I’m rather in love with the double auriculas which feature in the earlier part of this gallery – I didn’t think they would glamour me quite as much, but with their gentle ruffles and mix of rich, faded and subtle colours, I’m smitten.
These beauties are all auriculas, primroses, and I turn (once again) to a second hand book in the ‘library’ at home, The Gardeners’ Enquire Within, Jubilee Souvenir 1930, Editor A J Macself, (Editor of Amateur Gardening), for details of this Florists’ Flower, for that is what an auricula is, a Florists’ Flower.
This term really has no connection with the shopkeeper whose trade is concerned with the sale of cut blooms. It is a term that embraces all the families of plants of which named varieties possess forms and points of quality which constitute the standards of merit set up by the florists themselves. That section of horticulturalists who devoted themselves to the cultivation of particular kinds of flowers, which, for show purposes, conform to certain standards. There were men who concentrated upon breeding perfect examples of the flowers in which they specialised, and entered them in keen competition against others similarly produced. As growers they were clever and painstaking in the extreme, and among the workers in mines, shipyards, foundries, and factories many amateur florists would devote the hours that might have been given to well-earned rest to attending to the requirements of their treasured plants.
Auriculas were to many, the object of such dedication. It was very little known before the beginning of the 19th Century, when it became a very favourite plant of the old Lancashire weavers. It is chiefly to their emulation and love of flowers that we owe the exceedingly beautiful varieties now raised.
Show auriculas are divided into four sections known respectively as green-edged, grey-edged, white-edged and self -coloured. This last is all of one shade with the exception of the yellow ‘eye’ and white ‘paste’.
Carnations, chrysanthemums, dahlias, marigolds, pansies and violas, sweet peas – all are treated as such Florists’ Flowers.
Woottens of Wenhaston, a Suffolk-based nursery, supplied these beauties and I think I shall have to add this Plantsmans Nursery to my list of places to visit now. In addition to specialising in Auriculas, Hemerocallis, Hardy Geraniums, Pelargoniums, Snowdrops and Violas, there are Bearded Irises too – and two acres set aside with 600 varieties in cultivation. These fields are open between 24th May and 15th June and must be Amazing.
more entries in my own pages on the Auricula – https://teddingtongardener.com/?s=auricula