Did you know…
Did you know that Primulas in Elizabethan times were known as Auriculas? They are super cold-hardy plants resulting from the love affair between Primula
auricula and Primula hirsuta. Their English popularity was due to Huguenot refugees who brought them with them from France. Striped and double auriculas
were grown in 17thcentury gardens.(Heritage Gardening by Dr Judyth McLeod). In England they were so rare that many large estates set up an
auricula theatre with a deadest stage, a curtain and seating! A flowering plant was brought from behind the curtain and placed on a structure for the
audience to admire and applaud. The specimen was then taken away and a new one placed in front of the audience to great applause. At the end of the
show the audience was invited to the wall to view the plants at close range. There are many of these theatres still existing in old gardens.(Keith McLeod).
There is always an Auricula Theatre at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Text: Linda Ross