Monday, 10 June 2013

Stepping into the limelight ...

Auriculas deserve their very own theatre to display them to their best advantage, right ? I have seen these traditional affairs which show off the beauty of the Auricula flowers, whilst shielding them from the worst of the weather. Since I got the Auricula bug earlier in the year, I have enlarged my collection, and have been thinking of ways to display them all. I have Googled makers of bespoke theatres, thought of remortgaging the house, then thought again ! I wondered if I could get someone kind to build me one, in the traditional Victorian style, then thought again...

Then, a wonderful thing happened! A new Reclamation yard opened in my village, just up the road from where we live. Reclamation yards are fantastic places for finding objects for the garden which are unusual, individual ... and hopefully cheap ! Over the years we have bought all manner of strange things from them, some which have been a ridiculous waste of money, and some which we are still enjoying.

So, in a corner of the new Reclamation Yard we found this old pair of wooden steps. 'Shabby chic' would be a kind description of them, as they are certainly very well used. I love them just the way they are, and we decided against repainting them, as we felt that it would take away some of their character.

My little collection of Auriculas has grown over the last few weeks as I have bought young plants of different varieties online which will not flower now until next year, so I will just concentrate on bulking them up to make strong, healthy plants. My 'theatre' has been positioned so that the plants are shaded from strong sunlight and are in the shadow of the greenhouse in the heat of the day (if, indeed, we ever get any 'heat of the day'!!). I can display my Auricula plants in my little 'Theatre of steps' throughout the summer, then move them into the greenhouse for the autumn and winter, as they are Alpines, and as such, do not like the damp of English winters. They can cope with the cold reasonably well, but it is wet compost which would rot them off. Watering should tail off as they cease to grow as the year progresses, and they should be kept quite dry throughout the winter. Once they begin to grow again in the Spring, watering can begin again.

They are kept in plastic pots, certainly not for aesthetic reasons, but to slow down drying out of the compost. I put the plastic pots into terracotta pots, some of which are hand thrown, purely for aesthetic reasons !

Although they are not currently in flower I have added a couple of photos as reminders of just how lovely they are.

The variety below is 'Averil Hunter".

I bought this one from our local Garden Centre as an unnamed variety.


  1. Too cute! I love the ladder full of little plants. I"m not familiar with this plant at all. I thought they were primroses. Oops!

  2. Thanks Casa Mariposa. You weren't far away at all as they are in the Primrose family!

  3. Great idea! Love the ladder, makes a great feature :)

  4. Ohhhh! they look so pretty. And, you have so many of them, so you will be immersed in their beauties next year. Aww! I am jealous. Now, where do I get them here in the US? I need to find out.

  5. IIt is a long wait until next year, KL! Hope you can find them in US . I got some of mine from hobby enthusiasts listing on Ebay !

  6. What a charming arrangement! I love the steps and the pots, not to mention the plants! Congratulations on your great find!

    1. Hi Anastasia. Thankyou, the steps were a real bargain too !


All Gardening Sites