When I saw these common primroses hidden under a shrub in the gardens at Bridgemere Garden Centre yesterday, I marvelled that each petal is a heart. They looked so dainty and exquisite that I wondered if I was looking at one of the latest new cultivars.
I’d been admiring the Victorian-style, gold and silver lace primulas and some ruffled, rose-like doubles on the garden centre benches just a few minutes earlier – and, I confess, wrinkling my nose at a couple of the less dainty cultivars that are being offered this season.
Checking online, I see that every common primula (Primula vulgaris) has heart-shaped petals. How could I have forgotten in just a few months?
Human plant breeders tend to experiment along similar lines, giving us variations on a theme: a broader colour palette; different flower forms; extra petals or fancier sepals; stripes and edges; larger or smaller flowers.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m fascinated by the work breeders do. The desire to change the world is part of what makes us human. But I wonder if it would occur to any breeder to set out to turn every petal of their best-beloved flower into a heart?
I’m linking this post to Cee’s Flower Of The Day. Today she’s celebrating Peonies and Irises, two of my favourite cottage garden plants.