The garden plants I appreciate most have more than one virtue and no time-demanding whims. Primula florindae comes close to the top of the list: It flowers just when the garden needs colour (i.e. now); it is heavily scented; its fibrous root-mat is a great weed suppressant; it loves light shade, water, and mud, and seeds itself anywhere it can find these (which means just about everywhere in my garden). You can rip out plants that have got into the wrong place and literally stamp them into a piece of wet ground without bothering about digging a hole – and they’ll come away, no bother. Finally, it does well as a cut flower.
You can find most shades of colour from pale yellow through to deep red. The red forms are slightly less rampant and less fragrant than the yellows, and are apt to get shouldered out by their cousinsIn winter, when p.florindae completely dies back, I always wish I had marked the best shades when they were in flower, so that I could move them around to form a kind of colour chart. But I never do, and on the whole I think I am just as happy with a random mix….