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Spring blooms in London’s parks

By deliar
16th February 2023

As winter gives way to spring, many of London’s parks and gardens erupt in a blazing carpet of yellow or purple crocuses. So now’s a great time to explore nature on your doorstep.

Originally from the Alps and southern Europe, crocuses survive the cold by having a corm (like a bulb) that remains deep underground, protected from the elements. The flowers also close at night and in dull weather.

  • The history of the plants dates back thousands of years, to Bronze Age Greece and ancient Egypt.
  • It is the stamens of autumn blooming crocus that are used for saffron, dyes, food, and medicine. Not far from London, saffron was grown around Saffron Walden for many centuries.
  • Dutch gardeners began cultivating crocuses and developing new varieties in the 16th century, many settling around Hackney. New crocus varieties and cultivation flourished in Britain in the Elizabethan era.
  • In the language of flowers, the crocus traditionally means gladness and cheerfulness. The purple variety implies success, pride and dignity, while the yellow type represents joy.

So try some of that joy for yourself, by exploring London’s crocuses this weekend! Recommended places in London to see crocuses include Kew Gardens, Cannizaro Park (Wimbledon), Battersea Park, Hyde Park and St James’s Park.

CPRE London campaigns to protect London’s parks and green spaces.

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Crocuses bloom in Elmhurst Gardens, Redbridge