In April 2014 I read an article on auriculas in the Guardian Weekend magazine by Ambra Edwards. She spoke of their “exquisite, neat round faces and rich colours” and how these could best be displayed in small pots in an “auricula theatre”. Inspired, I contacted the secretary of the Scottish Auricula and Primula Society, Alison Goldie, and ordered ten plants from her nursery in Angus. Following her detailed advice to the letter, I potted them up and began own my auricula adventure. The plants thrived and multiplied. My collection came to fruition so that two years on we have enjoyed a mini theatre of “gorgeous flowers.”
Less tricky, but equally gorgeous, were the anemone de caen I planted last October. The corms from Parker’s nursery thrived in both pots and garden and burst into flower in May.
Now much more of a floriferous slow burner here at Innisfree have been two azaleas. Purchased at the splendid Dawyk gardens and arboretum near Peebles some years ago, they have been slow to thrive. Heavy mulching with ericaceous compost and periodic feeding, however, succeeded in bringing these to fruition this year.
The white one stands at the back of the wild mini meadow which is the site of the best success story of all; the flowering of the buttercups following their transplanting last autumn. Yesterday along with their companion, a multitude of yellow rattle, they were buzzing with bees.
What though of instances on non-fruition, the not so successful aspects of the year so far? Well the lily of the valley seem to have disappeared and as yet there is no sign of the fifty wild flower plug plants emerging in the mini meadow. At present they remain deeply hidden amidst the buttercups and yellow rattle.