Old Fashioned Primulas
Any one who knows me will know I have a weakness for Primulas which has grown in recent years. I have lots of the native Primula vulgaris, a growing collection of Candelabra Primulas (all grown from seed), a Primula sieboldii snowdrop and one of my favourites Primula Dark Rosaleen.
I have been toying, and continue to toy, with the idea of having a nursery. This is a distant dream and probably won’t come to fruition until I retire. However, I would like to specialise in a plant group and I have been thinking that Primulas would be a good one. However, my research has been very frustrating. I have tried to find out more about this group of plants but keep ending up with auriculas which I know are part of the family but aren’t the Primulas I’m interested in. I like the old-fashioned varieties. I had almost given up on this notion until I went last week to the Garden House in Devon. I was delighted and surprised to discover a collection of named old-fashioned Primulas.
Now I don’t profess to be any sort of expert on Primulas but I would like to understand more about their history, how they are grouped etc. If anyone can point me in the direction of a good reference book or website that would be most appreciated.
I was further enthused when I was watching Gardeners World that evening only to see a piece on old-fashioned Primulas in Ireland. I just need to find a way of tapping into this world, getting seed and starting a proper collection.
I was particularly taken with Primula ‘Radical Red’ as it is just what I need to bring some spring colour to my hot border. Sadly the nursery didn’t have any but I still came away with a Primula ‘Ingrams Blue’ which is far bluer than the photo in this post suggests. I actually think it is going to be quite hard to place in the garden in such a way that the dark blue flowers stand out. I will have to find something light in colour to offset it against.
Anyway, as well as discovering a wonderful garden, my nugget of an idea became a larger nugget.