It’s so wonderful when the seed catalogues start coming! I had an unfortunate event with a heater in the pantry so I’m not sure about the seeds I had stored in there. I am trying not to be too pessimistic, I was distracted and didn’t get everything planted last year so I was saving a lot of different seeds.
Only one way to tell, so today I started the Orchid Primrose and Stock, on the kitchen table. In a couple weeks, I’ll water with chamomile to prevent damping off. If the seeds sprout at all, of course.
This Primrose is so unusual and spectacular I am in love. I’ve purchased plants in the past but was not able to get them established to come back.
According to Paghat’s Garden, it sounds like they need a bit more moisture than they’ve had where I planted them before. I’ll try a different spot if I can get them started from seed this year.
Foxtail or "poker" blossoms create veritable candelabrums for July & August, above the basal leaves of Primula vialii (very commonly mispelled P. viallii or P. vialli). These look like the flowers of no other primrose, but are more like fattened-up speedwells.
The foxtail begins with bright red bracts, then develops orchid pink petals starting from the bottom, resulting in bright-red points that look like flames over orchid-colored candles. These flowers are long-lasting, & the stalks can raise one or two feet above the short basal leaves, suitable for cutting for bouquets.
I loved Paghat’s site and a reminder to enjoy a poem as well.
To a Primrose by Samuel Coleridge
The first seen in the season Nitens et roboris expers Turget et insolida est: et spe delectat. - Ovid, Metam. [xv.203]. Thy smiles I note, sweet early Flower, That peeping from thy rustic bower The festive news to earth dost bring, A fragrant messenger of Spring. But, tender blossom, why so pale? Dost hear stern Winter in the gale? And didst thou tempt the ungentle sky To catch one vernal glance and die? Such the wan lustre Sickness wears When Health's first feeble beam appears; So languid are the smiles that seek To settle on the care-worn cheek, When timorous Hope the head uprears, Still drooping and still moist with tears, If, through dispersing grief, be seen Of Bliss the heavenly spark serene. And sweeter far the early blow, Fast following after storms of Woe, Than (Comfort's riper season come) Are full-blown joys and Pleasure's gaudy bloom.