Thursday, 11 June 2015

It's primula and poppy time again.

View from back door top step. Note how late Cotinus coggygria 'Grace', already a late starter, actually is.
 Running slightly late this year, the different species of candelabra primulas are all coming out more or less together due to the cold weather. In a normal spring they would be more spread out, so this has effectively shortened the overall flowering period. All the candelabra primulas perform in direct relationship with the amount of water available, those planted in a too dry spot, possibly too close to trees, will perish.

Primula bulleyana
Primula japonica 'Apple Blossom' and Primula bulleyana ssp.

Primula bulleyana ssp. beesiana

Primula japonica 'Apple Blossom'
Primula japonica 'Miller's Crimson'
Group of Primula pulverulenta which have self-seeded different colour forms.

Group of Primula pulverulenta which benefit from the birdbath overflow.
 Primula pulverulenta.
 At the end of last year I decided to plant out many of the primulas previously kept in the cold tunnel with mixed results, some have done much better than others. Planted on an old slightly raised bed in clay soil with plenty of added grit and peat. 

Primula kisoana - Japanese Woodlander
Primula luteola - Caucasus Mountains
Unfortunately this year I have only a few Meconopsis in flower which are of course those of a perennial disposition, I lost two species during the winter which should have flowered this year and have only the Meconopsis baileyi, and the earlier flowering Meconopsis 'Lingholm' which are just finishing. I have one specimen of Meconopsis napaulensis to come and that's it for this year, I do however have loads of seedlings of several old friends plus some species new to me on the way.

Slightly depleted Meconopsis area.

Meconopsis baileyi 'Hensol Violet'

Meconopsis baileyi 
Meconopsis 'Lingholm'
My next post will be of more general views, I hope you still enjoy looking at the Meconopsis and Primulas personally I never tire of them although I do a similar post each year. 


  1. Some beautiful primulas. At RHS Harlow Carr they have magnificent display of candelabra primulas

    1. Thanks Sue, they do look good in big drifts like Harlow Carr but in a small garden they unfortunately take on the appearance of a lush cabbage patch when not in flower.

  2. Ahhh.. now I know how I came to lose all my candelabras.

    1. Yes rd they certainly like their water!

  3. Marvellous Meconopsis!
    I grow candelabra primulas in the bog which I created with a liner. They look healthy enough but remain very small and have never bloomed. I plan to fertilize them this year to see if it will make a difference.

    1. Perhaps the addition of some fertilizer may help Alain but they do sound as if they are short of water, they can never have enough.

  4. I never tire of the meconpsis either Rick, I especially like Lingholm. I intend getting some of the candelabra primula. Interesting to see how much grit you have surrounding them, suggest the need for free draining.

    1. We are asked to perform an oxymoron for the type of primulas species and Meconopsis that I grow, they generally require a free draining but moist soil which means two things to me for my conditions, peat and grit, to grow alpines from limestone areas I would need containers. Candelabra primulas aren't so fussy though, they just like it wet but are big feeders.

  5. All looking great Rick. Especially the mecs - not that that needs saying. My only mec this year is a white form, grown from seed I sent down to Bristol and a seedling sent back up to me!
    Primula kisoana is a particularly nice one, I will make a note of it's name. It's been very dry here all winter and am finding that I am having to water bucket loads just to keep some of the Primula going right now. I love the little area around the bird bath, very much a feature the way you have them surrounding it.

  6. Although it suits the primulas particularly, we could have done without the wet weather we have had, the water table is still far too high even now and it was primarily responsible for the loss of a few Meconopsis this winter.

  7. You have some lovely primulas, I will be coming back to this post at a later stage now that I have a huge shade garden to fill – once it is cleared for rubbish, weed and old shrubs not worth keeping. I have one candelabra primula, but it is finished flowering long time ago. And I still envy you your meconopsis’!

  8. Thanks Helene, the candelabras make a fantastic show, but you need a bit of space, when out of flower they are not good.