Friday, May 09, 2008

Not Quite the Primrose Path, but It's a Start!

I've definitely become a fan of Primula polyanthus because it's truly proven itself to be quite adaptive to our notably fickle springs the past couple of years. The red one in the second shot was the first to bloom this year, though the others have been joining the show in rapid succession. I've been trying for years to get a nice little mound of these brilliantly coloured flowers going in various spots, and it seems like I finally hit the magic spot when I planted these in the little bed to the left of our front steps. They're protected by the porch overhang from the blazing sun of summer, which along with dry conditions and heat are the two mortal enemies of Primulas. Ever since I planted my first five here I've been pretty compulsive about making sure they get at least some water every day throughout the season and it seems to be working so far.

How am I sure they're happy now (despite the blooms)? Well, I mentioned that I started with five, but if you look closely, you'll see at least seven in this shot, and there is at least one more that was out of field of the lens here. In fact, there may even be nine at this point as I think I saw another small one out there the other day ... after they've finished their first blush of flowers, I plan to give them a good feeding, keep watering frequently and hope that they rest a bit, grow some more and perhaps bloom again this year. If not, as long as I can keep them happy and well watered over the summer, they should be back again next year bigger and better than ever. My dream would be to have them colonize this entire bed in time ... wouldn't that be stunning? And if I happen to find any more nice plants (at a good price) this spring, I'll snap them up and put them in with the others.

Ever since I first encountered Primulas planted in huge masses in France many moons ago (in 1978 to be exact), I've been in love with them and am of the mind that you can never have enough!


FARfetched said...

"Stunning" That's a good word.

Hm. They don't like hot weather, dry weather, or full sun. Hm. There's a couple of shady beds they might survive in here. But somehow, I don't think they'd thrive. I'll just enjoy your pix of them.

boran2 said...

Wow, yours look great. Last year the boran2 boy made me buy a rather expensive primrose plant that bloomed only briefly. I was a bit disappointed to say the least.

IBOY said...

Have you tried Primula sieboldii? It's a little different effect, but very easy to grow and the foliage is wonderful (it goes summer dormant).


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Howdy FAR! I have a feeling that without lots of watering, in your clime, they might not do so well ... well at least from my experiences in Planet GA during the summer months. I'm impressed that you can get cool stuff to grow in that nasty clayish soil you have down there. The pines always looked like they were happy though ... happy to drop tons of needles everywhere!

Yeah B2, I know I've tried several times with the Poker Primrose ($$$) and they always die on me. I got these a couple of years ago from Spring Hill Nursery (link on sidebar) and as you can see, they've done quite well!

Hi Don, nice to see you dropping by! Just looked up Sieboldii but wasn't impressed by the color (kinda pink phobic here, hehe), but that's a good suggestion. I should go over and look yours up because your photos will be better. Definitely would consider getting some if I see them ... the first sentence of the article I found said: "Now, a primrose even an idiot can grow!" Wow, that gives me confidence in my gardening skill, lol.

I've also tried P. viali and P. Pubescens to no avail even though they're reputed to be hardy here too. Do you have any experience with those two?