At its best:
Plant the saffron crocus bulbs in pots or borders, in a warm, sunny spot. Space them 15cm apart, at a depth of about 10cm, then firm down the soil and water in well. The bulbs are widely available from mail-order bulb and seed companies.
When the crocuses flower in autumn, harvest the saffron strands by removing the long, bright orange-red stigmas from the centre of the flowers using tweezers. Each flower produces just three stigmas, so harvest them carefully.
Lay out the harvested stigmas on a paper towel to dry out thoroughly for a few days in a warm, dry place, then store in an air-tight container. Use sparingly in a wide range of dishes, both savoury and sweet, where they will add colour and flavour.