PRIMROSE

P. Primroses require a light, and rather leafy soil, moist, well-drained, but not too sandy nor with an excess of lime. They like semi-shade, but die in cold positions. The leaves are compact, the flower stem rising clear. Growth is rapid after flowering, requiring to be split up into new plants by midsummer or autumn to assure a show of flowers the next season. Many primroses will flower again in autumn and winter in favourable situations.

The common garden primrose (Primula vulgaris) is a delightful soft yellow but other colours, including shades of pink and red, are offered by seedsmen and a packet of mixed seed will provide many pleasant surprises. There are blue forms, though none is an absolutely pure colour. Among the named varieties Snow Cushion is white, Groeneken’s Glory lilac-rose, E. R. Janes salmon-pink, Betty Green bright crimson, Mrs Neave lilac-purple and Wanda a ‘quarrelsome’ crimson-purple, difficult to blend with other colours but a superb colour in the early evening (some consider Perle von Bottrop an improvement on Wanda), Charles Bloom purple, Devon Maid dark red. The double primroses include Bon Accord Gem (rose tinged lilac), Marie Crousse (reddish-mauve edged white), Purple Splendour (deep purple) and Madame Pompadour (rich velvety-crimson). All are difficult to keep, especially Madame Pompadour, but are without exception very beautiful.

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