From here to Chelsea…

This morning, this was the state of the bed where I grow most of my Primula Inverewe:P1010486

A few weeks ago, I had an e-mail from Stella Rankin at Kevock,  asking for as many Inverewe as I could provide, since she had agreed to supply Nigel Dunnett for his show garden at Chelsea this year. The new growth on the primulas was scarcely through the ground at the time, but during the brief spell of dry weather we had, I managed to lift and split every clump here, and came up with 150 offshoots. Luckily, p.Inverewe clumps can be disentangled easily, unlike other of the candelabra tribe. I stuck the offshoots into liquid mud in groups of ten. Then the snow descended….P1010488

Picking the primulas back out of the icy mud was not a task to relish. But if they are going to be in flower for Chelsea, they are going to need warmth, and love. And they are not going to get much of either in the frozen wastes of Central Scotland. So I rushed them into Kevock, much as one rushes an urgent bag of blood plasma.

It takes a certain professional ability to see from the present to the future to be thrilled by a box of icy mud with a few green leaves sticking out of it. But Stella rose to occasion, and I got a hug for my painsP1010491.

Professional nurseries are bleak places in winter.P1010492 Odd to think that in a few months, all these bare tables will be covered with flowering plants ready to be despatched southwards to London to give the crowds something to gasp at.  Personally, I’ll sit back and admire my primulas on the TV  at the Gardeners’ world Chelsea special. They look better in a proper garden, anyway.P1010118


10 thoughts on “From here to Chelsea…

  1. Wow, having your plants at Chelsea – it doesn’t get much better than that!! I will look forward to seeing them on the TV coverage and admiring them. I noticed that my three have come through the winter safely and I now have six, it will be a long time before I have as many as you!!

    • I don’t think it will be long at all, Pauline. If they are happy they will start to multiply geometrically – your six will become twenty before you know it. I started with two plants about twenty years ago, and now can get about 100 new offshoots every year or so….Just give them plenty of mud!

  2. Well done Kininvie, and what fun, to have sort of a horse in the race as far as the show goes! Those are tough plants, your frozen flock of P. inverewes, and the blooms such a lovely sunrise color.. But I’m thinking you must get a red strobe for the top of your car and maybe a siren too for these emergency plant runs.

  3. Good shot, Mr K! It must be a great satisfaction for you to see you home grown primulas on telly! I wonder what they’ll do with the discarded plants after the show, will they return back to your garden? Killed? Sold?

    • Sold, Alberto, no doubt sold. On the last day of most gardening shows, there are usually bargains galore. Mind you, so many of the plants have been forced to flower early, or held back, that they take a while to recover. So I hope my primulas will find a good home. I get a free run of Stella’s nursery as a quid pro quo (which, given the Rankins’ expertise in rare primulas, is a GOOD thing!)

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