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…
First up, our special guest, Primula auricula Loudhailer, grown by Drointon Nurseries 2017
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.
Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard – The Auricula Suite