of the smaller Crocus chrysanthus(snow crocus). The gaps are where some perennials are planted that will come up later. There is a peony, some Phlox, and a number of Campanula (bellflowers). On the far side of the photo, the crocus are planted in between some hardy Geranium ‘Roseanne’, more Campanula, and under a lilac.
Here are more of the later crocus enjoying the sun’s rays. It’s a good thing that the crocus flower early before the tree leaves fill in and increase the shade in this garden bed.
In the front right corner of this picture are some Crocus tommasinianus that were fading. They came out very early, but didn’t last long. They were nice enough, but I wouldn’t necessarily plant them again.
The crocus really brighten up the faded fall leaves and maple keys that cover the garden bed after the snow melts.
I love the way that crocus enliven the garden so quickly as the last of the snow melts. Starting with the Crocus chrysanthus, and C. tommasinianus, through the C. vernus to the C. sieberi and C. x luteus, they provide so much colour in the early spring garden. You can see some more purple crocus in this follow up article.