Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Primula’

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!

 

 

IMG_2835

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

IMG_2741

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

IMG_2747

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!

IMG_2841

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.

IMG_2712

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

IMG_1267

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.

IMG_1265

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!

IMG_3513

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.

IMG_3514

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

IMG_3512

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.

DSCN0727
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!

IMG_2843

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

IMG_2730

P. vulgaris

IMG_1268

P. vulgaris ‘Belarina Series Nectarine’

IMG_2855

P. vulgaris double form

IMG_3331

P. auricula cross from Susan Schnare.

Read Full Post »

I was having a sort of blue day earlier when my camera battery died and I couldn’t find the charger or my other camera…..I think Steve has borrowed it. Very frustrating. So I walked around the gardens anyway looking at what was in bloom, and don’t you know it was mainly blue flowers! My garden & I were in sync. Although there weren’t many of them they were so very welcome indeed!

This fantastic plant is lighting up the front border!

This fantastic plant is lighting up the front border!

Gentiana x macaulayi ‘Kingfisher’ purchased a few years ago at Cady’s Falls Nursery in Morrisville, VT. There are more flowers on than ever and it has been in bloom for a few weeks already. This extended fall has been so great! Cady’s Falls is the nursery that all of us at Rocky Dale Gardens look forward to visiting every year. They grow most their plants on site from seed, cuttings, grafting, etc. And the selection can’t be beat!

IMG_3379

Primula ‘Belarina Cobalt’ has sent up a surprise…and it is most welcome indeed! I am hoping it will be full of buds in the spring so I can dig it up for the spring primrose show at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens! I sent for this last spring from Sequim Rare Plants in Sequim, WA. I also ordered a few Primula auricula from them and they sent the biggest most beautiful plants. I highly recommend them.

IMG_3056

Here we have another Gentian in the very small rock garden on the west side of the cabin. It bloomed in July and was the most glorious ever. I have moved this plant around so many times trying to find just the right spot for it and now I think I have. It has got a long tongue-twisting name…Gentiana septemfida var. lagodechiana…try saying that three time fast!IMG_3073

And lastly here is my lovely Aconitum x cammarum ‘Bicolor’. This photo doesn’t do it justice. It was huge and full of flowers while draping itself over an Azalea along the stream garden. this one also has never had so many flowers. I think the spring & early summer rains were so beneficial to the gardens along with the cooler temps all summer.

So after the garden stroll and a new knitting project getting cast on I’m feeling much less blue and quite a bit more jazzed about how well the gardens did this year. Time to start planning where to add a few more blue beauties.

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

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.

Image

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.

Image

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!

Image

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.

Image

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!!

Read Full Post »

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!!

Mayapple

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

The gardens are ever so slowly waking up, where there was snow yesterday, there are flowers today! A small Cyclamen coum ssp. coum was buried under snow yesterday morning when I left for work. But as I pulled into the drive in the afternoon this is what greeted me! This little plant was much smaller last year and now there are loads of self-sown seedlngs all around it. I am becoming so in love with cyclamen nowadays! They are easy from seed as long as you soak them for a day in water with a drop of dish soap in it, then sow at 65 degrees.

Cyclamen coum ssp. coum

Plant seedlings out into a partly shady well drained soil. The corm should be just below soil surface and they like to go dry during the summer.

Cyclamen hederifolium Seedlings

 Sprinkle a little lime on them each spring as like a slightly elevated PH.

So of course I had to take a walk through the rest of the gardens, actually it was creeping on hands & knees,  to do a bit of exploring and feeling around for other buried treasures! This is the time when I do alot of loosening up of the winter mulch of shredded leaves & pine needles that I spread late last fall. It really packs down over the soil and I always feel it needs to be fluffed up now. But what I’m really doing is looking to see what is poking up through the soil and what will be blooming soon and what just didn’t make it through the winter.

Here’s another early spring blooming bulb that is so hardy here.

Iris histrioides 'Katherine Hodgekins'

These small Iris need a bit of sun to do their best, so in almost every pool of sunlight I’ve popped a few of these in. And up the pop a few more each spring.

Almost every day I dig up a clump of something to divide and pot up in preparation for the American Primrose Society National Show the last weekend of this month at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens in Boylston, Mass. I’ll be there as an organizer and a vendor, so try to come and enjoy the show benches full of the most beautiful flowering Primula of all sorts, colors, forms and sizes. For more information go to www.americanprimrosesociety.org  See you there!

Read Full Post »

LittleChurch

Knitting, knitting patterns, knitting accessories

Lost Horizons Nursery

Rare & Unusual plants for your garden

Fiber Trek ™

A TV show Connecting Community, Craft, Fiber and Farms

Garden Fundamentals

Learn about plants and gardening

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.

mypurlsofwisdom.wordpress.com/

knitting is cool. seriously.

irishprimrose

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

shetlandhandknitter

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

one perfect skein

the perfect project and the perfect skein

The Auricula Suite

and those flowers take me back...

sorta like suburbia

more than you ever wanted to know about my garden

Two Strands

Norwegian and Fair Isle Knitting

the knit cafe

a wonderful place to gather, learn, shop and hang out!

Outlander Adventures

a romance with the 18th century inspired by Diana Gabaldon's Outlander Series