This beautiful pot, full of primroses, came into our lives on Sunday afternoon.
Brought by skilled and loving hands, it touches us deeply, as it is a gift from the heart.
The pot has a long history. It came with our friends from their home in Northern Ireland many years ago. They’ve had it all this time, waiting, and made a gift of it to us this Christmas. It is a round terra cotta pot, wrapped in the deep, strong roots of an ancient ivy plant, and covered with moss. It speaks to every romantic notion of the beautiful land of Northern Ireland.
The flowers are English primroses, a very popular plant in the British Isles. Native to western Europe, Northwestern Africa, and Southwestern Asia, Primula vulgaris naturalize easily there; where the weather is mild and moist. Primroses are one of the earliest flowering perennials each spring. Their jewel like colors welcome the new year. All parts are edible, including the flowers; and a few plants will spread to cover large areas, both by seed and through division.
Our friends have been growing these primroses, from plugs, since autumn. In Williamsburg, English primroses need protection from both frost and strong sun. I’ve had them overwinter in the past, in a protected bed. They won’t last long into late spring planted outside, but the roots often survive to sprout new leaves and flowers the following season. The leaves will turn crispy if touched by frost, so they can’t stay out for a hard freeze this early in the season.
This pot of primroses now lives on our porch, near the door where we can easily pull it inside on frosty nights. It greets us coming and going, bringing us joy and a reminder of treasured friendship whenever we see it.
“The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn,
and violets bathe in the wet o’ the morn.”
Tuesday Snapshots: Deeply into a Virginia winter now, there is still plenty of color to enjoy in our Forest Garden. All of these photos are from Christmas Day through New Year’s Eve.
All Photos by Woodland Gnome 2013