The First Fall Crocus of the Season

Sternbergia….The Fall Crocus.

I actually don’t use the “official” name of this bulb when describing it to people…..”Sterm-berga-what????”  I rarely even say Sternbergia……I find  the word harsh and borderline ugly. It reminds me of naming a beautiful little baby Ethylene, which is the name of a chemical. Fall Crocus sounds SO much more pleasing to the ear, and much more “garden-esque”.  For all intent and purposes, I will hereby lovingly refer to Sternbergia as the beautiful Fall Crocus.

The first Fall Crocus greeted me on the official day of Fall…..with 90 degree weather. It definately does NOT feel like Fall. Where is the cooler weather??? We did get a nice, little rain in the hot afternoon, so Autumn is soon to arrive. My favorite time of year in the garden is the gorgeous display of Southern bulbs during the Fall…..Sternbergia is one of the superstars.

I received my first start of Fall Crocus bulbs from a man, whose house had burned down, and still owned the remnants of the fallen down house. He had lost his wife years a few years back, and the flower bulbs were her pride and joy. I drove by the bright, yellow bulbs every Fall as I dropped my young kids off at school. I was always envious of the sun-shiny bulbs, and searched for 7 years to locate the owner of the property. One day, the man was there as I drove by. I slammed on the breaks, and introduced myself, much to my children’s embarrassment. It was a serendipitous encounter!!! He was thrilled to know someone loved his late wife’s favorite bulbs. He asked if I would take them to my garden to protect them.

I had to think about it……

No I didn’t!!! I was elated!!  I drove immidiately home and grabbed a shovel…..fussing kids still in the car.

Every year, I think of that man and his wife, as the beautiful yellow flowers grace the gardens. Heirloom flowers tell such wonderful stories. You simply can’t buy such fond garden memories at big box garden shops. Modern plants can’t touch the charm of heirlooms.

To get on a waiting list for Sternbergia, please email Currently, I am sold out.

Happy Gardening, my friends!