Late flowering crocuses

Jan 28th, 2008 | By | Category: Personal Columns

Christmas saw the arrival of a formidable pile of boxes of sweets, chocolates and biscuits. Eating through this has demanded great effort, but was something that had to be done. By this morning, there were two boxes left – one red and one gold. Except that the red box proved to be not a box of M&S biscuits, but a box of crocus bulbs, each with its own little glass vase in which the bulb could be grown.

The vases were to be filled with water; the bulbs were to be placed into the tops of the vases; and they they were then to be placed in a cold and dark place, preferably a fridge, for 12-15 weeks. This was to be done not later than the end of December.

I looked at my watch – 28th January. Sure, that’s near enough the end of December – thirty days credit and all that. I filled the vases, pushed the bulbs in and put the whole lot into the salad box at the bottom of the fridge.

There is maybe some chance that we will get some flowers. Pity I hadn’t paid more attention to the box in the first place.

The story came to mind I heard once of a cricketer from a village in the north of England back in the 1930s. Going out of the backyard of the terraced house in which he lived one autumn morning, he met the postman in the alleyway. The postman gave him a letter, which the young man, on the way to work, pushed into his jacket pocket and walked on. It was the following spring, when looking through his pockets, that he found the letter again. It had been an invitation from the MCC to join the England cricket team travelling to play a test series in Australia that winter.

Closing the fridge door, I wondered how much in life I’ve missed simply through not paying attention.

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  1. Ian some flowers are late developers – look at me! 😆

  2. Full marks to whoever gave you the crocus bulbs.

    As a present – it’s full of expectation, gives lots of pleasure, lasts a lot longer than a box of chocs and is much better for the waistline!

    I never heard of putting bulbs in the fridge though? Maybe it’ll get eaten after all 😀

  3. Ah we can’t observe everything . . some things just slip by without being noticed. I remember crocuses (or is it croci) My mother used to raise the bulbs in the cupboard under the stairs and bring them out to flower on the windowsill. They have a lovely fragrance from memory. Oh, and they probably will flower, the fridge just creates a ‘winter’ environment for the bulbs which I believe can germinate at any time as long as it’s cold. You just might not see them peak till summer! hehe.

  4. There was something on the packet about them not being edible bulbs but I’m wondering if they don’t flower, whether the leaves are edible. (Chop them up with all that other stuff they put in salads and slosh dressing all over them and no-one will notice)

    But what about the bloke who missed the cricket trip? Can you imagine living in some mill village and missing out on the chance to travel by liner to Australia?

  5. Slice the bulbs thinly crush a clove of garlic, mix together and lightly sautee in butter. When there is a little colour to the mix gently rip the leaves and add to pan, turn off the heat and allow to sweat down.Mix in a tablespoon of creme fraiche and tip out over some pasta!!!!!!!!!!mmmmmmmI do love cooking.

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