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Primroses and Polyanthus

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A familiar wildflower spotted under hedgerows and on grassy banks, the common primrose, or Primula vulgaris to give it its botanical name, is always the first plant to flower in my garden. Delicate pale lemon flowers are now starting to open, a beacon amongst what is otherwise an uninspiring border of withered perennials and wet clay.



They are well named, ‘primula’ is from the Latin ‘primus’ meaning first, in this instance, first flower or as some say, ‘first rose.’ Vulgaris simply means ‘common’ and references the fact that at one time this cottage garden classic was commonplace in the countryside, less so now unfortunately. In the wild primroses are protected so it is illegal to pick them. If you're lucky enough to have them in your garden, they prefer light shade and moist, well-drained soil.

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