Current Issue

 Vol 81, Issue No. 1 (Winter 2023)

Winter Quarterly 2023 (Vol 81 No. 1) read here


The View from the President
2023 Spring Election
Candidate Biographies
Exploring the Indoor Garden of Books by Elizabeth Lawson
Adventures in Indoor Auricula Growing by Laurel Chute
Germinating Double Primroses by Lucy Coles
ICRA Update by Pat Hartman
Growing Primula In: Alaska by Ed Buyarski
Pins + Thrums
Minutes November 27, 2022
New Members
Officers of the Chapters



Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? With Silver Bells, and Cockle Shells, Cowslips all in a row. I think most of us have heard the English nursery rhyme in one form or another. This version struck me since it had the Cowslip primrose mentioned in it. Cowslips, according to the Oxford Dictionary, are a European Primula with clusters of drooping, fragrant flowers in spring. They are known for growing on dry grassy banks and in pastures. I know them as an edible flower in several of my books on the subject. This nursery rhyme seemed right for the launch of a new article request for our future Quarterly.

How does your garden grow? Starting with this Quarterly, we have a new section that will feature articles sent from our members titled “Growing Primula In:”. Of course, we want your writings to inform your fellow Primrose Society members on the how’s and why’s of your growing Primula. Some things you might want to share are how long have you been growing the genus Primula? Many have been growing this gorgeous flower for decades, while others are new to the many facets of Primula. Perhaps you could share what led you to start down the primrose path. Maybe your neighbor gave you a pot of cowslips telling you they were a variety that would grow well in the garden. Or Spring blossoms caught your fancy while visiting a Botanical Garden to see if your green thumb could succeed growing them in your garden. Everyone has a story about how they came to be involved in having Primula in their gardens.

Location, climate, and even microclimates in your garden will have a big impact on your garden experience. An example being that Primula do very well in the Pacific Northwest where rainfall can be abundant, and temperatures are usually not extreme in either summer or winter. Others grow them with less rain and drier climates and in different growing zones. Case in point: Primula denticulata here in Southeast Alaska grow like weeds for most gardeners; while others in the upper Midwest might struggle to keep them alive. Even in microclimates in the same city one person might struggle to keep P. japonica alive while the gardener down the block might be digging them up every year and passing them along to others. Soil conditions also can make a big difference in how Primula grow. Do you have lots of organics in your soil? What do you fertilize your precious flowers with? Manure; cow, chicken, or tea, and how often? Primula are known to be heavy feeders. We want to know the ins and outs of what you do in your garden to keep your Primula growing. A few more things to consider when sharing your Primula gardening experiences are the following:

  • What kinds of Primula do you have growing in your garden?
  • Favorite companion plants?
  • Mulches. Rocks, bark, shredded leaves, nothing?
  • Seasonal protection from snow. Rain, sun, wind, or nothing?
  • Do you grow from seed, division, pass-a-long plants from anyone who will share, or have you hit the point of anyone who comes to visit your garden goes home with a plant?
  • Pests. Deer, rabbits, slugs, beetles, crows, cats, dogs, children, adults?

Pictures are always welcome! If possible, please send 4-6 pictures to go along with your article. Articles and pictures can be emailed to ed****@am*********************.org. Deadlines for future publications can be found online in the most recent Quarterly. Our next issue deadline is February 15, 2023, for our Spring issue. Hopefully, we will have several articles to choose from and end up with a waiting list!

I hope that you will take the challenge regardless of your writing skills or experience and get involved. Start with sharing your growing experiences in your garden and see where those horizons lead!

President Herbert Dickson in the Winter Quarterly of 1969 said the following:

“….. because only by getting involved can you enjoy the benefits of the American Primrose Society. The greater the involvement the greater the enjoyment and personal satisfaction. Let us go all the way and really get involved and see the multitude of new horizons that are opened to you.”