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!