Primula auricula, often known as auriculamountain cowslip or bear’s ear (from the shape of its leaves), is a species of flowering plant in the family Primulaceae, that grows on basic rocks in the mountain ranges of central Europe, including the western Alps, Jura mountains, the Vosges, the Black Forest and the Tatra Mountains. “


I first came across these very civilised flowers a few years back – I can’t remember exactly how – but I ended up with several colours of them and so thought I would make a Victorian Auricula “Staging” but unfortunately my rather exposed site was a disadvantage.

I created several attempts at staging but none of them survived the South-Westerlies that howled around the area and I confess I got rather tired of having to pick up and repot the poor plants time after time.

They all managed to survive this difficult start in life, even surviving being forgotten about for months when tucked away in a corner but I couldn’t give up on them especially when the delicate pastel shades were set off by the occasional deep one.

In the meantime my sister had picked up a different variety which is a glorious shade of yellow at her local Fuschia Society meeting for me thus rekindling my enthusiasm. I had a cold greenhouse so I overwintered the plants and ended up with a good few divisions.

I was also gifted a lovely pale blue plant with the much valued powdering on the leaves from no less a person than Helen Dillon on my last visit to her renowned garden in Dublin.

And the special one from Helen Dillon

And the end of the story is that I have finally found a place where my Auriculas are really happy – they are in a jardiniere on a north-facing shed so get no direct sun, are well drained and don’t get waterlogged over the winter and are sheltered from the prevailing wind! They just seem to love it there! My next problem is going to be where to put the “extras” when they need dividing again!

Sometimes we just have to let the plants decide where they want to live!

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