Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Primroses Are Sitting Pretty for Springtime; A New Season Has Finally Arrived and There Is No Better Sign Than Cheerful Clumps of Primroses, Wild or in Gardens, Dazzling in Brilliant Shades

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Primroses Are Sitting Pretty for Springtime; A New Season Has Finally Arrived and There Is No Better Sign Than Cheerful Clumps of Primroses, Wild or in Gardens, Dazzling in Brilliant Shades

Article excerpt

Byline: With Carol Klein of TV's Gardeners' World

Primula THE primrose - prima rosa, the rst rose - is the harbinger of spring. Right now the steep Devon banks facing west around Glebe Cottage are smothered in compact clumps of their pale pretty 'owers - egg-yolk centres suspended on pink stems the colour of baby birds.

eir 'owers show up even on dull days to lure in insects and their sweet scent is o'ered at nose level.

It was said that children who eat primroses see fairies. Gypsies used to pick primroses to sell door to door, lling pillowcases with them.

Devon paper mills included a bunch of primroses with every consignment of paper sent out in spring during the 1930s and 1940s and Wiggins Teape continued the practice until the 1970s, when picking primroses became illegal.

e wild primrose has to be my favourite but there are hundreds of cultivars and selections to grace our gardens in every colour of the rainbow.

silver-lace polyanthus have 'owers like black velvet, with each petal ringed in silvery-white. Flowers are held symmetrically at the top of a straight stem. With the precisely silver-edged petals, it creates a formal impression.

is quest for perfection was ridiculed by the "natural gardening" fraternity - William Robinson, Gertrude Jekyll and Ellen Willmott all poured scorn on the articiality of this pursuit.

Nowadays, along with auriculas, these intriguing 'owers nd favour with many gardeners who love the quirky and the whimsical.

What's more, gold-lace and silverlace polyanthus look wonderful with other plants.

Most primulas really look best in a naturalistic setting but they can be used formally too. Primula gold-laced group and Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens' make a cutting-edge combination in a shady container, perhaps with the silver spikes of Astelia chathamica as a centrepiece.

cutting-edge combination in a shady Nestle primula 'Black Jack' under the crimson-backed leaves of rheum 'Ace of Hearts' with red-eyed Euphorbia martinii in the background.

Plant a drift of primula 'Blue Riband', 'Tawny Port' or any of the purply bronzeleaved hybrids among dark hellebores and blue pulmonarias. …

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