Anyone wanting to grow saffron should not leave their garden in October. Of course, that is exactly what I did to catch up with the family in the U.K. but I was lucky and I don’t think I had lost too many of the flowers when I returned a couple of days ago.
I was very pleased to see that almost all the bulbs that I had planted last year had come up and some will need to be lifted and split again this year. This year we have had a lot of rain and we had been told by a saffron producer in the area that some of her bulbs had rotted in the ground, so I was concerned that I might have lost mine too.
I find saffron my most pleasant crop to harvest. The flowers are not produced over a long period and picking the flowers on my small scale is not tiresome. All that remains for me to do is fold back the petals and remove the three bright orange stigma and place them on a plate to dry.
I would like to grow an annual plant over my saffron during spring and summer, especially one that might enrich the ground and save me constantly weeding.
I was a bit late last night collecting the flowers and this bumble bee had already settled down for the evening. I’m afraid I turfed her out but she was so sleepy she did not mind me swapping her saffron crocus for another just as comfortable flower.
My self-sown tomato plant is still happy and producing tomatoes beside the ferns in the well. It seems not only happy to produce tomatoes in this strange place but to continue producing them into late October.
With temperatures between 26 and 28 degrees Centigrade these past few days it is hard to believe we are in October. The Cosmos is looking tired but I cannot lift it yet as it is still flowering and is being visited by the Carpenter and other bees.
The Dahlias are still going strong and are a magnet for all the bees – this one is a male Halictus bee. My sister brought me some seeds of the dahlia “Yankey Doodle Dandy” and although I planted them in early June I now have several flowering plants like the one above. I’m not sure if it was the flower shape or the name that spurred her to purchase the seeds.
One of the Philadelphus has pushed out a flower on one side whereas it looks as if it is going into its autumn shut down on the other side.
The Tradescantia has popped up again.
And the some of the Hollyhocks are on their second flowering. The bees are still busy but some of the bumbles, like the one above are getting tired and their colours are fading.
The cool weather must arrive soon but until then I can enjoy another “last day at the beach for this year”.