Primula & auricula

Our April meeting was heralded in by thick fog & seemed more like a November evening! Fortunately our stalwart members, now used to winter dragging its heels, were undeterred & we had good attendance for a hands-on talk from the renowned Primula specialist Bob Middleton to remind us that spring must be on its way. He used the plants that he brought with him to illustrate some of the many different groups within this plant genus from alpine auriculas to primroses. He demonstrated how he prepares them for showing, what the breed standards are and how best to care for them, answering varied questions from a keen audience.
He clearly sets very high standards for himself & laughingly referred to several lovely specimens as being "rubbish" from a showing perspective so it is easy to see how he wins! He also breeds new varieties, pollinating plants by hand to achieve the best results, and calls them after local pubs. He had brought with him a large primula in a terracotta bowl that had recently won several prizes at the recent National Auricual & Primula Society's show at Knowle although he was disappointed that it had started to "go over". Club members were happy to rehome many of his smaller specimens!
Unfortunately I forgot take any photos on the night so these are just boring old "Lemon & Lime" primulas in my own garden which flower most months of the year. Hopefully we'll be able to add some of Bob's pictures in due course. Also photo-less was our competition, this month's winner Brenda Brettell with her decorated Easter bonnet. Sorry folks!

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