Todmorden In Bloom: The colours of spring are here

Primroses, the "first roses of spring", say Todmorden In Bloom
Primroses, the "first roses of spring", say Todmorden In Bloom

Todmorden in Bloom and flower-lovers will be happy to see our primroses, crocus and early daffodils blooming now.

Primroses are part of the large primula family and often flower from February through to May. “Primula vulgaris” is the yellow flower found growing in open woodland or under hedgerows. Polyanthas are the species with a taller stem topped by clusters of flowers.

The primrose is loved by bees and uses a clever device for pollination. This fertile arrangement ensures lots of genetic diversity. Primroses have been popular garden plants for centuries, even Elizabethan gardeners collected different varieties. Charles Darwin first presented the structural differences of primroses to the Linnean Society in 1862.

Perennial primroses deserve a place in your gardens or containers. There are an extensive range of jewel colours, they last for years and can spread steadily. Primroses cleverly extend their leaves in summer to keep out weeds and conserve moisture.

Primroses and polyanthus like cooler positions with some shade to emulate their woodland edge position in nature. They need moist, well-drained soil so avoid areas that dry out in summer sun. You can multiply your plant stock by dividing clumps into pieces with roots. Early autumn is an ideal time, but you can also do it after flowering as long as you water them well. Nursery-produced plants are often grown under cover in peaty compost but the primrose family does prefer gritty, fibrous compost to develop good roots.

lTodmorden in Bloom is grateful to Mick who helped with gardening around Fielden Wharf last week. Mick, from South Yorkshire, has spent the past three months overwintering on his canal-boat home here and thinks Todmorden folk are grand!

l The Todmorden in Bloom group always need more helpers, especially now during our busiest months ahead. For more information please phone Norman on 01706 812205 or Jean on 01706 817492 or see our websites at