By E. A. Bowles
The ultimate quantity in Bowles's three-volume survey of his backyard during the yr. dealing with the "unwelcome" introduction of wintry weather, Bowles notes the decline of many valuable crops we have now come to understand within the prior volumes.
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Extra resources for My Garden in Autumn and Winter (My Garden Series)
C. And Edinburgh 1915 Page v Contents CHAP. PAGE I. The Passing of Summer 1 II. Autumn Crocuses 10 III. Early September 38 IV. Mid-September 55 V. Colchicums 70 VI. Autumn Composites 87 VII. September's Farewell 104 VIII. The Rarer Crocuses 123 IX. Before the Frost 136 X. Autumnal Tints 158 XI. After the Frost 178 XII. Evergreens 194 XIII. Ferns 216 XIV. Berries 234 XV. In the Grip of Winter 256 Index 265 Page vii Illustrations Black and White Plates Scots Pines and Venetian Sumach frontispiece FACING PAGE Crocus Speciosus from Artabir 16 Crocus Marathonisius and C.
The marvel to us, however, is how sufficient can be produced to meet even the comparatively small demand of modern times, for it has been reckoned that eight thousand of the flowers will only produce about three and a half ounces of dried saffron. I do not know how freely it flowers in sunny Spain, but here it is a very shy flowerer, and I fear I could never make a fortune by picking all the saffron produced here. It appears to have been a lucrative crop as grown at Saffron Walden and near Cambridge in the early half of the eighteenth century, as Miller, in that monument of industry and learning, The Gardener's Dictionary, gives a table of charges and profits, and reckons at the price of thirty shillings a pound for saffron the net profits of an acre should be about five pounds four shillings yearly, without counting any return from the sale of the increase of the roots.
The Italian form var. Thomassii, which I owe to the generosity of Kew, behaves more sensibly, and closes as tightly as you please on dull days and at night, and, moreover, is a handsome plant. It had died out in England, but the arrival at Kew of a fresh stock from its classic home near Taranto should help to spread it again among Crocus lovers. Here it seeds freely, and varies sufficiently to make the raising of seedlings exciting. Next in garden value comes the var. Cartwrightianus, for though the flowers are small they are freely produced, but rather too late in the season to live long in the open.