My crocuses (or croci, you Latin scholars) are blooming. I love them all but I have a particular fondness for the purple variety known as Remembrance. I bought these bulbs, or their ancestors, five gardens ago when I first had a place of my own and some soil to cultivate. Moving into that house with its large but almost empty soil coincided with me working on a gardening series for Channel Four television called Gardeners’ Calendar where we showed once a month what should be growing in your garden and how you should grow it.
It was filmed at the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley in Surrey, UK and I was able to learn about gardening by picking the brains of some of the best gardeners in Britain, the society’s experts. In time they became friends and they grew actively interested in this garden that I was creating up in the North West of England.
I brought a lot of plants back with me and now, I hope, they are flourishing in the gardens where I left them. I planted my Remembrance croci in a container and moved it with me to the four other gardens that I’ve been lucky enough to own. They still come up every year and have multiplied so much that I’ve now planted them out into the main beds here in my small town garden in Lewes, UK. They are called Remembrance and they carry with them many happy memories. They are also lifting my spirits after a long wet winter.
These small but vividly coloured flowers also stand to attention in remembrance of time past and, of course, in remembrance of those killed in war. Looking at them through my window today, I’m remembering those protestors shot down by government security forces on the streets of Kiev in Ukraine. I wish that with each passing year, these little flowers didn’t have to keep reminding us of so many new atrocities committed around us.
My novel, Stephen Dearsley’s Summer Of Love, was published on 31 October 2013. It is the story of a young fogey living in Brighton in 1967 who has a lot to learn when the flowering hippie counter culture changes him and the world around him.
It is now available as a paperback or on Kindle (go to your region’s Amazon site for Kindle orders)
…or from Amazon: