This week I had the opportunity to visit the city of Husum, in Northern Germany. So, after doing some window shopping I went straight to the castle grounds to see such a beautiful blooming meadow – it took my breath away. Such a marvelous place with all those tiny purple crocuses everywhere. 🙂
The castle of Husum was build between 1577 and 1582 and is surrounded by water. Over 400 years it has been used as an administration building and as a princely residency. It is surrounded by a five hectare landscaped garden which is known as the most important tourist attraction in Schleswig-Holstein. In spring you can see over five million wild growing purple crocuses in bloom (best time: late March until early April).
The origin of this park is a kitchen garden of an old monastery from the 15th century which no longer exists. It is said, that the monks tried to plant crocuses to gather saffron (for dyeing liturgical garments). In the 17th century a new Early Baroque garden has been created on the same place. The duchess Marie Elisabeth resided in the castle between 1655 and 1684. Maybe she gave the order to plant and grow crocuses in that garden. Saffron was also used for confectionary in those times.
But it had to be a huge surprise and disappointment for the monks and the duchess because both planted the crocus napolitanus. It is not possible to gather saffron from this species – you need the crocus sativus.
After all, I hope the royals who lived there liked their park, too. Because I did and thousands of other visitors, too. This blooming park is really worth a visit. The park is for free and permanently opened for the public.