Paul’s Plant of the Week

Primula Vialii

Another plant that was new to me this year, I don’t know how long they’ve been around but the first time I saw these was back in April.

I’ve never particularly been a Primula or Primrose kinda guy to be honest, however I did plant some primula’s last year up near the field maples to add a bit of colour to the area.  They didn’t last long, the slugs and snails were straight in there and devoured all of the flowers within days.  After that experience I was slightly put off getting them again.  We do have a massive slug problem in this garden.  And they are massive slugs too.

Anyway, I saw these Vialii in our local nursery and immediatly fell for them.  I love the rosette-like foliage, a beautiful bright and luscious green leaf of simple form that stands proud of the ground in the centre and droops over at as it gets to the out leaves to give a bit of ground cover.

We purchased three in total to put around the pond.  They were already in flower, but only just starting to open.  There was a bright red spike with a few pale mauve flowers around the lower part.  Like other plants such as Salvia, Lupin and Veronica these flowers open from the bottom of the flower head and work their way upwards, often with the lower ones dying before the top one’s have shown themselves.

Garden June 17 0T2A4508 x 1200

The flower spikes stood a good 40-50cm high from ground level, all three plants had three spikes and so they really stood out amonst the other plants.

The flowers lasted throughout June and in to July, but started wilting during that ridiculous heatwave – remember that?  Feels so long ago now.  Anyway, the flowers came to end I cut the stems back.

All of the bits I’d read on these beauties said they flower once, and so I thought that was it.   And it was for a few weeks.

Just last week I went in round inspecting the pond area to see what was going on and see what needed to be done as it’s getting really overgrown in there now.  And that’s when I spotted them.  All three plants and 2-3 new flower spikes.  Shorter than the originals, only about 30cm in height and slightly smaller heads then they originally had, but they were indeed flowering for a second time.

I’m thrilled to have a second showing off these stunning little flowers and have more time to enjoy them.

They’re planted in an area that gets some dappled shade for a few hours each day, but otherwise in full sunshine and they seem to be really happy there.

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