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Posts Tagged ‘Primula japonica’

Seed that donated or bought in for the exchange.

Seed that was donated or bought in for the exchange.

The time has come to get busy sorting and packeting seed for the American Primrose Society seed exchange which I have been the manager of for the past three years. The seed has been ordered from a number of good companies and donations have all arrived from very generous members who have taken the time to collect, clean, label and send their precious seed to me so it can be distributed to members of the society all over the world!

During the short and cold days of winter I have lots of free time between the growing seasons to spend a few hours a week on this important and valuable task which is a great resource for folks to obtain seed of so many species of Primula that you can’t find anywhere else!

 

 

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P. sieboldii comes in so many different forms and colors.

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P. polyanthus Gold Laced are very coveted plants that wins many ribbons at the shows when grown to exacting standards.

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P. polyanthus Garnet Cowichan grown from seed from Barnhaven Primroses of France with the best seed available and the APS seed exchange offers many of them!

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The rare and prized P. kisoana ‘Alba’ grows and spreads by stolons just under the soil surface and loves a nice moist and shady spot. Here it growing along the edge of the stream that runs through my property.

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P. kisoana the sister of the previous white form. This one spreads much faster and creates a lovely groundcover fairly quickly.

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There is seed of the Barnhaven Double Primroses on this years APS seed list which you will find here. Not every seed will become a double form but if any turn out as nice as this one it’s all worth it! Friend and fellow Primula nut, Arlene Perkins gave a piece of this plant to me a few years ago which she named ‘Agnes’ for a good friend of hers.

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And of course there will be seed for many different P. auricula! I grew this one a few years ago from APS seed and it has always performed well for me.

Primula are really so easy from seed that more people should be growing them. There are many species that are very hardy and will survive winters up to at least US zone 4 without any protection! I will be testing that statement this winter as I never got around to covering my flats of seedlings and potted plants this fall. Right now they’re covered with a good layer of fresh snow, so I’m hoping that will stay around long enough to keep them well insulated against any deep freezes we are sure to get and have already gotten this fall!

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Trays and trays of plants and seed pots waiting for a good layer of snow because I was too lazy to give them a warm fleece blanket and layers of tarps.

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One of the coldframes full of P. auricula, cyclamen and other treasures.

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One of my propagation beds full of P. auricula, Hellebores, P. sieboldii and others. These will winter just fine without protection and have grown so well here in partial shade.

Almost all Primula seed can be sown either in late fall or through the winter on top of moistened potting mix, covered with a thin layer of chicken grit and then placed outside to experience all the weather winter will throw at them with germination in the spring as the temps warm up. Easy as that! Only a few should be sown indoors and kept under lights or in a sunny window or if you’re lucky enough…a greenhouse.
I sow so many seeds through the winter that I order through APS or NARGS that I am kept very busy during this ‘down time’ until the nursery opens in April.

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Spring is such a wonderful time for the gardener and seed sower…so much anticipation and expectation! Every morning is spent patrolling the gardens and nursery for signs of growth and when those first green shoots appear from something more unusual and exotic that was sown during the depths of winter, the feeling is fantastic!

Here are a few parting photos of Primula just to get you to take a look at the APS seed list and start dreaming about all the possibilities!

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P.japonica seeds around and comes in so many different colors.

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P. vulgaris

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P. vulgaris ‘Belarina Series Nectarine’

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P. vulgaris double form

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P. auricula cross from Susan Schnare.

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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….

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

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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.

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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……

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

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

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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!

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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.

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