Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Primula (15 JAN 2013)

I'm not sure how to display primula to really show them off, which they surely deserve at this time of year, and it seems that my local council don't know either.

primula brighten up the entrance to the public convenience

The other day, I saw a planting suggestion on the Gardener's world website where a bunch of daffodils were surrounded by primula in a rather attractive arrangement so I thought I would have a go at refreshing my lucky planter with primula and daffodil bulbs that I already had in the garden. An ideal solution for hiding bulbs from the visiting wildlife.

In the various languages of flowers, primula symbolise youth, young love or eternal love.
If you were living in Victorian times, offering someone a tussie-mussie containing primula was a discrete way of conveying the message "I can't live without you" (without sounding too desperate).

three hybrids of winter-flowering primula

 
In my garden, they symbolise a "keep me warm in winter" kind of love.
However, sometimes symbolism isn't such a good idea ...
 
After planting the primula in fresh compost in their new home, I felt as invigorated as they probably were. I recalled words of advice given to me recently, about eating a healthier diet, when I wasn't in the right state of mind to pay heed. I was now and decided that I would start eating a bowl of porridge oats every day, the primula symbolising this new resolution.
 
The next morning, as I sat in my living room, dipping into a bowl of steaming, prune-sweetened, cholesterol-reducing, wholemeal porridge admiring the primula outside, I remembered to count my blessings for the first time in a long while.
 
primula promoted to my lucky planter with bulbs underneath
 
However, last weekend the inevitable happened.
I have a love-hate relationship with the neighbourhood cats. I love that they scare away the mice which might otherwise invade my house; I hate that they dig up my new plantings, especially the symbolic ones, even though I covered them with netting.

Does this symbolise skipping porridge for breakfast and having a packet of crisps instead?
 

not satisfied with upsetting my plants, it scratched up my lawn too and that wasn't all ...


viola planted in the container vacated by the primula
 
The netting has now been replaced by a dome of chicken wire. I'm not entirely confident that this will prevent the cats having their wicked way with my bulbs; weeds (strategically positioned everywhere else) are the only proven cat deterrent in this garden.
  
two can play at this game !
 

Then last night it snowed, so the primula have double protection, which symbolises that you should never give up because you might get some help from upstairs.

alternatively, porridge for breakfast with ice-cream for dessert




If you like primula too :
http://patientgardener.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/old-fashioned-primulas/
http://gardeningattheedge.wordpress.com/2012/06/17/candleabra-primulas-2/

©Copyright 2013 b-a-g. All rights reserved. Content created by b-a-g for http://experiments-with-plants.blogspot.com/2013/01/primula-15-jan-2013.html

17 comments:

HELENE said...

I use small chipped bark in all my flower beds and containers, it is great to conceal the newly disturbed soil, which is so interesting to cats, my own included (!) it stops any weeds growing, it looks great and also helps retain water.

Porridge and ice cream, definite winners, I wholeheartedly agree :-)

Katarina said...

I think you should stick to your porridge - never give up! Although I would probably hide somewhere with water to throw on that cat... Cats a re lovely creatures - but they'd be wise to keep away from my garden.

I like the idea of Primula planted together with Daffodil bulbs. Have to remember that, when spring approaches.

Mark and Gaz said...

That chicken wire netting should do the trick in keeping the cat away :) Porridge then Ice cream, mmmm!

gardenwalkgardentalk.com said...

You asked... I like Primula, but never have much luck with them. I buy them every year from the grocery store and they just peter out. Every now and then, new ones pop up the next year. There is some problem with your email subscriptions. I get them a week late. Don't have this one yet, but I know you just posted it.

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Cats can be a right royal nuisance, and just when you were feeling all healthy and perky too. Blasted critters, hope the chicken wire does the trick. Primulas are such down-to-earth unpretentious little flowers, I love the way they brighten up the corners on dark January days.

debsgarden said...

Primulas don't do well here, but I have seen photos of them planted along stream banks, along with other spring flowers. Gorgeous! I agree with what Helene said about cats being attracted to newly disturbed soil and using bark as a preventative.

croftgarden said...

I'm with you on the cats - not a big fan or porridge either! I'll probably get deported for making such comments.

Angie said...

Your primroses and daffs will look lovely together - the chicken wire will work, I've tried it!
I'm a cat owner and hate it when they disturb the soil or leave little messages behind!

V. Gardener said...

Those crazy critters destroying our gardens... I'm having trouble with mice in my garden, myself :(. I hope the chicken wire keeps those pesky felines away.

Kalantikan said...

hahaha i love this post, your feelings with the cat didn't show much! If i were living in temperate countries i will grow these plants too so beautiful. We have many cats and they are trained not to mess with our territory, however the young ones still don't know, so do that too sometimes. What is so disgusting is the odor of their thrash. I am sure your wire works!

HolleyGarden said...

What a cute post on a terrible problem! That cat looks like it loves to be mischievous. Glad you got a little help from 'upstairs'! :)

Donna@Gardens Eye View said...

I do adore primula and look forward to their spring blooms...the rabbits and deer eat the foliage when it is not covered in snow...the voles do the most damage in my garden. Unfortunately they go under the netting so there is no stopping them unless the predators get them...love the new planting and your answer to the cats!

altroverde said...

Hi b-a-g! I thought of you yesterday when I saw the helicopter thing in London on telly. I didn't know you where eating a bowl of porridge instead...
Anyway I guess that the symbolism of your neighbor's cat means that you can have porridge for breakfast and roasted cat for dinner (did you know they used to eat cats during the war time in my region? Grandma told me it tastes like rabbit).
Or maybe you can get a cat to keep other's cats away, you shall train him not to dig your bulbs though...

Karen said...

I love this post, your not the only one with cat problems, we have 3 neighbourhood cats that are always running though my garden and other peoples gardens. Ice cream for dessert sounds like a good idea.

linniew said...

Okay here's breakfast: homemade granola, which is oatmeal and honey toasted crunchy with almonds then mixed with a few raisins and dried cherries or etc, with a large dollop of vanilla yogurt. And maybe a banana or peach sliced on top. Much the best way to oatmeal, according to me. PS: I think Alberto is making up that story about eating cats although the getting your own cat part sounds like it might help.

Alistair said...

Hi b-a-g,I couldn't be done with cats until Myra got her way, strangely everyone which she has had ends up clinging to me like a limpet. One of those high powered water pistols should do the trick although she looks pretty cute. Porridge with sliced banana and a little milk does it for me, in fact my cholesterol is down to 3.6, just needed to tell someone.

b-a-g said...

Thanks all for your comments.
This was a light-hearted post but I am concerned that cat droppings contain diseases such as toxoplasmosis.

Helen & Deb - great tip, I'm going to try mulching with chipped bark.

Katarina & Alastair - not so sure about the water ideas. Are Scots allowed to eat banana with their porridge ?

Donna - thanks for letting me know. Better late than never I guess.

Linnie - I'm afraid that Alberto is right, according to wikipaedia people did eat cat-meat during times of poverty and war, and its still eaten as a delicacy in Switzerland and China. Generally the meat of carnivorous animals is taboo in most cultures.

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