From 16th century Huguenot refugees, to the present day Auricula growing is a special kind of horticulture – full of tradition and history – providing the origin of the word ‘florist’. The plants need careful tending throughout the year, culminating in a theatrical display of tiny jewel flowers in spring, which are lined up on a miniature stage complete with velvet curtain. Historically the prize for the most perfect flower is a copper kettle.
Here are some of the flowers in our garden. Auriculas grown and photographed by Richard Duffy-Howard. Click on any of the pictures to enter the gallery and see the detail…
Chance, luck, diligence and hope; all in the pursuit of the perfect little jewel flowers, sometimes with a dusting of farina – sherbet scented – and historically known as Bear’s Ears (the leaves…or maybe the teddy bear ear petals…?)
“Aspects of the blooms have appealed to something deep inside human beings…sometimes something more mysterious, a proportion and form which derives from the apparently instinctive feeling that certain measures and shapes represent an aspect of our universe which is difficult to explain.”
Allan Guest: “The Auricula. History, Cultivation and Varieties” Garden Press 2009 p7.
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