Primrose and cyclamen in February

Now that winter’s here and there’s no signs of a thaw I’m kind of happy with things.  I like the combination of fresh snow and bright sunshine that comes with the longer days and even though it’s cold enough to freeze your fingers off I know spring will come.  The winter garden knows this too, and the cyclamen coum are now in full bloom.  Also blooming is the first of my forced primula divisions.

primula and cyclamen under growlights

Yellow primula opening under the growlights of my winter garden.  The cyclamen coum are also blooming full force, and I’m sure I need more!

I love the cyclamen, but since the primula are new this winter I suppose I’ll say a few things about them.  They were given to me a few years ago by a friend who referred to them as heirloom primroses, and they’ve been tough enough to take on the poor soil and drought of my less-than-perfect primula bed.  I think they’re primula polyantha and back in December I chopped through the frost and dug a clump up to force under the growlights.  Forcing is probably a too fancy term for what I did since it amounted to little more than potting the divisions up and putting them on a cold windowsill, but since they’re blooming way ahead of their outside sisters I’ll stick with the term.

I don’t think they’ll bloom as much or as long as the showier hybrids (they don’t produce any secondary blooms)  but I like the delicate little flowers they do have.  They remind me of the yellow primroses my mother grew way back which died off after a string of hot dry summers, so I’m glad to have something similar back again.  Some red ones and pink would be nice, and primroses could easily become an area to “dabble in” but I’m going to look the other way for now.  If you feel otherwise check out Amy’s blog at Primrose Hill Woodlanders and enjoy some great shade garden and primula pictures, and also you might want to visit the American Primrose Society’s website.  Great info and a fantastic seed exchange full of some of the best and newest varieties, and as of February 1st anyone can order!!…. I’ll be avoiding that one 😉