Well done to everyone that knew the answer to yesterday’s Macro Monday which was the humble primrose (Primula vulgaris). Humble yes, but also incredibly beautiful. How lucky we are that the wild, common form is such a beautiful colour and endowed with such an exquisite fragrance. It won’t ever stop me from wanting primroses and polyanthus in every possible combination of shades (apart from the obese specimens in garden centres everywhere that look as though they have spent their lives sitting watching The Simpsons and gorging on crisps and cola), but none are really more beautiful than the wild plant.
New to me this year is the daffodil ‘Lothario’. Although this is unregistered and may not be a valid name, it is commonly available and was introduced in about 1993. That makes it a fairly modern variety. Although it has no formal classification it is a large cupped daffodil (division 2) with yellow petals and an orange cup (so 2Y-O). This is the same as the good ol’ ‘Fortune’ which has been a popular variety ever since it was introduced a century ago. As Guy Wilson, the highly successful American daffodil hybridiser wrote (in the 1937 issue of the The American Daffodil Year Book) ‘No doubt Fortune will be planted by everyone when it becomes sufficiently moderate in prices. I do not know of any daffodil which has a more splendidly reliable constitution.’ ‘I have never heard of it being sick or sorry in any part of the world where it has been grown’. ‘Fortune’ is still sold today and survives in lots of gardens.
‘Lothario’ is a modern version with similar tall stems but with flowers of better substance and brighter colouring. Whether, as its name suggests, I will be seduced by it will become clearer in future years when I can assess its vigour. To be honest I would be seduced more effectively by a more spectacular (or more weird) flower but this is a very good daffodil and although the stems are tall, making it perfect for cutting, they are strong enough to stand up to the weather. The cup is lobed and sometimes a petal gets caught in this for a while – this is no show flower but a good garden variety. The three inner petals are noticeably smaller than the outer and remain creased. Bright, bold and lightly scented, I think this will grow on me. Whether it has the staying power of ‘Fortune’ remains to be seen.
Oh yes, and it is Easter soon. Having just watched the Channel 4 documentary on Cadbury I can say with certainty that I won’t be buying any eggs with that name on the pack. It was ‘criminal’ that the company was sold to Mondelez International (Kraft) but having seen how they lied about keeping the manufacturing in the UK (I sometimes think I have psychic powers because it was obvious they would not), my informal boycott of the company is now full scale avoidance. They can shove their creme eggs back up the orifice from which they came, or any other!