PRIMULA VIALII

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Primula vialii (or P viallii depending on your choice of spelling) is one of the loveliest of flowers. Not a traditional primula by any means, it is also known as Turk’s Turban, Vial’s Primrose, Orchid Primrose, Red Hot Poker Primrose, Chinese Pagoda Primrose and probably a dozen other names besides, and all very descriptive. The starry lilac flowers open up from tight red buds, and gradually the flowering head lengthens to accommodate more flowers.

I love this primula and am lucky enough to be able to grow it in my garden, though it has – up to now – proven to be relatively short-lived for a member of this family. So it is definitely a case of ‘making the most of it’.

BRODSWORTH HALL GARDENS

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Brodsworth Hall is a 19th century mansion near Doncaster and Barnsley and is, in estate agents’ parlance, in need of repair. Owned by English Heritage the Hall is currently undergoing some necessary maintenance and refurbishment although, to be honest, it isn’t a particularly handsome abode. The gardens, however, are spectacular with lots to see with rock gardens, rose arbours, topiary and colourful bedding displays – to name but a few. Brodsworth is well worth a visit just for the gardens, but the house does hold some interest particularly if you enjoy gloomy Victorian architecture. The above shows the splendid laburnum arch.

REBUTIA

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This is the oldest cactus in my collection. I must have had it about 25 years now. And until last year it resided sullenly it a pot. However, last year it was planted out into my new cactus garden and, oh, how it has grown. But this gem has always flowered and this year is no exception. Golden flowers adorn this Rebutia in abundance.