My paper flower for the month of November is the crocus

Posted by Charlotte Vaughan on

My first attempt at a "proper" crocus

If I’m honest I had a different idea for my flower of the month but then a very talented lady who I follow on Instagram (@lovelyfloweratelier) posted a competition based around the Crocus and the rest is history. Daughter no. 2 took up her paintbrush, which is rarely far from her grasp, and I picked up my scissors.

When I started this odyssey, I have to admit I wasn’t very excited about crocuses (or is it croci?). Ignorance is a terrible thing but I when I started to look at the various horticultural sites online, I discovered a plethora of marvels of which I had no notion, such as the Colchicum Waterlily and the Lilac Wonder. It is the Colchicum autumnale Album that has stolen my heart and had me reaching for the white paper from the draw.

A lovely photo by Jessica Pamp -

In fact the more I looked in to the world of the crocus, the more I was dragged in. Actually it is very confusing, the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) is actually a member of the asparagus order and my white crocus isn’t a crocus but a colchicum which is part of the lily order. The crocus from which saffron is derived has 3 stigmas, but the autumn colchicum crocus has 6. Best not to muddle them up as all parts of the colchicum are toxic.

Another reason for liking a flower, in my opinion, is if it has an amusing local name and the Autumn crocus with its common name of “Naked ladies” ticks the box quite definitely. However, it is also called Meadow saffron, which as we have seen is not possible as saffron comes from the crocus and not the colchicum. Anyway, as I am still scratching my heading and looking confused, it is time to get on with the making bit.

Much as I like these little flowers, I wasn’t quite sure how to present them. A little vase would undoubtedly be charming but my husband suggested a wreath. I looked at him disparagingly, tutted, rolled my eyes and started to put it together. The flowers are relatively simple to make, six petals, slightly coloured at the base around a fringed centre but if you are making a wreath you have to make quite a lot of them. Anyway some little time later, I had my final creation.

The finished wreath

So, it is thanks to the challenge set by a fellow artisan that my November flower bloomed. The wreath is available to buy in my online shop.

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