Thursday, February 14, 2008

February Bloom Day

I'm a bit early with my Bloom Day post this month, but I know I'm going to be too busy to do it tomorrow, and it makes a change from always being late.


February. Not a word to bring light to the hearts of many gardeners, but if it does have its compensations it's these - primulas.

Primulas are definitely on my favourite flowers list. I love all the different colours and patterns - even if it does make it maddenly difficult to organise the colour schemes of the containers. This one is just a shade more lemony than that one. Another two are both lovely pinks, but they clash horribly. I spend ages selecting them, comparing them side by side, putting them back and starting again ...


I can't keep them through the summer on the balcony. It's just too hot and humid, and they hate it. Nor do they like our hard, limy water. So I usually buy anew each winter. This year's bunch came from a street market I passed by chance when I went to visit my publishers a couple of weeks ago. As I went in I passed a flower stall, and as I came out ...

If you want to know more about primulas - and their relatives the polyanthuses and auriculas - visit the Devonian Botanic Garden, which has loads of information. Did you know for instance that the genus has over 400 species, most of which are found in the Himalayas and China? Or that you can make wine from primroses? Or that auricula growing was a passion amongst the mill workers of Northern England in the mid-nineteenth century?

The primulas aren't the only things blooming on the balcony this month. My pansies have been flowering constantly all winter, as have my geraniums, and the almost dead cyclamens which I wrote about last month are doing well and blooming strongly. But somehow they all look as if they shouldn't really be there. Only the primulas seem to be jumping up and down and saying "Wow, February! Our month!"

9 comments:

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Hi Sue,

I love the primulas. Massed together they make a wonderful table centerpiece that lasts.

Robin at Bumblebee

Carol said...

Thanks for joining us on bloom day (eve). There are so many different primulas, and I love how you've massed them together. I don't think they would like our summers, either, but would be worth buying each spring, just like the violas.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Frances said...

What stunning primulas! We love them too, and put them in the ground in March and hope for the best. Our summers are really hotter than they like but extra water helps along with shade from the dormant perennials they are planted besides, the astibles.

Frances at Faire Garden

Robin's Nesting Place said...

You have a primula just like mine! I love the yellow ones too. They sure are cheery flowers for February!

Sue Swift said...

Hi everyone,
Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I suspected I wouldn't be the only one who likes primulas!
Sue

Annie in Austin said...

I can't imagine those primulas lasting long in Texas, but it was a treat to see them in your post, Sue.

Happy Blooming Day!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Muum said...

Sue, thanks for your tip about how to make Clivia flower, that is a great website! It was fun to see your primulas. Milan is a beautiful place!

Shady Gardener said...

The primulas are beautiful!! February here is still quite Wintery! It's nice to enjoy YOUR blossoms! :-)

Salix Tree said...

Lovey cheerful colors for a winter day, aren't they? I like the pink and yellow ones a lot.

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