crocus sativus


Regenerating Croydon from the ground up

Posted on May 17th, by Liz Sheppard-Jones in Politics & Society. 1 Comment

How Croydonians are creating a grassroots regeneration movement, and why a totem pole is the perfect symbol of this

“Quality… you know what it is, yet you don’t know what it is. Some things are better than others… but what is the betterness?” – Robert M Pirsig.

Everybody wants a better Croydon. So what exactly is it? Well, it depends on whom you ask.

The … Read More »



April 2018 in brief

Posted on May 10th, by The Croydon Citizen in Politics & Society. No Comments

The big news stories of April 2018, summarised by the Citizen team

Labour held Croydon Council in the local elections

A low-key campaign overshadowed by national and London politics came to an end on 3rd May, with the result becoming clear overnight. Labour won 41 of Croydon’s 70 councillors, with the Conservatives taking the remaining 29. The UKIP vote collapsed across the borough, while Lib Dem and Green spokespeople both … Read More »



Requiem and reality check – the end of Croydon Saffron Central

Posted on April 16th, by Liz Sheppard-Jones in Culture. 4 comments

Land in Croydon isn’t only for profit, and our saffron farm proved it

On Saturday 7th April 2018 a team of volunteers stripped out the site of Croydon Saffron Central, as it prepared to close forever.

Croydon’s urban saffron farm was founded by Ally McKinlay in the summer of 2015.  Ally first became fascinated by our town’s history of crocuses while working as a DJ for … Read More »



Croydon Saffron Central will feature on BBC Radio 4′s Food Programme this Sunday, 28th January

Posted on January 26th, by Ally McKinlay in Politics & Society. 2 comments

Croydon’s urban saffron farm will be on the airwaves again this weekend

This Sunday Yasmin Khan, who was born in Croydon, presents a very special programme called Britain’s Secret Saffron Story for The Food Programme on the BBC’s Radio 4. I was lucky enough to be interviewed just before Christmas at Broadcasting House and shared all that I knew, as best I could, on Croydon’s connection to the saffron … Read More »



Harvest gets underway at Croydon Saffron Central

Posted on November 2nd, by CronxWire in CronxWire. No Comments

Volunteers are now sought to harvest saffron in Croydon town centre, at the crocus farm on the site of the former Taberner House building.

Release begins: There’s a stigma attached to Croydon town. There are tens of thousands in fact.

But this stigma’s not slanderous, controversial, ugly, big and bruising.  It’s not embarrassing or unfortunate.

This stigma is subtle and slight, simple and light.  “Stunning”, “wonderful”, … Read More »



Crocus valley blooms again

Posted on October 14th, by Liz Sheppard-Jones in Politics & Society. 1 Comment

How Ally McKinlay brought saffron home to Croydon

Boxpark? Just a fancy place for a sandwich. Westfield? Retail detail – see one and you’ve seen ‘em mall. The stand-out Croydon story of 2015 is horticultural.

In August, the people of Croydon responded enthusiastically to a proposal to bring crocus-growing back to the town centre. In Roman times, the species crocus sativus grew here, producing saffron … Read More »



September news in brief

Posted on October 6th, by The Croydon Citizen in Politics & Society. 1 Comment

The Citizen team compiles some of the noteworthy events of September into one handy page

Crocuses return to the centre of Croydon

The former site of Taberner House, which is being developed next year, is now home to a temporary saffron farm. After raising £4,000 in just a few days from crowdfunding, local gardener and Croydon Radio DJ Ally McKinlay was able to purchase thousands … Read More »



Community invited to track the progress of crocus sativus (Croydon’s namesake flower) planted across the borough

Posted on September 26th, by CronxWire in CronxWire. No Comments

The organisers of Croydon Saffron Central, a project to grow saffron-producing crocuses on the site of Taberner House in central Croydon, have announced an app to track the flowering of corms across the borough’s twenty-four wards.

Release begins: Following the great success of the community crocus planting at the world’s largest urban saffron farm on the former Taberner House site in central Croydon, Croydon Saffron Central project organisers want … Read More »



Croydon Saffron Central brings namesake flower back to town centre

Posted on August 19th, by CronxWire in CronxWire. 1 Comment

Croydon council has greenlighted a project by community groups to create a pop-up crocus farm on the former Taberner House site in central Croydon this autumn. 

Release begins: Croydon Council’s approval allows the community project to seek funding through public donation to create a pop-up saffron farm to share with all of Croydon.

The project aims to bring the Crocus Valley to every garden and belly in … Read More »