Primulas in March

April fool. Sort of. I have no flowers to show. To see pictures of Primulas this time of year, I recommend the Primula forum on the Scottish Rock Garden Club website. But I opened the cold frame yesterday, removed the insulating leaves, and took pictures of some of the better looking plants.

These two pots of seedlings are Primula halleri and P scotica sown a year ago from my own garden-collected seed. A downside to growing from seed is that you can end up with twenty or thirty plants when you have space for three. (Click to enlarge.)

year-old seedlings of Primula halleri (left) and Primula scotica

year-old seedlings of Primula halleri (left) and Primula scotica

This is my lone named hybrid Primula allionii, ‘Clarence Elliot.’ Emerging after five months and some weeks buried under leaves in a snow-covered box, it looks only slightly worse than when it went in. It needs a bit of spring cleaning and will be budding up in a couple weeks, I expect.

'Clarence Elliot' ready to be growing

‘Clarence Elliot’ ready to be growing

These three border auriculas, grown from Barnhaven seed, are entering their third spring as flowering size plants. There are other auriculas in the box that don’t look as good as these. Some of the named show auriculas, in particular, appear less than robust. A handful of snow and some sunshine should wake them up.

3 auriculas march 31 13

Auriculas undaunted by another zone 3 winter.

Everything in the cold frame appeared to have come through…

contents of the cold frame after spring cleaning and a reviving snow bath

contents of the cold frame after spring cleaning and a reviving snow bath

…except the Cyclamen hederifolium. Somehow, their soil had dried out. The plants may be alive; I’ll wait and see. I had too many Cyclamen seedlings to bring them all indoors over winter and placed a few in the cold frame as an experiment — they are rated hardy to zone 5; this is zone 3. I also planted several good-size ones in the woodland bed. We have had good snow cover through a not extremely cold winter, so maybe they’ve survived. I’ll know in another month or so.

Cyclamen hederifolium -- alive in there?

Cyclamen hederifolium — alive in there?

I also over-wintered some potted plants in the garage to give them an earlier start in the spring. You can see that if they were outdoors, they would be deeply snowed under. Now they can be moved out onto the plastic-draped rack, or “mini-greenhouse” (a bit of which is visible next to the cold frame).

In my dreams, I have a greenhouse.

In my dreams, I have a greenhouse.

Here, resting buds of Primula cortusoides can be seen below last years’ foliage. (Click to enlarge.)

new life if you look for it

new life if you look for it

Easter baking

Easter baking

About these ads
This entry was posted in auriculas, primula, winter and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s