Auricula, an evergreen primrose found in the mountainous regions of Southern Europe. Perhaps requiring a little cosseting, but well worth it.
There is the Alpine Auriculas grown for the perfection of their blooms, and of course the show varieties virtually always grown under protection by the enthusiast.
However for the regular gardener there is the Border Auricula, perhaps not quite as perfect as the above mentioned, but still special enough to grab your attention.
The Border Auricula Old Irish Blue is a little gem of a plant. It can be grown in the front of the border, well drained light sandy soil is essential. Flowering April/May Irish Blue with its Deep velvety mauve flowers may well be the star attraction of the border.
In late Winter early Spring carefully pull away offsets without causing disturbance to the main plant and pot them up. Also in Early Spring gradually increase watering, without overdoing it. I feed mine with liquid tomato fertilizer every fortnight from April till June.
The garden or border Auriculas which I have were potted up in terracotta pots six years ago. I used John Innes no.2 with added grit, and I also added a layer of grit on top. I over Winter them in the unheated greenhouse.
By the beginning of April your plants will start to show buds, and if like me you have them in pots its now time for them to be placed outside in a position where you can enjoy them for the next six weeks or so. A semi shaded spot is often suggested, but here in Aberdeen they seem to cope well enough in full sun.
Hardiness – Hardy, with a little caution
Soil – Well drained, sandy
Height – 20cm
Position – Full sun/partial shade
I have been unable to find a supplier of the Auricula Old Irish Blue
A few more plants in in the garden between the 8th and 14th of April.
This little beauty Anemone Blanda cant help but cheer you up on a Spring morning.
Another tub of unnamed Tulips looking gorgeous on April 7th.
The Muscari (Grape Hyacinth) in the woodland is another dependable Spring bulb
Ribes King Edward V11 looking good against the blue cloudless sky
The Pansies in this terracotta pot in the back garden survived the severe Winter, unlike some of those in the front garden which had to be removed.
Couldn’t resist taking this shot of the swan with a couple of ducks hanging out together. This was taken on April 8th, whilst having a stroll down by the River Dee, temp reached an amazing 20f.
The Daffodils coming in to full bloom on the banks of the River Dee not far from our house.