Archive for Japanese woodland primrose

The Garden Tourist

Posted in bulbs for shade, garden to visit, hosta, landscape design, my garden, native plants, Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2019 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

The cover of The Garden Tourist by Jana Milbocker features the teacup garden at Chanticleer in Wayne, Pennsylvania, which is 10 minutes from our nursery.  Many of our out-of-state visitors tour Chanticleer and shop at our nursery on the same day.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has been selected as one of the 120 must visit destination gardens and nurseries in the Northeast United States in the wonderful guidebook The Garden Tourist by Jana Milbocker.  This book is a great resource for those of us who love to visit gardens as it covers Maine through Pennsylvania with detailed information on each entry, including photos, suggested daily itineraries, and nearby restaurants.  You can purchase The Garden Tourist on Amazon here, or at Valley Forge Flowers in Wayne, Pennsylvania, if you are local. 

I have visited, photographed, and written about many of the destinations included in the book, so, from personal experience, I can say that they are well-chosen.  As a sample, here are the featured Pennsylvania gardens and nurseries:  Ambler Arboretum, Bartram’s Garden, Carolyn’s Shade Gardens, Chanticleer, Highlands Mansion & Garden, Hortulus Farm Garden & Nursery, Longwood Gardens, Meadowbrook Farm, Shofuso Japanese Garden, Scott Arboretum, Terrain, and Wyck Garden.

Nursery News:  We are accepting orders for hostas from our 2019 Hosta Catalogue through June 15, 2019.  To access the catalogue, click here.    If you are interested, just email a list of the hostas you want and a couple of suggested pick up dates and times to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops to US customers only.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and cell number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

 

The Carolyn’s Shade Gardens page from The Garden Tourist.

We are so honored to be included in this wonderful garden resource.  Many of our customers have already purchased it and are looking forward to putting it to use.  One longtime customer even brought his copy over so I could autograph the Carolyn’s Shade Gardens page!  I thought it would be fun to give my readers, especially my international followers, a more in depth photographic tour of Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.  The photographs used in this post were taken from 2010 to 2019.  Enjoy!

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Stone stairs lead from the nursery area, past the original entrance to the two-room gardener’s cottage that is now our home, to the Main Terrace.  All the areas of our garden have names, which I will capitalize.  That way my husband Michael and I can communicate about garden maintenance.  During our last open house, visitors were overheard referring to “the team of workers who [must] take care of the gardens.”  We are still laughing and wondering when our team will arrive!  Michael does most of the maintenance, and I help when I can.  5/7/2012

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On the way down the stairs, you pass the entrance to the Main Rock Garden.  It is mostly a winter garden filled with snowdrops, snowflakes, hardy cyclamen, winter aconite, and other early bulbs.  4/25/2016

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The Main Terrace outside the front door in early spring.  4/15/2012

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The Main Terrace a month later.  5/15/2015

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Michael’s pride and joy and a major feature of the Main Terrace is our gorgeous wisteria.  Plein Air painters come to capture it on canvas every year.  4/29/2011

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One of my favorite color combinations on the Main Terrace: ‘Magic Carpet’ spiraea, ‘Gold Heart’ bleeding-heart, and Spanish bluebells emerging from a silver-variegated ornamental grass.  4/15/2012

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We call the lowest of our three terraces the Orange and Purple Garden.  Here ‘Paliban’ lilac blooms over a collection of small hostas with orange geum in the foreground.  5/10/2015

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The Orange and Purple Garden features a grass oval surrounded by stepping stones inter-planted with sedums, geums, thyme, moss phlox and other low plants.  5/8/2011

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The Orange and Purple Garden in fall when our coral bark maple ‘Sango-kaku’ is the star of the show.  11/2/2013

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in front of the terraces in the lawn area is a very old American hornbeam with lots of surface roots and a dense canopy requiring plants that can handle full dry shade.  The Hornbeam Garden features Japanese woodland primroses (in flower above), Athyrium-type ferns (Japanese painted, lady, and ‘Ghost’ ferns), hellebores, cardamine, golden groundsel, and pulmonarias, among other plants.  4/15/2012

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The Chain Link Strip Garden (don’t ask) along the right boundary of our property is a great place to grow hostas because all the water from the driveway drains through here—hostas love water.  Blue-leafed ‘Neptune’ is on the left, and 2007 Hosta of the Year ‘Paradigm’ is on the right behind a native Carolina allspice.  ‘Paradigm’ measures 60″ wide.  6/7/2019

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Native ‘Golden Shadows’ pagoda dogwood is dwarfed by this ‘Great Expectations’ hosta in the Chain Link Strip Garden.  Hosta experts tell me it is the biggest specimen they have ever seen at 52″ wide.  6/7/2019

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All the way at the bottom of the yard where it is actually consistently moist are our Production Beds where we grow shade plants to sell at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.  Pictured are ‘Old Brick Reds’ primroses, two types of pulmonaria, and golden groundsel.  5/10/2015

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Walking back uphill towards the woodland, you pass our River of Phlox ‘Sherwood Purple’.  Native, evergreen creeping phlox makes an excellent groundcover with gorgeous purple, blue, pink or white flowers, depending on which cultivar you plant.  In the River, we have planted a large part of our snowdrop collection, which blooms December through March before the phlox flowers extend.  4/24/2019

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In late winter, snowdrops and winter aconite begin to emerge along the woodland path.  3/2/2019

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The snowdrops have been multiplying here for over 100 years and fill the Woodland with white when they open.  3/26/2015

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When the snowdrops and aconite are done, the Woodland bursts into bloom with mostly native wildflowers—the native, white redbud trees play a starring role.  4/15/2019

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Plants native to Pennsylvania fill the Woodland, here mayapples, golden groundsel, and Virginia bluebells.  4/25/2017

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Epimediums, daffodils, cinnamon ferns, and Celandine poppies replace the February-blooming aconite whose leaves are still visible at their base.  4/26/2015

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Natives dwarf Jacob’s ladder, black cohosh, and foamflower line the path.  5/10/2015

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The Lower Deck Garden provides early color from hellebores, ‘Mohawk’ viburnum, pink old-fashioned bleeding-hearts, and the rose-colored new leaves of ‘Butterfly’ Japanese maple.  4/26/2015

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The Upper Deck Garden comes into its own later in May with Hosta nigrescens, pulmonaria, Spanish bluebells, and variegated Solomon’s seal, all echoing the blue and silver garden under the Kentucky coffee tree across the path.  ‘Butterfly’ has assumed its main season color of green and white but will turn pink again in the fall.  5/6/2011

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The Kentucky Coffee Tree Garden across from the deck is filled with silver and blue plants, including ‘Ghost’ fern, ‘Bunny Blue’ sedge, ‘El Nino’ hosta, white bigroot geranium, variegated Japanese kerria, and ‘Jack Frost’ and ‘Dawson’s White’ brunnera.  5/27/2012

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Sugar maples, behind the Kentucky coffee tree on the left and the two giant black walnuts center and right, light up the woodland in fall.  For scale the ‘Butterfly’ Japanese maple is on the far right.  10/27/2010

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Moving up the hill, ‘Eye Declare’ hosta steals the show when it emerges in the Sycamore Garden in mid-spring (for orientation, you can see the Blue and Silver Garden in the top right of the photo).  The trees are actually London plane trees but the garden’s name stuck.  5/8/2011

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In early summer, native Indian pinks (spigelia) fill the Sycamore Garden and hummingbirds vsit from miles around.  6/7/2019

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Above the Sycamore Garden, behind the carriage house, is Hosta Hill, filled with hostas of all sizes plus epimediums, ferns, and hellebores.  5/26/2019

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I have a special place in my heart for our Mini Hosta Rock Garden, featuring mini hostas in a multitude of colors and sizes plus a wide assortment of dwarf plants, including ferns, irises, epimediums, conifers, lady’s mantles, and sedums, among others.  6/9/2015

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The garden is never without flowers unless deep snow covers the snowdrops, which start blooming in mid-October and finish in late March.  12/10/2013

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Michael and I rest in deep winter waiting for the cycle to begin again as soon as the snow melts.  2/21/2014

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Although it may seem like winter-, spring-, and early summer-blooming plants predominate, our garden is beautiful in late summer and fall too—I just don’t photograph it then.  I enjoyed writing this post and seeing our garden develop and change over the 10 years that these photographs were taken.  I hope you enjoyed the tour too.

Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name, location, and cell number (for back up contact use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.  Please indicate if you will be shopping at the nursery or are interested in mail order snowdrops only.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a very active Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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Our Woodland is Glorious

Posted in bulbs for shade, landscape design, my garden, native plants with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 4, 2018 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

 A native white redbud underplanted with natives Virginia bluebells, May apples, and golden groundsel.

This is one of my favorites times of the year: our woodland is at its peak and epimediums and emerging hostas fill our side hill.  The almost 90 degree weather is moving the plants along quickly, but the native plants in our woodland are glorious right now, and I wanted to capture it on film. 

Nursery News:  Appointments are still available for our primrose and hosta event this Saturday, May 5,  from 9 am to 4 pm on the hour and half hour.  To schedule an appointment, email your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice of times to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com, and I will confirm.  The 2018 Mini Hosta Catalogue is on our website here, and we are taking orders for mail order and pick up at the nursery. Our third open house sale featuring hostas, mini hostas, hardy geraniums, ferns, and later-blooming shade plants is Saturday, May 19,  from 10 am to 3 pm, rain or shine, cash or check only, directions here.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and cell number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

 

Native Celandine poppies under white redbuds.

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Pine needle paths thread through our woods.

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Native Virginia bluebells and Celandine poppies under a ‘Waterfall’ Japanese maple.

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Native mayapples grow through ‘Alba Plena’ European wood anemone.

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European wood anemones, like ‘Leed’s Variety’, fill in among the native plants in our woods.

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‘Leed’s Variety’ European wood anemone

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Pale yellow European wood anemone, Anemone x seemanii.

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Some of my favorite native plants make a cameo appearance right now: Tennessee form bloodroot.

.‘Multiplex’ double bloodroot blooms for a much longer period than the single flowered forms.

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I let native Dutchman’s breeches seed around wherever it wants to go from our natural woodland to our formal hellebore beds.

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Pulmonarias are another plant that I allow to roam at will in the garden.  Their seedlings take many beautiful forms.

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‘Jack Frost’ perennial-forget-me-not or brunnera has strikingly beautiful true blue flowers and silver-frosted leaves.  Many of its seedings also display silver leaves, and it does very well in the dry shade of our woods.

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Another plant that does well in dry shade is Japanese woodland primrose.  It goes dormant when it gets hot out so doesn’t care about our dry summers.

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Cowslip primroses are also not picky and grow at the edge of our woods in average soil.

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‘Old Brick Reds’ primrose with white bleeding-hearts and native Celandine poppy.

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Grecian windflower is a startling shade of blue and seeds through our woods.

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Delicate rue anemone prefers to grow in the rocks along our woodland paths.

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The extreme heat has forced our amazing ‘Black Tulip’ magnolia to the end of its bloom period.  However, there are a lot of wonderful plants coming into their own right now.

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If you are local, I hope you can stop by tomorrow, Saturday, May 5, by appointment to shop and see our gardens, especially the woodland, in person.  Just send an email requesting an appointment with some convenient times.

Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name, location, and phone number to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.  Please indicate if you will be shopping at the nursery or are mail order only.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Primroses That Live

Posted in Shade Gardening, Shade Perennials with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

Primula 'Belarina Nectarine'‘Belarina Nectarine’ double primrose

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This weekend Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is holding its second open house sale of the season, and one of the featured plants is primroses.  Primroses are a hard sell to gardeners because, as my customers always tell me, they’ve tried primroses and they don’t come back.  I usually begin my defense of the hardiness of primroses by asking if they bought the brightly colored varieties often sold in supermarkets and other big box type stores in early spring.  We have all done it, who can resist?  Unfortunately, those primroses are not suited to our climate and really shouldn’t be marketed as perennials.  There are, however, many lovely primroses that come back every year.  Here are just a few:

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Primula verisCowslip primroses are very easily grown in part shade and average soil without supplemental watering.  They produce a 6 to 12″ stem topped by nodding, fragrant, lemon-yellow flowers in midspring.

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Ipheion uniflorum, Primula veris, Brunnera macrophylla at Carolyn's Shade GardensCowslip primrose, Primula veris, with spring starflower and perennial forget-me-not.

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Primula x polyantha 'Old Brick Reds', Corydalis cheilanthifloia at Carolyn's Shade GardensEnglish primrose ‘Old Brick Reds’, P. x polyantha, is very easy to grow in average soil and part shade, multiplying rapidly.  The scarlet red flowers with a yellow eye can appear as early as the end of March and last into May.  The rosette of wintergreen leaves is bright green. ‘Old Brick Reds’ is a 17th century heirloom primrose given to me by one of my classmates at the Barnes Arboretum.  Paired here with fern-leafed corydalis, C. cheilanthifolia.

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Primula kisoanaPrimula kisoana is so rare that it does not appear to have a common name, but that doesn’t mean it is hard to grow.  It spreads by underground runners to form patches of velvety, unusually shaped leaves topped by many bright pink flowers in April and May.  It doesn’t mind dry soil and has creeped out of the amended beds where I planted it to colonize the edges of the rocks along my woodland path.

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Primula kisoana 'Alba'Even rarer is the white-flowered form, P. kisoana ‘Alba’.

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Primula japonicaJapanese primroses, P. japonica, come in many different shades from pure white to dark magenta held on 20″ stems and set off beautifully by their 10″ long bright green leaves.  The flowers are candelabra form which means that they bloom successively in tiers one over the other for a long period of time in May and June.  They are very easy to grow and self-sow readily as long as you plant them in a moist or wet area.  They will grow in average soil but will die as soon as you have a drought.  I am not sure where I got this photo or I would give proper credit.

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Primula sieboldiiOne of the many forms of Japanese woodland primroses, P. sieboldii, that I have collected over the years.

Japanese woodland primroses (not to be confused with the Japanese primroses described above) are a wonderful addition to the garden because they grow in full dry shade but also thrive in average or even moist soil.  They are from Asia and have been cultivated in Japan since the 16th century but are rare in the US.  Reportedly over 500 cultivars have been named, and I see how they can become addictive because I keep adding new forms to my garden.  They bloom in April and May in colors from white to pink to purple and everything in between.  The crinkly green leaves form large patches and effectively block weeds even though they go dormant when it gets hot out.

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Primula sieboldiiThe flowers of Japanese woodland primrose often have a different color “reverse” (back), here white with lavender pink.

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Primula sieboldiiThey also can have filigreed edges kind of like a doily for a lovely dainty effect.

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Primula sieboldii 'Snowflake'The earliest to bloom in my garden is pure white ‘Snowflake’.

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Primula sieboldiiThis is the straight species and is one of my favorites.  Local readers should make an effort to see Japanese woodland primrose blooming in my garden because the photos don’t do justice to their beauty.  They are located under the tree below the birdhouse.

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Primula 'Belarina Valentine'‘Belarina Valentine’ double primrose

Even though they look delicate, the Belarina Series of double primroses has proven to be reliably perennial in my garden.  They bloom in late April and May, and the leaves are just emerging right now.  I have sited them in an east-facing location between stepping stones under a Japanese maple.  The soil probably does not dry out because of the stones and the heavy mulch of leaves and pine needles.  If you are looking for a colorful primrose like the non-hardy grocery store varieties, these showy double primroses are just what you want.

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Primula 'Belarina Pink Ice'‘Belarina Pink Ice’ double primrose

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Primula 'Belarina Cobalt Blue'‘Belarina Cobalt Blue’ double primrose

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Primula 'Belarina Nectarine'‘Belarina Nectarine’ double primrose

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Many of these primroses will be available at the open house sale at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens this Saturday, April 13, from 10 am to 3 pm.  The rest will be for sale as they come up because I grow most of them myself.  Readers who are not local now know which reliably perennial primroses to ask for at their local nursery.

Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US, zone 6b.  The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings:  Our open house sale featuring early spring-blooming shade plants takes place this Saturday, April 13, from 10 am to 3 pm.  If you are a customer, you should have gotten an email with all the details. If you can’t come to an event, just email to schedule an appointment to shop.  Coming up next is our Great Hosta Blowout where we sell desirable hostas at bargain prices—look for an email.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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