Sunday, 28 April 2013

Waiting in the wings ...

In a previous post , 'Theatre, darling, but not as we know it ...', I took my first tentative steps into the mysterious world of the Auricula when I stumbled across a stall run by the ' Northern Section of the Auricula & Primula Society', on a jolly in a Gateshead Festival.

Auriculas are a flower I have always wanted to grow but never ever have ... until now. From the stall I bought 9 little Auriculas, 3 each of 'Red Gauntlet', 'Avril Hunter' and 'Lilac Domino'  and brought them home, with no expectation that they would flower until next year.

I was told that Auriculas prefer plastic pots to terracotta ones,  as they are slower to dry out, so I did as I was told, but for aesthetic purposes, put the plastic pots inside some very old, handmade clay pots. I was lucky enough to buy these pots from a local stately dwelling, which was having a clear out, for about 10p each, or some equally silly amount !

I put the pots on the windowsill in the greenhouse and while I didn't forget about them, I certainly didn't examine them daily, in that manic way that we gardeners have when we are expectant ! I expected nothing, as I was told that they would not flower until next year .... but look ...

Sometimes I wish I was not such a parsimonious gardener ! I am so MEAN with labels and I never learn. I know, through very bitter experience that I should label every pot, but I have this thing about not wasting labels, so if there are two plants the same, I will only label one, thinking I will remember its twin. In reality, as plants play musical chairs around the greenhouse, I seldom remember what unlabelled plants are. You are probably way ahead of me on this one. Did I label each one of my 9 special new Auriculas ? What do you think ...  The upshot is that, embarrassingly, I have to admit I don't know the name of the one which is in bud. My money is on 'Lilac Domino' with 'Averil Hunter' coming a close second, and I'm pretty sure that 'Red Gauntlet' is a rank outsider.

Anyway, the flower looks as if it is going to be very dark, and certainly very beautiful, when it opens. I will be camping alongside it, camera poised, to record the event!

For the full backstory , you might like to visit 'Theatre, darling, but not as we know it...'


  1. That'll teach you not to label, says I who finds labels scattered all over the garden by blackbirds. Or uses a permanent marker that doubles as an invisibility pen.

  2. Yes, Crystal,I too have used the pen of invisibility AKA The Fading Pen ! It is SO frustrating, to have a full complement of BLANK labels ! :-)

  3. Haha, that's really funny, but I also know that phenomenon ;-)

    I was very happy to find you on my blog! Thank you.
    I find it also very interesting to see what is growing in other gardens.
    But I think you will benefit more from the proximity of the Gulf Stream.
    Our climate is very special. Schleswig-Holstein(Northern Germany)is lying between North Sea and Baltic Sea. So we've very fresh clean air, but I
    could live well without the permanent wind. Grrrr - look at my hair!! No hair style ....
    My blue auricula blooms well

  4. It is easy to get busy, especially in spring, but I really make an effort at labelling plants and keeping track of plant tags. After a few years of blogging, I have learned it is easier to talk about the garden if I know the names of the plants I am writing about. Most of the time I'm good, but sometimes I get lazy or mislay my plant tags. Often other bloggers will help out with an I.D. on my mystery plants.
    Isn't is nice that one of your newest purchases is blooming earlier than expected. It's nice when that happens. I like the rich dark color of the flower.

  5. I need to make my own labels somehow Jennifer, so that I have a neverending supply which are free ! I use so many ! Usually I know what the plant is, it is just when I have more than 1 variety, as with the tomatoes, when I came unstuck in a big way !

  6. I know what you mean about labels!! just tonight I almost planted several types of lettuce without them thinking oh I'll remember. Caught myself just in time :) but I'm always running out, must eat more popsicles this summer I guess (yup I use popsicle sticks..)

  7. There's a plan, Marguerite ! Must eat more popsicles ! I was thinking of cutting up plastic from the recycling box to make free labels, then I will be mean AND green !


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