Primula (Cultivar unknown - not Sir Galahad)
Primula (Cultivar unknown - not Sir Galahad)

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.

Primula 'Ingrams Blue'
Primula 'Ingrams Blue'

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.

Primula 'Lilicina Plena'
Primula 'Lilicina Plena'

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.

Primula 'Dusky Lady'
Primula 'Dusky Lady'

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.

Primula 'Ken Dearman'
Primula 'Ken Dearman'
Primula 'Radical Red'
Primula 'Radical Red'

 

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.

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