Daily Flower Candy – An Unknown Auricula

I am falling ever further behind with my list of posts to write, which on balance is a lot better than having nothing to say for myself. My last visit to Sissinghurst remains in draft, as does a report on the Cornwall Spring Flower Show. This week we’ve been to Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, taking in the fabulous Abbey Gardens and the island’s unique wildlife. I’ve also returned to see the superb woodland garden at Bosvigo at the height of its glories. All this whilst staying at Trevoole, which is fabulously photogenic as always.

Trevoole Farm Vintage Shop, April 2014

Trevoole’s auriculas (Primula auricula) spend their year unmolested and unpampered, displayed in a purpose-built outdoor auricula theatre. They are not A list stars, their names long forgotten, but they are troupers, performing year after year with no fuss or demanding riders. The flowers, sometimes dusted with a fine ‘farina’ (as in the photograph below), come in a profusion of colours from rusty brown to royal purple, with every shade and combination in between.

To cultivate the perfect specimen, The National Auricula and Primula Society recommend protecting plants from rain in winter and taking care, when watering in spring and summer, not to splash the leaves. Auriculas grow best when potted in four parts John Innes No.2 to two parts horticultural grit in three to four-inch pots. A top dressing of the same grit discourages vine weevils, and a good feed in early spring with a high-potash fertiliser will set auriculas up for the year. Ideally plants should be protected from bright sunlight through the summer months. I am not sure Trevoole’s auriculas receive any such cosseting, demonstrating the rich rewards that can be achieved for minimal fuss.

What name would you give my unknown auricula?

Unknown Auricula, Trevoole, April 2014