Friday, May 12, 2006


Tired of the ubiquitous tulips and daffodils each spring? Try planting some primula.

A few years ago, I started noticing primulas showing up in garden nurseries that had a wide selection. However, it seems that they become more popular each year. In a year or two, they'll probably be sold in supermarket parking lots.

However, they come in a boatload of different varieties. So, even if they do become more and more popular, you'll still be able to find a variety that is unique. We have Danova Mix which you can see in the photo and Drumstick primula. The two cool things about them is that they require zero maintenance and are the first things to bloom each year. Sometimes, I'll even find the Drumstick plants emerging from the ground despite a few inches of snow on the ground.

The only downside to primulas is that they are done blooming by the third wee of May in Zone 4 and the foliage dies back by mid-summer which leaves a hole in your garden. But if you put them on the edges of your flower beds and plant some late summer blooming plants around the primula to hide the hole.

Or just get some supermarket annuals in July when the foliage dies back.

By the way, if you are looking for a great nursery in central Vermont, my hands-down, no-doubt-about-it favorite nursery is Cady's Falls in Morrisville. The place has a fantastic selection of plants and they are all field grown so you know they are hardy enough to grow around here. Plus, in June, when their display gardens are in bloom, the place is fantastic. You don't even have to buy anything. Just pack a lunch and hang out in the gardens. One key point is to get good directions before you go there. It's a pain-in-the-ass to find the first time you visit.

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