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Take a walk down the primrose path and you'll never look back! Primroses are a classic cottage flower and are popular with collectors. They covet the hundreds of different primroses available, especially some of the tiny rare alpine types.
Many are staples of cottage gardens and rock gardens, while others provide spring color to damp places, rain gardens, and bog gardens. Their basal rosettes of oval leaves are often puckered or are very smooth. The colorful flowers may be borne singly or rise in tiered clusters, or even spikes. Provide humus-high soil that retains moisture and some shade for best results.
Part Sun, Shade, Sun
Under 6 inches to 3 feet
4 inches-2 feet wide, depending on variety
more varieties for Primrose
(Primula vialii) has a rosette of large puckered leaves, from which rise leafless stems topped with startling spikes of small brilliant purple flowers, light crimson in bud. They prefer moist alkaline soil. They may reach 2 feet tall. Zones 5-8
(Primula japonica) belongs to the candelabra group of primroses since their flower 1-to 2-foot stems bear tiers of flowers, candelabra style. The flowers may be in any shade of pink or red as well as white, some are accented with a dark eye. Their rosettes of 6- to 12-inch-long, spoon-shaped leaves are substantial. Zones 4-8
Quaker's Bonnet English primrose
(Primula vulgaris 'Quaker's Bonnet') has double light orchid flowers that are borne singly, but there are plenty of them. Plants grow 6-9 inches tall. Zones 4-8
plant Primrose with
One of the most elegant ferns available for your garden, Japanese painted ferns are washed with gorgeous silver and burgundy markings. Lady fern is equally elegant though not quite as showy. Either will add interest and texture to your shady spots. Closely related to each other, Japanese painted fern and lady fern are sometimes crossed with each other to create attractive hybrids.Unlike most ferns, these toughies will tolerate dry soil. And they will tolerate some sun if they have ample water.
The tall spires of a stand of foxglove, rising up in the garden in early summer, is a sight to behold. Most are biennials, that is, they need two years to bloom and then die in the fall. But if you can get a stand going, they'll reseed so prolifically it will seem they're perennials.To be successful with foxgloves, they must have rich, moist, well-drained soil and light shade, especially in the afternoon. (They'll do fine in full sun in the northern third of the country.) These tall plants also need to be out of any wind. Plants may rebloom if deadheaded after the first flush of bloom.
Named for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, iris indeed comes in a rainbow of colors and in many heights. All have the classic, impossibly intricate flowers. The flowers are constructed with three upright "standard" petals and three drooping "fall" petals, which are often different colors. The falls may be "bearded" or not. Some cultivars bloom a second time in late summer. Some species prefer alkaline soil while others prefer acidic soil.Shown above: Immortality iris