A primrose by a river's brim,
a yellow primrose was to him,
and it was nothing more. (William Wordsworth, 1888)
The wild primrose is the earliest Primula to flower in the garden. It is best grown in a situation where there is no competition from vigorous perennial weeds. In a natural setting they grow well at the base of hedgerows because the main growing season for the primrose period coincides with the dormant season of hedgerow shrubs and trees such as hawthorn. When the canopy of woody vegetation returns in late spring the wild primrose goes into a dormant phase surviving through the summer as a perennial rhizome. Primroses can be very useful garden plants as they will often grow where other plants struggle – odd vacant spaces, underneath the canopy of ornamental deciduous shrubs and even in borders where other cultivated plants cannot overgrow their space. When happy a group of 10 primroses will establish and self seed to extend the grouping, in time making a wonderful display each winter / spring. Dappled cool conditions are best and even heavy soils are acceptable providing they are not waterlogged.