It’s fall, and that means many Cyclamen start blooming or sending up their beautifully patterned leaves! I have become somewhat obsessed with growing Cyclamen either from seed or purchasing them from a few good growers. In the past few weeks they are all showing some sort of new leafy growth or popping up their delicate looking flowers. I have read many times that most ‘hardy’ Cyclamen won’t grow here, but I can tell you they grow just fine here in zone 4-5 Vermont!

The following have all been grown outside in my gardens for at least one year. Some are from seed I obtained through the seed-ex of the North American Rock Garden Society, the American Primrose Society or from John Lonsdale and Plant Delights Nursery.

IMG_3374 IMG_3378 IMG_3375 IMG_3382 IMG_3386 IMG_3390 IMG_3381


Give them a well drained soil with a little bit of sun and they are happy! Plant the corms about 1″ deep and cover with a gritty soil mix so the corm stays dry over winter. They are glorious almost all year sending up fabulous new leaves late summer & fall. C. hederifolium bloom now, while the C. coum blooms in early spring. The all silvered leaf plant above is C. purpurescens which blooms in mid-summer.

Most will self sow when happy and you can see in the second to last photo that C. coum is very happy! I have seedlings coming up all over that bed!

There are also a few non-hardy types for the sunny windowsill. While the common C. persicum can be found almost everywhere now you should give a few of the rarer ones a try. Most need to be started from seed which can be found on many of the specialist plant society seed exchanges or purchased from a few specialty growers such as Arrowhead Alpines you can see they even use a cyclamen leaf in the title of the nursery!

Here are a few of the plants I have started from seed or bought in already potted. The first is C. graecum a lovely thing I got from John Lonsdale with fantastic leaves. The second is the same but one I grew from seed. The third is C. rohfsianum that I picked up at a chapter meeting of NARGS a couple of years ago grown by a friend who says his has over 75 flowers on it this year! Mine hasn’t flowered for the past two years!! Don’t know what I’m doing wrong here but the leaves are lovely to look at anyway. The last is a C. pseudibericum also from John. It has the one flower on it this year and will be sending up beautifully marked leaves very soon. I have them all in a sunny east facing window. During the summer they are pretty much in a dormant state outside with no watering except what nature gives them. I repot them every 2 years or so and topdress them with a pretty gravel mix.

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Please gives these beauties a try. They are so rewarding!

Thanks for stopping by…..please leave me a comment and let me know about your adventures with the fabulous Cyclamen!


The fall plant sale at Tower Hill was a success. I didn’t expect to sell loads of plants as there wasn’t anything in bloom at the time! but I did have photos of each plant in bloom and so many visitors to my booth exclaimed at how helpful they were and that they added alot to my offerings. I also got lots of compliments on how healthy my plants were so that made me feel pretty dang good!

Following are just a few photos I took of my booth and it looks very much like my spring sales booth…..

I was representing the New England Primula Society again

I was representing the New England Primula Society again

I brought a small selection of Primula with me, non were in bloom at this time of course, but I did sell a few and talked up our spring Primula show on the first weekend in May at the gardens.

I had a few large Arisaema fargesii that caught people's attention and a few very tropical looking Sauromattum venosum.

I had a few large Arisaema fargesii that caught people’s attention and a few very tropical looking Sauromattum venosum.

Those large tropical looking leaves are from the Sauromattum venosum or Voodoo Lily. they are very easy to grow and increase quickly. I think they are hardy to zone 6 so I overwinter them in the pot in our basement with no water all winter.

I also had a few smaller plants of Arisaema fargesii & sikokianum which sold quickly. I have lots of seed pots of many Arisaema species growing as they are very easy from seed.

I brought my knitted accessories with me, and even though I didn't sell any there was lots of interest.

I brought my knitted accessories with me, and even though I didn’t sell any there was lots of interest.

I bought a hanging clothes dryer as a more portable displayer for the knits. It worked ok but I would like to find one made of wood and possibly vintage, but for now this one will do. the larger wood display stand my good friend made for me will go to The Blossom Basket in Middlebury where I work part time in the winter.  I did get a special order for a scarf from a nice lady that I am now working on!

My next upcoming sale will be at the Berkshire Botanical Gardens on saturday September 21st. The New England Primula Society will be holding their fall meeting that day with plans to work in the Primula garden and discuss the spring show. Please come if you can as I’ll be bringing a selection of Primula and their woodland companions.

Thanks for visiting and come back soon!

Leave a comment, I love reading what you have to say and I will always respond to answer any questions you might have

Next Tower Hill Sale

I just wanted to let everyone know (well, the few people who read this) that I’ll be vending plants and knitwear at the Tower Hill Fall Sale this coming saturday. It will be a great opportunity to pick up some rare and unusual treasures for your gardens from specialty growers like Garden Vision Epimediums, horticultural societies such as the New England Primula Society, a chapter of the American Primrose Society, that I will be representing with a selection of Primula plants, seed and a poster board that shows just how many different primroses can be grown in the gardens of New England. There will be a few area nurseries offering their plants as well.

Here are a few photos of my plant tables from the spring plant sale in June this year….


I had the only red canopy….so it was easy to find me!


The chapter has a few educational photo boards that show many plants from member gardens all over New England. It’s very impressive when you see how many species are perfectly hardy here. I also bring lots of of my books on Primula for reference.



One of the Primulas sieboldii plants I brought that was still in bloom and not wilting from the 90*+ heat. So many of my plants were wilting from the heat, made worse because all spring we had so many cloudy and rainy days they were not accustomed to the sudden heat. 

And following are a few photos I took today of the trays of plants I’ll be bringing on saturday……


From front to back….Primula japonica, Helleborus x hybridus, Corydalis cheilanthifolia, Huge Arisaema fargesii, Salvia koyamae and Dendranthema ‘Sheffield Pink’ all budded up.


Again, front to back…. Saruma henryi, Primula polyanthus, Polygonatum humile, Iris tectorum, Polemonium caeruleum, Adiantum venustum. Pretty sweet assortment eh?



Hopefully one lucky shopper will buy this lovely Arisaema fargesii with the ripening cluster of seeds! If not I will let them fully ripen, harvest them, clean them and sow them!

For more on collecting, cleaning, sowing and growing your own seeds stay tuned as that will be my next post.

Thanks for visiting and perhaps I will see you on saturday at Tower Hill!

I thought I would take you on a tour of the gardens to show you what is either blooming now or looking great and giving the gardens color at this time of the summer when it seems like the gardens are really winding down and not looking all that inspiring. Fruit & foliage can take on brighter colors and beter texture now as they mature so don’t forget those.ImageLycoris squamigera or Nekkid Ladies is a hardy bulb to zone 5. It pops up seemingly out of nowhere and overnight! The long strap-like leaves emerge in the spring and die back by mid-summer.


Cyclamen hederifolium flowers are just popping up now. This one I brought back from my trip last year to Portland Oregon and the Seattle area. The flowers are pure white and the leaves will emerge soon with the prettiest silver markings and they will last through the winter! Hopefully I will get some seed to collect next year.


In the foreground is Gentiana septemfida, a fabulous late blooming Gentian and this is the best it has ever looked! The rains of spring & summer have really helped bring on blooms to many plants this year. In the background is a Talinum calycinum and pretty succulent-like plant that seeds gently around and flowers for a long time.


This is Campanula barbata that I grew from seed last year and it’s blooming for the third time this summer. Campanulas are so easy from seed and bloom very quickly after sowing…sometimes in the same year! The seed came from the NARGS annual seed exchange which I donate seed to every year and the selection on the list is fantastic! I look forward to ordering every year. I highly recommend all gardeners join the North American Rock Garden Society for the seed exchange alone…but go to local chapter meetings too where you’ll learn so much and not just about rock gardening. Find out more about it here…https://www.nargs.org/


Another Cyclamen this time it’s C. purpurescens. A summer blooming specie that I bought from friend John Lonsdale a few years ago when he was a speaker at the Berkshire NARGS chapter in Stockbridge, MA. He’s an excellent grower with a fantastic web site full of the best photos. Check it out here http://www.edgewoodgardens.net/

ImageAnemonopsis macrophylla is one of the most beautiful late summer blooming perennials. The tall willowy stems hold blooms that are delicate looking but have lots of substance. They love good rich composty soil and I really should move them to a moister spot instead of under the large pine where the soil goes very dry. But they are doing well there and give me lots of seed every year.

ImageThe garden doesn’t just have to be about flowers! Here are the beautiful berries of the native wildflower Smilacina racemosa or False Solomon’s Seal. This great plant is all over the woods here and these were growing in this garden when I started gardening here so I left them in place and cleared all the other weeds, brambles & nettles out around them.

ImageHere is my favorite Astilbe! A. chinensis ‘Pumila’, a small groundcover type that blooms so late in the season, well after all other Astilbes have given up. It spreads slowly and blends with so many other plants in the garden that I’ve divided it many times and have it all over for that welcome color so late.

ImageMost Aconitums are in bloom now or will be soon. This Monkshood is A. X cammarum ‘Bicolor’. I moved it from a spot that was way too dry for it and now it’s doing so well! Aconitums are another perennial that is easy from seed. It just needs a bit of a winter chill for germination.

ImageWhat is redder than Cardinal Flower?? Lobelia cardinalis has got to be the reddest flower out there! I have this one planted next to the stream so it gets plenty of moisture all summer and winters a little on the drier side which it likes. I have two more plants waiting in the wings for a spot along the stream.

ImageNative shrub Clethra alnifolia ‘Ruby Spice’ is a fragrant late blooming addition to the woodland garden. If it got a little more sun it would probably flower more heavily, but I enjoy what flowers it gives me.

ImageWhile most ferns are taking a back seat at this time of year, this fern Dryopteris erythrosora ‘Brilliance’ is still front and center with the bright orangey fronds and the shinyness of the entire plant. It is a beauty and not very well known yet. All summer it keeps sending out new fronds with this coloration that fades to all green after a few weeks.

Well that’s what is still looking great in the gardens now. There are other things I haven’t shown like the Agastache foeniculum ‘Golden Jubilee’ that brightens up my small sunny border, or the many Hostas that dot the gardens and are in bloom now. But I hope this selection gives some ideas to what is still possible for the shady woodland garden to keep it colorful and pretty.

While working in the front garden today I thought it might be a good idea to start giving a little history behind some of them. While the gardens here are really only about 6 years old the cottage has been here for over 40!

My husbands family built the cabin as a vacation home in 1968 and now Steve & I live here full time. It’s right on a lovely lake in west-central Vermont with a hardiness zone of about 4-5. So I can winter many plants very well…usually. We are under large pines, hemlocks and spruce trees with a nice stream running right through. Mostly the stream is nice except for when it overflows as it has done a few times since I’ve been here, as you can see from the photo below……this happened earlier this summer.


But mostly it’s great. I can plant so many moisture-loving plants along its banks such as all the Primula I could ever want! The Primula Japonica are really spreading and seeding in quite a bit creating a beautiful late spring show! The Primula kisoana are also spreading well into lush patches of large felty leaves and with the brightest magenta flowers in the spring.


Here it is with a nice Japanese Painted Fern in the front garden. This garden began as a narrow strip along the foundation just full of Pachysandra japonica and a couple of boring Hollies of some sort. That all came out and was gradually replaced with loads of compost which the soil so badly needed. I started planting a few Epimediums, Hosta and of course Primula right away. This garden gets only afternoon sun so the plant selection had to be able to endure a few hours of bright, hot sun. The soil dries out pretty quickly because of the large Pines nearby so I am adding compost and organic mulch pretty continually. But most of the plants here are really thriving!


This photo was taken today while I was finishing the edging, composting & mulching. Every year when I edge I come out another 6-10 inches so this garden is gradually getting quite large. You can see how the plants towards the front are still pretty small as they are the newest planted, with the ones further back have been in a few years now. The large dark green plant at the center with the longish leaves is a Helleborus foetidus ‘Sienna’ that I grew from seed. The leaves are so dark green and the plant is so big and beautiful I don’t mind that the flowers never really make it through the winter. The tree towards the other end is a Stewartia pseudocamellia a lovely small, flowering tree with smallish white flowers in June that resemble a Camellia. It also has exfoliating bark that adds interest to the winter garden.

I have been adding lots of Hepatica to this garden along the front edges, some of them I picked up at the huge plant sale in Portland, Oregon last spring called Hortlandia. It was at the Expo center where the APS National Show was also held. I came home from that with so many plants I had to ship 2 boxes full through the mail! There are also a few Trillium here that are doing well and one T. pusillum is spreading pretty quickly! I have already divided it once and spread the divisions around.


It’s small but it’s so pretty and holds its flowers upright so you can take it in without bending over to see it.

Today I finished cleaning up this garden, but now with the added room from my edging job I need to go through my trays and trays of plants to see what will get planted here. There are so many….I’m thinking I will add a few Viola pedata, the bird’s foot violet and perhaps a few more Primula. Because you can never have too many Primroses!!

It’s now coming close to show season in the plant world. While there are loads of garden shows now open all over the country,  what I am most interested in are the specific plant society shows where you’ll find alpines of all sorts, Primula, Narcissus, etc. grown to perfection by meticulous and sometimes not so meticulous growers.  The next show that I will be attending this year is the American Primrose Society National Show being held in Potland, OR.  I’m so excited to be attending this show as the Pacific Northwest is the Primrose growers ideal climate and the concentration of nurseries that grow Primula and all sorts of woodland treasures is fantastic!! I have compiled a large list of nurseries & gardens  to visit….here’s a small sampling of them…Wild Ginger Farm, Fraser’s Thimble Farms & The Bloedel Reserve . And that’s just a small selection! I’m going to bring a fairly empty suitcase so I’ll have lots of room to bring plants home….I may even mail some plants home! The show is going to be at the same time as the Oregon Hardy Plant Society and in the same venue so I’ll have access to many fine growers at the show. More info on that here.

I so enjoy entering plants in these shows just to see how my plants stack up against others more experienced at this sort of thing than I am.  And every year I learn some new tidbit of information to help me along on that road to perfection. In the very first Primrose show I ever went to I entered a Primula polyanthus ‘Garnet Cowichan’ and won a first place ribbon! How excited and proud I was to have achieved that!! But then came the heartbreak of losing the plant that same season. The plants that I dig up and pot for these shows always suffer quite a bit from their rude treatment. But I’ve found with more careful attention to their needs I can keep them going after replanting into the garden.

I grew this plant from seed-exchange seed a few years back.

I really love the form of these hose-in-hose...flower in a flower plants.

Isn’t it a beauty? After I replanted this into the garden it reduced in size over the season, but it has grown back to a decent size with some coddling.

I’m now very busy with the APS seed exchange as I’m the seedex manager and the orders have been arriving all winter. It’s a fun way to get through the long winter and it’s also interesting to see what sorts of seeds members order. Some folks are all about the species and don’t order any crosses or named varieties, some folks that’s all they want and then there are mostly the growers who sample a bit of everything. That’s pretty much where I am. I’ve been sowing pots & pots of seed over the winter and having a blast watching the little sprouts emerging through the soil under the grow lights. Here’s a photo of what my kitchen table looks like when I’m filling seed orders.

APS Seed-exchange Bits & Pieces

Setting up to fill orders takes a little time, but it's interesting & fun to do.

Seedlings are sprouting now from seed sown earlier in the year. Some come up in droves while others come up very sparsely. Why is that I wonder? Condition of the seed when collected, storing of the seed after collection, temperature of the seed pot after sowing…lots of variables to consider.

P. florindae seedlings. Seed from the APS seedex this year.

This seed was sown in Feb. and has been germinating for the past few days.

Also under the growlights are a few pots of P. auricula that I overwintered on the porch and have brought indoors to see if I can get them to flower in time for either the show in Oregon or our chapter show in May. I did get one to bloom last year but the timing was off. That is such a tricky thing, forcing plants into bloom out of their natural bloom cycle. It’s all about temperature. So we’ll see how things go in the next few weeks.

An auricula seedling that hasn't bloomed yet for me.

Trying to force these auricula into bloom for the show.

There’s usually something to keep me busy during the winter that’s plant related….now if I only had a greenhouse then I’d really keep my hands in the soil all year!!


Now that it’s coming on to winter I’ll be playing catch-up with my posts. I’ve got lots of pictures of places I visited through the growing season that I’ll be posting in the days to come. And now that I am layed off from work for the winter I’ll have lots of time to do this!
So here goes……….
I want to tell you about a very special place created by a couple of very special people on their patch of paradise in Branford, CT. This is the home of Nick Nicou and Carol Hanby, two very generous, talented and all around nice garden nuts!

When driving down the towards the house you pass magnificent specimens of huge Mt. Laurels, Variegated Dogwoods, large swaths of perennials and the most beautiful Rhododendrons.

Nick & Carol are members of the New England chapter of APS and generously offered to host a meeting/garden tour at their home in Branford, CT last June. This was very exciting for me as Nick is one of the most respected experts on Rhododendrons in the US, and a tour through his & Carol’s gardens is a huge treat!
These gardens have been developed and grown for over 50 years so you can imagine the size of some of these shrubs and trees.

This is the larges variegated Pagoda Dogwood I've ever seen! And it just lit up the shade.

Only 3 of us showed up for the tour which was too bad for all who couldn’t make it as we knew we were in for something truly special and inspiring.
Carol & Nick welcomed us into their home for a pot-luck lunch & tour on a lovely late spring day. The Rhodies were going past their prime but there was so many other lovely shrubs, trees & perennials just coming into peak bloom!

This hardy pitcher plant was in full bloom in a simple bog garden Carol created from a mason's tough, which just a large plastic tub filled with sandy soil & peat moss.

The garden slopes down towards a marshy area and then to a pond that you can just barely see through the branches of huge Rhododendrons, Mt. Laurels, Magnolia, Dogwoods and many other choice & unusual woody plants. We took a leisurly stroll down the wandering paths stopping often for detailed descriptions of many of the lovely specimens. At the bottom of the garden was the shady marsh area filled with Primula japonica just going past it’s best…but still a lovely sight to behold!

Thousands of Japanese Primrose greeted us as we arrived at the bottom of the garden. These have been happily self sowing for years. Carol also adds new plants throughout the summer.

We then made our way through the ‘Rhododendron Dell’, most were past bloom but there was still a number hanging on to a few flowers. The size of the plants is what was astonishing to me. I never thought they could grow so large in New England. Loads were over 12 feet tall! I wish I could remember the species and names for you.

The rest of the tour was one big hortigasmic orgy! Running from one marvel of nature to the next!!

This is genus I am fascinated with. Those leaves look so alien and beautiful! I want to try growing these from seed.

I could keep adding photos all day there was so much to see, but I’ll end with a pic of the creators of this most amazing place that is so special and I feel so grateful to have had the opportunity to visit and enjoy getting to know the owners a bit better.

Don’t forget you can click on every photos for a larger version.

Arlene’s Garden

Entrance to the garden

Follow along as I meander through fellow Primula-nut Arlene’s large and well established garden on a hilltop in Vermont.

Friend Mary & I got together last weekend to tour the garden and take in a couple of nurseries along the way as long as the weather held up. Which lately wasn’t happening all that much. We’ve had the rainiest April & May on record so as you can imagine the lawns & gardens are soaking wet!

Using our faithful Tomtom GPS to get us there we arrived just after lunchtime pulling up to Arlene’s house with a gorgeous view of the mountain valley. Her house is at the end of a dirt road with no near neighbors so it was very quiet and still. Arlene was there in her garden to greet us and guide us through the wandering stone pathways, indicating which year a certain plant was grown and set out or where another plant was purchased and who the lovely apricot double primrose was named for.

Double Apricot Primrose 'Agnes'

Following the Paths Through the Garden

Woodland Wonders

After an intial walk-through I slowly made my way through again taking close-ups of the flowers that caught my attention…and there were so many! There are large patches of Trillium, Cypripedium, Solomon’s Seal, Double Bloodroot, Anemone nemerosa, and so many other treasures!

Trillium grandiflorum, Large White Trillium

The yellow Trillium luteum with Cypripedium parviflorum. (I think)

And of course there were Primulas galore!!

Primula sieboldii

Primula polyanthus deep maroon

Arlene’s primroses have been crossing and self-sowing here for many years that everywhere you look there are multitudes of variation. Every shade of the rainbow..almost, and every form of petal. The plants are grown in rich garden loam, amended with compost and all under the shade of very old apple trees. Arlene adds new beds each year as she grows so many from seed from the APS seed exchange. In fact she is always the first to send her seed in to the exchange and the first to order! It’s fun to see what she has grown from all the donations from around the world.

A lovely Primula elatior of a bright red color.

A glowing pink polyanthus, a chance seedling popping up.

Growing from seed is one of my most favorite things to do, and the variation you get always surprises.

After a little plant swapping time where I came away with the apricot double, a bright maroon sieboldii and the deep red polyanthus Mary & I made our way over to Marshfield and the nursery of friend George Africa to say hi and see what he and Gail have been up to. Their nursery Vermont Flower Farm is on Rte. 2 overlooking old farm pastures which George is busy turning into display gardens and growing fields for their Daylilies. The selection of Hosta was amazing as were the Epimedium which Mary loved and picked one to bring home.

The weather held up as we wended our way back to Hubbardton over the Appalachian Gap and down past Rocky Dale Gardens. Now I need to find a spot in my gardens for the newest treasures!

Every photo is clickable for enlarging and more description!

I’m very late in posting an update on the show….after in my last post I promised to keep you updated on the show happenings! But I’m feeling it’s better late than never…so here goes.

The weekend was very busy as you can imagine, I stopped on the way down to Hillside Nursery in Shelburne Falls, Mass. A wholesale grower of unusual woodland plants, some native to the US and lots from Asia and Europe. I had placed an order with Peter Joppe, the owner, a few months back in anticipation of the Primrose Show and most of his plants sold the first day! The plants of his that didn’t all sell such as Anemonopsis macrophylla and Cornus canadensis I’ll have for sale at the NARGS annual meeting later this month (see my calender of Events page). I would love to post pictures here but I didn’t remember to take any of my tables of plants until later and then realised my camera batteries were shot! But here’s a link to his website.

Friday included the garden tours to 3 private gardens in Petersham, Mass. The first was to Peter George’s garden which included lovely rock gardens that were bursting with all manner of choice alpines, peonies, Primula, Iris, Epimedium and so many other treasures! I mistakenly deleted the photos I took here so you’ll just have to imagine it! Sorry!

The next garden was to Abby Rorers’ wonderful shade gardens and small greenhouse which was full of her collections of Gasteria, Haworthia and mini Aloes! I used to collect many of these succulents too, but now that I live on a shady & wooded piece of heaven I had to give those plants away. Abby’s gardens were so sweet and full of perfect examples of shade loving Primula polyanthus, Epimedium, Arisaema, Anemone nemerosa and many others. Sorry but no pictures for here either.

Our next garden visit was to Bruce Lockhart’s woodland garden and new, still under-construction gardens. Here were large old clumps of Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ with their large yellow bells, and a huge patch of Podophyllum peltatum, the native Mayapple. There were massive stands of Epimedium and Primula vulgaris. You will be happy to know I did get a few photos of Bruce’s gardens…whew!!


Pophyllum peltatum

After the garden tour it was hurry up to Tower Hill to set up my tables of plants for sale! And to get my pots of entries onto the show benches. It takes time to make each plant look its best, you’ve got to look very closely at each leaf, flower, bud and the pot itself for any blemishes. You must decide which side of the plant will face out towards the judges discerning eyes, so you’ve got to arrange the flower stems & leaves just so. Clean the pot of any soil bits and debris that might be clinging to it set it in a saucer and place it on the bench in the correct category. Even after days of nurturing each plant and lovingly placing it among all the other contenders you just never know what will catch the judges eye and deem your plant either a winner or ….I can’t really say ‘loser’ but one that isn’t up to standard.

Here’s a photo of my ‘Best in Section’ P. polyanthus Cowichan Garnet, grown from seed I got in the APS seed exchange last year.

Best in Division Cowichan Garnet

Friday night brings us to the anticipated dinner at Matt & Joe’s house, gardens & greenhouse! We all look forward to this event every year and it is always delicious! Matt is a fantastic cook so we always know we’ll be well fed. This year was especially fun as there was a ‘theme’! Silly British Hats in honor of the royal wedding! There was pub food on the menu and hats did appear!

Mary & me modeling our hats. (I'm on the left)

We had such a fun time and greeted many new attendees for this years show. The greenhouse was full as always with so many unusual bulbs, tropicals, Clivia, Orchids and other oddities. Matt Mattus has a wonderful blog I follow on all things horticultural….check it out here.

The rest of the weekend was full of activities such as an awards dinner, a lecture by renowned British plant explorer Chris Chadwell on seed collecting in the Himalayas, selling loads of my plants and just plain fun with friends who are also crazy about Primula!

I can’t recommend this group more! Our next meeting will be in CT at the famous gardens of fellow members Nick Nicou & Carol Hanby. Their Rhododendron collection is famous and the gardens are extensive and full of Primula! If you would like more information about the meeting plans or just want to chat about primroses leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!

Don’t forget every photo is clickable for enlarging and added commentary.

A few plants for the show bench

The National Show of The American Primrose Society is drawing near! And I am a vendor this year, so that means I have been very busy getting plants ready. This is a huge job which includes digging, dividing, potting, labeling, sorting the good from the not so good and worrying.

For the last few weeks I’ve been prowling around the gardens trying to decide which plants might be in bloom at the right time for the show benches and which would be good candidates for dividing & potting for the sale benches. I have dug many plants in hopes that they will be perfect for the show, but some are not panning out as planned and I’ll probably not take them. But then most are looking very good and I keep adding to the collection for the show benches.

My small 'nursery' of overwintered flats and plants for the APS show

My gardens are my nursery which means I don’t have a whole lot of room for all the plants I would like to grow, so the variety of plants won’t always be where I would like. I grow almost everything from seed or division and I’m learning new techniques all the time. I’ve been reading Bill Cullinas book ‘Wildflowers’ A Guide to Growing and Propagating Native Wildflowers of North America. It has been such a great guide. I love Bill’s way of explaining all manner of growing methods in such an enjoyable way. I just learned that if you poke around the crown of Dodecatheon you can tease off a few easily separated crowns and pot or replant them. So I went out and put this knowledge to practice and he’s right! The plant does separate very easily and I left most undisturbed, while separating off 3 crowns for potting. Next I want to try my hand at root cuttings of Primula denticulata.

Primula denticulata in the garden

The above plant will grow into a large ball of purple flowers. These love a constantly moist soil in part shade and will self sow when happy. Each year the clump gets larger and can be dug & divided in early spring. They come in pink, white and all shades of purple to almost red. I’ve got lots of them all along my streamside,and they are one of the earliest flowers in the garden.

Preparations for the Primrose show will be ongoing this week up till the last minute when I leave friday morning, so I’ll try to keep posting as the week goes on and especially at the show! If you want to read more about the Primrose show or see photos of past shows click here.


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rare plants rhododendrons natives

the miserable gardener

the only reason my garden is green is because of all the weeds


Knitting Patterns by Cheryl Toy

Fiber Trek

Calling the wild back to craft

Garden Fundamentals

become a better gardener

Northern Lace

Fibre life in Orkney

Fat Toad Farm Blog

News, notes, and recipes from Fat Toad Farm

Allan Armitage's Blooms for Thought

Talker. Scribbler. Digger. Let's Rock and Roll about Plants.


knitting is cool. seriously.


This blog gives information on our unique Irish Primrose varieties and their history and uses.


Notes from a Shetlander who loves to knit using pure Shetland wool. Here I plan to share some of my latest creations.

Juniper Level Botanic Garden Blog

Collecting, preserving, and sharing with the world.

sorta like suburbia

more than you ever wanted to know about my garden