Friday, February 5, 2010

Common Cowslip

Late winter is the time for ordering new plants, and I have recently placed a flurry of new orders, each of which I am very excited about, of course. I also plan to order several primroses but haven't yet. Several years ago Tom Buchter moved to Ohio and the Holden Arboretum (he has since moved on)and quipped that he looked forward to growing lots of primroses now that he was in Ohio. Ever since, I have been wondering why I didn't grow more. Over the last few years I have been acquiring several very satisfying species and varieties of primrose including what seems to be generally regarded as "that common old cowslip" (Primula veris). I once blogged about the joys of esoterica in plants. Today its the joys of the "taken for granted" or the perceived mundane. As I have been casting about to see where I might pick up a few good primrose candidates I have been looking to expand my successful planting of cowslip. While I am not challenged to find a source, I am surprised at how seldom it is offered for sale given its beauty, versatility and reliability. I'm almost embarrassed by how much I relish the plant, but only almost. Come on, its a great plant, and actually it is not very widely used. Why isn't there more enthusiasm for it?