A vast genus of garden plants – there are tender for indoors water loving varieties for the bog garden, compact and miniature types for the rockery and several sorts described below in this blog, which are excellent for use in the herbaceous border. The dividing line for these groups is not clear cut for landscapers in Ireland. Some so called alpine varieties are suitable for the small border and some bog Primulas thrive best in partial shade and soil which is rich in humus and. The species can be grown from seed but all the Primulas tend to be short lived. It needs constant moist soil and is ideal for a poorly drained site. A large group of Primulas produce candelabra flower heads – the blooms are borne as a series of whorls up the stem. P.japonica is a good example.
Any reasonable garden soil containing adequate organic matter will do. The Primula will thrive the best in partial shade. Sow seeds under grass in March or divide clumps of named varieties in spring.
- Mulch in spring, water in summer and dead head faded blooms.
For some landscapers the common primrose has a place in garden designs. It’s yellow flowers appear on 6 inch stems in March and April. The great favorite with landscapers in Ireland however is the Polyanthus – a hybrid of the common Primrose and the Cowslip. The Polyanthus us much bigger and brighter than the ordinary common Primrose. It’s basic details are height 1foot and spacing isalso 1foot. The flowering period is March to May. It’s 1 – 1 inch flowers are borne in large trusses on stout stems. The Pacific Strain has a wide variety of colours. The goldlace strain has yellow egdged petals.
In P. denticulta the yellow eyed lavander flowers are small and crowded on 3 inch wide globular heads – hencethe common name Drumstick Primrose. P. florindae (height 2ft, spacing 2ft, flowering period June to July) is the Giant Yellow Cowslip, each tall stem bearing a loose head of pendent, fragrant flowers that would look great in any landscaping design.