Cutie Primula vulgaris grows in small rosettes, from the end of February, forming beautiful colonies on the slopes, in Normandy and Brittany. 5 to 10 cm high, pale yellow flowers stand out with a sea-green reflection. This savage gave birth to our garden primroses, these plants that adorn borders, beds and planters, from winter to late spring.
♦ The innumerable varieties on offer are enriched each year with new colors, bright or pastel, sometimes unusual or even breathtaking, including all yellows, then ranging from pale blue to almost black, including mottled or original shades: saffron, apricot, orange, rust, copper, pearly pink, raspberry, burgundy… Sometimes they are double, similar to miniature roses. They form tufts of 15 to 20 cm in all directions, with semi-evergreen leaves.
♦ Although often used in temporary decoration, perennials, they settle in the garden, reseeding themselves abundantly … but with less flamboyant colors, because their ancestry takes over. But that doesn’t stop them from being charming. Naughty, really naughty, they settle in the most incredible places. They prefer cool soil, but in the end, they do what they want.
♦ Flowering usually takes place until May, but if they are watered in summer, a nice rise takes place in September to continue in winter if it is not too cold.
♦ Planted in soft sun or partial shade, in soil rich in humus, they give the best of themselves. Thanks to their reduced size, they take place on borders, rock gardens, lawns, undergrowth, planters and pots. Take advantage of their appearance, this month, in the garden center, to concoct delightful scenes, in the garden or on the balcony.
And, the icing on the cake, flowers, young foliage, roots with a clove flavor: everything is eaten!
► A carpet of a thousand flowers
If they are particularly popular, in a few years they can completely compose a lawn. Little by little, they take precedence over the grass. A wonder in spring, then, over the months, if there are fewer flowers, the short foliage remains very present, even in winter. No more mowing to be expected …
How to do ? Well, now is the time to get started in this charming operation. Plant it everywhere, on the edge of the lawn, on the edge of flower beds, in islands … Let them reseed, especially not touch them. Over the years, they will naturalize, while taking the characters of their ancestors, so with more natural colors. Pale pink, mauve, moon yellow …
► And the cuckoos?
In many regions, the primrose is nicknamed “cuckoo” (Primula officinalis), because it blooms at the first song of this bird, at the very beginning of spring.
The sulfur yellow flowers form a pretty bouquet perched on a long straight shaft. Collect seeds from the wild, or order them from a seed company specializing in wild plants. Some nurserymen sell this primrose in plants, sometimes in more colorful varieties, orange or red.
► Other primroses, just to know
Make way for a somewhat neglected species: Primula obconica. It flowers in late winter and much of spring. Having almost disappeared from florists’ stalls for three decades, it is making a comeback, with even more subtle or vibrant colors. White, pink, peach, blue, mauve, lilac, carmine …
If the primroses evoke spring, some bloom late, sometimes until September. After our garden primroses, Primula denticulata blooms from March to May, like the precious auricles, Primula auricula ; then in June and July follow the tiered primroses, of which Primula beesiana, Primula pulverulenta, Primula japonica, Primula florindae, among others.
There are over 500 species of primroses. Their diversity lies as much in the shape of the flowers as in their size: the smallest, measuring a few centimeters, adorn rock gardens and troughs, while the tallest constitute beautiful compositions near a pond or in a pool of freshness. .