Friday, October 13, 2017

Sweet Saffron

At the end of the gardening season the domesticated fall blooming crocus (Crocus sativus) comes out to show. They are believed to be descendant from the eastern Mediterranean Crocus cartwrightianus, also know as "wild saffron" and originating in Greece or Crete. Inside the lovely blooms three stigma or threads bear the rare spice Saffron.  At one point in antiquity Saffron was considered currency and was a valuable pigment used by artists. Cleopatra put it in her bath as sent it is said. Today one would need to plant approximately 80,000 flowers to obtain a pound of Saffron, commonly known as red gold, selling for between 500 and 5,000 US dollars per pound.

If you have fall blooming crocus and are thinking of harvesting some Saffron make sure that you can identify true Crocus sativus. Other fall crocuses like Colchicum Autumnal (Meadow Saffron) are not edible and indeed have toxic properties, particularly for dogs. Also very beautiful the Colchicum blooms contain three clusters of stigma, yellow gold in color.

Aesthetically, the type of crocus hardly matters when one sees the sweet blossoms laid out on autumn’s canvas in light and shadow. They are a delight for the eye as winter comes on.

Photos of Saffron Crocus courtesy of High Country Gardens

Photos of Meadow Saffron Crocus by your author

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Welcome to the Adams County Fair 2017

Our lovely, lush garden in the Exhibit Building at the Adams County Fair was a smashing success. The many visitors remarked on its beauty and ingenuity. People brought their questions, signed up for the newsletter, took our fact sheets and cards. There was tremendous interest in knowing that we are available to the community.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Peace Rose

Rosa ’Madame A. Meilland' universally known as the “Peace Rose” is ubiquitous in the modern American landscapes. For as common and easily recognized as she is, she has a most uncommon and intriguing history. Peace was created between 1935 and 1939 by the great French horticulturalist, Francis Meilland, who sent cuttings of the new rose to friends all over the world to protect her from the German invasion he feared. It is said that she arrived in the United States on the last plane to leave France before Paris fell.

Some say that Roosevelt christened Madame Meilland the Peace Rose in the hope of peace to come.  Some say it was a British Office who was instrumental in creating the war plan that ended WWII and humbly declined the honor of having the rose carry his name. Legends blossom where myth meets history; and Meilland’s beautiful hybrid tea with deep green foliage, mellow gold and crimson-rimmed blooms is the very essence of a romantic legend. 

Friday, June 30, 2017


Europeana is a very hardy, disease resistant floribunda rose.  Bushing round and tall with thick clusters of blooms so prolific as to often obscure the beautiful green foliage and bronze tinted new growth that surrounds them, this rose lasts the summer never daunted by the heat.  These velvety red roses hold a sweet tea scent.  Taken all together this is a perfect rose for the first time rose gardener.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Riot in the Garden

I think formal gardens, although beautiful, are a sign of human hubris. Nature owes us nothing and shares everything with us. To constrain Her, to force Her into patterns and method is a step too far. Therefore, my gardens are chaos itself, color, scent, texture and size run riot.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Rose Show 2017

Of all flowers, the rose is among the most beautiful.  From the high centered hybrid tea to the peony like English rose they grace the landscape with every color imaginable and scent the wind with inspiration. Welcome to the Denver Rose Society Rose Show.  The theme of the show was “Birthday Bash” in honor of the DRS 70th anniversary.