Or as it turns out, early June, mid June, past the solstice and well into the back half of June.
All but the dodecatheons are seed grown. Seed for many of these plants came from the American Primrose Society exchange.
This Primrose sieboldii found its way into a pot belonging to a slow-growing auricula seedling that spent the winter in the relative comfort of the cold frame. It flowered well ahead of the sieboldii in the garden (in the wet shade bed with P denticulatas and alpicolas). Good plant. These are my first P sieboldii, and they came through their first winter with, as you can see, flying colours.
These next three appeared several days later. The third is a little more blue than the others (and with a bite out of it to facilitate pollinating). Click on the pictures to see them full size.
These P polyneura (also my first) are still in the tray where they were transplanted as small seedlings last summer. There isn’t space for many more plants in the wet shade bed. I’ll try some of these in the woodland. The Devonian Botanic Garden has a P polyneura in its tufa bed. It may be that, like P cortusoides, P polyneura is adaptable to various situations.
This Dodecatheon meadia (now Primula meadia) has big floppy leaves and not a lot of pale purple flowers. Maybe the alpine garden basin isn’t the best spot for it.
Now this Dodecatheon, a hybrid from D meadia, is well situated, flowering profusely and surrounding itself with new seedlings.
These three dark-flowered polyanthus primroses, from Barnhaven seed mixes, may be Cowichans. The first certainly is. You can see the bronze (reddish) foliage and eyeless flowers. The blue has reddish leaves but maybe a little too much yellow eye for a Cowichan, and the dark red (Garnet) is nearly eyeless but has no red in the leaves. (I also found a red (Venetian) but didn’t get a good picture.) I have yet to establish a Cowichan in the garden and have lost a few. I have found polyanthus primroses need three or four years to become established, and then they are indestructibly hardy. Until then, they may benefit from protection over winter and vigilant watering to coax them back into growth in the spring. (Or some plants are just tougher than others.)
These pictures were taken shortly after The Fall of the Elm Seeds. It seemed an especially heavy dump this year, maybe in retaliation for the hard chop the city pruners inflicted this winter.
This primrose is a garden hybrid (my garden or the Devonian Botanic Garden). It has the pale, open, up-facing flowers of Primula vulgaris on multi-flowering stems inherited — along with the large, open calyxes and strong facial markings — from P veris. Or so I suppose. The flowers are an intermediate size between P veris and P vulgaris. It is a vigorous plant and of all the primroses in the woodland garden the biggest and brightest.
This little plant, and several others, I grew from seed labelled Primula involucrata. The name involucrata now belongs to another, very different primula. And this one is called P munroi (involucrata being a former synonym). I think I have this right?
I have had a blue Primula alpicola thriving in the peat bed for three years. This spring, I found a red alpicola at the foot of one of the mountains in the alpine bed (more red/less pink than the pictures show). It must have been planted at the same time as the blue (both are var. violacea) but needed more time to root in to the less hospitable soil.
Another first, this is a white Primula alpicola, planted in the peat bed with the blue one. Two buds have broken away from the pack and will be open in a day or two.