Celia Hart's blog about what's going on in and around her studio.
Art, printmaking, inspirations, gardening, vegetables, hens, landscapes, wild flowers, East Anglia, adventure, travel.

Friday, 7 March 2014

100 Flowers : #015 Primrose

It really feels like Spring now . . .

#015 Primula vulgaris


The name says it all, these aren't winter flowers - these are the first flowers of Spring. Prima Rosa, Old French for 'the first rose' and the botanical name, Primula is the feminine diminutive of 'first'. There are dozens of Primula species, but this is wild Primrose of the hedgerows and woodland edges – vulgaris means common.

When we moved here, I was pleased to see a few clumps of wild primroses on the edges of the garden. We have done nothing but let them self seed, now the edge of our gravel front yard is a carpet of pale yellow Primroses.

In the vegetable plot under the apple trees we've allowed them to spread into the grass, only mowing when the seeds have ripened. These plants are near to the area where I grow Victorian style Polyanthus (hybrids between Primroses and Cowslips) so inevitable the plants have cross pollinated. Only a mad horticultural dictator would weed out the coloured Primroses . . . I'm celebrating the diversity. 

I've picked one flower from each plant . . . every single one is different! Unique in its pastel shade and petal shape. 

The soft scent is beautiful too, they smell of a beautiful sunny Spring day!

In the photo below, you can clearly see the two different forms of flower – 'thrum eyed' on the left and 'pin eyed' on the right. This is very clearly explained here.

Each year the mix of colours changes, I look for my favourites and hunt for new ones. They are unique to our garden.

And today I spotted the first Brimstone butterfly of the year . . . always a special sight!



  1. I love primroses, I would never think to pick some but they make a pretty posy! xxx

  2. I love the old fashioned polyanthus and had several in a former garden.I've never been very keen on the rather blowsy moderns.Think I'm turning into my mother!

  3. Lovely! The essence of Spring for me.

  4. A lovely mixture of colours, they are very pretty.

  5. A lovely splash of colour. They look so fragile but are as tough as old boots in our garden. I don't find anything vulgar or common about primroses. I think they are beautiful and they can spread and spread as far as I'm concerned. I saw our first butterfly of the year today as well- an adventurous Peacock enjoying this gorgeous sunshine.

  6. How lovely and such a variety of soft colours. On the way to the coast last week there were roadside verges full of wild primroses - a sight that must have been common once upon a time. Those in my garden seem to have been flowering since last spring - a lovely addition to any garden.

  7. Really enjoyed that! I love primrose, we have several bunches of wild ones growing on our front lawn, the grass will have to suffer as I love these jolly little flowers far more! I adore how the colours can be so varied, they are very heartening! Katie

  8. They truly are harbingers of Spring; a lovely sight to see.


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