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Author Topic: Primula- January 2008  (Read 10363 times)

Maggi Young

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Re: Primula- January 2008
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2008, 02:08:12 PM »
"The Beechgrove Garden" is a local television gardening show and has garden premises just outside Aberdeen... they have done various trials with coconut fibers over the last few years but i think the general opinion was that it was quite good, but not very "green" because of the high fuel costs to ship this to Europe.
We have not used this ourselves to any great extent.
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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David Shaw

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Re: Primula- January 2008
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2008, 07:29:00 PM »
Coconut fibre, same as Maggie. It has to be shipped over from the other side of the Atlantic so the 'food miles' rule it out. I have never used it and I don't think that it is readily available now. The bark is a home grown waste product.
David Shaw, Forres, Moray, Scotland

ian mcenery

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Re: Primula- January 2008
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2008, 10:58:18 AM »
Lesley just caught up with your posting re Primula nana being the new name for edgworthii and have checked this with Richards. The bXXXXy botanists have been at it again confusing us old gardeners. I wonder what they will be compelled to change next week just to confuse me and to justify their existence. Don't they know I'm already confused enough ?
Ian McEnery Sutton Coldfield  West Midlands 600ft above sea level

Lesley Cox

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Re: Primula- January 2008
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2008, 02:49:54 AM »
They know it Ian, but do they care? I don't think so! We all know that botanical name changes are only a ruse to keep more botanists in full-time employment. ::)
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

David Nicholson

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Re: Primula- January 2008
« Reply #34 on: January 23, 2008, 07:20:49 PM »

David I have always wanted to grow asiatic primulas and some other high alpine dwellers but have had only limited success here in the midlands where summers can be hot and winters cold. I have only had real success with P. petiolaris which I find easy if divided each year however many of my petiolarid primulas  have clung onto life only because they have mostly been in intensive care. This means that I should really consider whether these are suitable plants for my situation. The new bed sounds very grand but isn't it is an old plunge bed used for bringing on stock plants which had not been particularly successful. Until I had been to Bhutan last year I had always considered this space at the side of my house to have a cold and windy aspect and having too little  sun. What I found when at altitude in the mountains trhat the conditions seemed to approximate those of this place so here goes. What I am doing is an experiment and this may not work. The soil mix I am trying is based on a tip I got from Rachel Lever of Aberconwy Nursery and she recomended rotted turf for asiatic primulas. If I had not seen many of the plants we all covet growing in turf I might have thought this strange but it makes sense now. So I bought some turf and have mixed this with my own compost (from the heap) plus some Cambark fine. The mix isn't scientific I like to feel that  the stuff is right. Also Ron McBeath suggested that some asiatics like their root run restricted so I might add some slate to do this.

Like all gardening we travel in hope (and as the cynic would say die of despair). If anyone is interested I will post progress of this bed (a big word for a small square of compost surrounded by concrete blocks. If it works then I will make it prettier.

Hi Ian, sorry I didn't reply earlier but your post got caught up in my computer problems as a result of a power cut. If you can keep us posted on how your new bed works out I would certainly be interested. A member of the Auricula and Primula Society who lives in the Midlands, Viv Pugh, is an expert on petiolarids but I can never get her to put some thoughts and practices, in writing. Having said that, I think our own Sue Gill won a prize at one of the SRGC Shows last year with a petiolarid. Sue, are you reading??
David Nicholson
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ian mcenery

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Re: Primula- January 2008
« Reply #35 on: January 23, 2008, 07:59:06 PM »
David I may be experimenting with the new bed but I am always doing different things to try to beat the odds but these ploys don't always work. But hey ho I just keep trying and I can do with all the advice I can get with these plants - I just love them.

One of the worst problems I have had with growing these outside has been that frost has lifted them out of the soil. Maybe to succeed I will have to simulate snow cover in some way. The interesting thing is that these grow in turf and seem to compete rteally well in nature. In fact I found  P calderiana on several occasions but only in high Yak pastures. Interestingly the yaks eat the grass but not the primula. Whether this particular one contains something that they don't like I don't know.

The following shows the habitat of calderiana and another petiolarid I now believe this to be bracteosa (apparently identified by the man)

« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 08:05:06 PM by ian mcenery »
Ian McEnery Sutton Coldfield  West Midlands 600ft above sea level

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Re: Primula- January 2008
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2008, 08:11:56 PM »
Frost wont have been a problem so far this year Ian!
David Nicholson
in Devon, UK  Zone 9b
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