It’s a relatively small step from these pale yellow primroses (primula vulgaris) I found growing wild to the pink double below. Both plants are romantic in their way.
The fresh pink and cream colouring of this cultivated double gradually gives way to a faded parma violet as the flower ages. I can see how, for some, this might seem a flaw, but for me it adds an old world charm.
The individual flowers of the cultivar don’t have the perfection of some doubles, or the grace of their wilder sisters. They are ruffled, a little unruly: a side effect of so much beauty being packed in such a little space. The flowers are falling over each other in their desire to come out and be admired like the debutantes at one of Jane Austin’s high society balls. I dare say for them, a dalliance with a passing bee is the equivalent of a dance with Mr Knightley.
I’m always fascinated by the excess of double flowers but love the natural beauty of single flowers too. I’m glad plant breeders have given us so many variations on a theme so we can match our characters and moods to the plants we grow.