I’ve mentioned several times that I have 3 types of Primula species – P. elatior, P. veris and P. vulgaris – but I have long wanted some of the Auricula style primulas. These are not to be confused with P. auricula. Auricula-type primulas are cultivars between the alpines P. auricula and P. hirsuta and give rise to some fantastic plants.
One group especially, known as the Gold Laced Group, is right up there on my wish list. Its also one that seems to grow year on year as breeders tinker with them (in the same vein as with Heucheras). The reason I am telling you this is that this morning, on my wander through town after having my hair cut, I saw that the … pet shop-cum-florist-cum-hardware had a range of auriculas for sale, including the lovely ‘black’ ones with their velvet softness. (There was also some of the candelabra-type but I’m less keen on those.)
Other colours are available, such as red and green, but its the very dark flowered varieties that really stand out for me.
Had this been a normal winter, I’d have been tempted (well … more tempted that I already was) to buy one (or two …) plants and put straight in the border. However, as its so wet at the moment it doesn’t seem very fair, and I don’t have a greenhouse or even a suitable windowsill, on which to keep them healthy in the mean time.
But once it gets a little drier and warmer … yes, there will be yet another member of this spring-flowering family represented in my garden!