Review of June’s rainbow

Looking back to the post reviewing March, where I was describing the work being done making a rainbow in the bog garden, click here, I thought I had better tell you how the planting was getting on in this review of June.  This is how the border looked in March.

Bog garden


This is how it looks now from the right hand end, plants have grown so much with all the rain that we have been having over the past month and all the primulas that I planted in March have grown really well and are now flowering,  more than I deserved really when I think how neglected they were during the winter.

E. palustris

Euphorbia palustris was moved and split into two, it seems very happy indeed in its new home behind the carving.


The first primula to flower in this border after March is Guinivere, a lovely pale pink with deep burgundy leaves, really delightful plant.

P. Postford white

Next to flower is Primula japonica Postford White, this has now grown into a lovely sized plant, almost finished flowering now just as some of the others are getting going.

P. alpicola violacea

P.alpicola violacea is one that came back from Scotland with me and has grown much taller than I expected, gorgeous perfume to this one.

Candelabra primulas

These candelabra primulas have flowered in three shades of mauve, are these beesiana? which look rather nice together, however as this is supposed to be a rainbow, why are they in the orange section!? More moving to do!


Primula pulverulenta will have to be moved too, it has come in the yellow section. This one is a really bright magenta with a dark centre.

P. alpicola alba

Primula alpicola alba, like its cousin violacea, has the sweetest scent. But tell me, where does one plant white in a rainbow!

Candelabra primula

Another mauve candelabra, this time at the correct end of the rainbow, but it has the wrong coloured companions!

Candelabra primula.

This one is in the wrong place, but it does look nice with its mauve companion, what do I do?

Candelabra Primulas

A peach coloured candelabra has joined in with the others, I think together they look lovely.

Candelabra primulas

Please tell me what you think, do I move them or can I call it a rainbow border with the colours all jumbled up!?

P. aurantiaca

This lovely primula has buds which are red, then they open up orange. Primula aurantiaca is quite small compared to the others, or mine is anyway.

P. Copper Tones

I first met this one when we were staying at the Aigas Field Centre in Scotland last year. It was in the garden of Aigas and Lady Lister-Kaye couldn’t remember its name but after trawling the internet I found this one, Primula florindae Copper Tones, at Peninsula Nurseries in Ireland, which I think is similar if not the same. Lovely flower, copper coloured outside but cream inside.


The shape of Primula sikkimensis looks so like alpicola, I wonder if they are closely related, they both have their flowers clustered at the top of the stem.


Inverewe, the only ones not flowering this year. These were bought from a nursery on Dartmoor last year and they have grown quite a lot, so hopefully they will be making lots of roots to form super plants that will flower next year. When they do flower they will be a reddish orange. Hope they like paddling!


Day lilies to be moved, they certainly don’t need special boggy soil. I can either move them elsewhere or pot them up for selling at next year’s plant sale at church. There are 2 large clumps so when moved that will leave a lot more room for loads more primulas!

P. Seeds

Space needed for these, lots more primulas grown from last years seed!!

Astilbe buds

Astilbes will be the next group of flowers to open, they are almost there now, not long to wait.

R. pinnata Superba

Rodgersia pinnata Superba now has green leaves, changed from bronze just a week ago, and is joining in with the primula flowers.

Myosotis scorpiodes

The water forget me not, myosotis scorpiodes, agrees that this border has plenty of water in it and seems very happy.

Rainbow border

The plus side to all the rain that we have been having is that the primulas are all really happy and the leaves of the foliage plants are much larger than normal, some look quite amazing. But hang on, what’s this, not rain but sunshine, unfortunately it didn’t last long!!


My intention when I first started planting these primulas and other plants was to have my rainbow all neatly coloured, section by section. However, seeing what nature has done, I started thinking that maybe I could have my border all the colours of the rainbow, but not in any certain order, maybe they could be like the deliberate mistake in a Persian carpet, what do you think?


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22 Responses to Review of June’s rainbow

  1. wellywoman says:

    I like the planting to be a bit jumbled. Nature tends to do it that way anyway. The difference between March and June is incredible. I love those sorts of photos because sometimes when the garden is so full it can be hard to remember what it looks like before all the growth gets under way. Before and after photos like yours make me appreciate the moment. I love your sculpture. It’s stunning.

    • Pauline says:

      So glad you like the colours mixed WW, that is the way I am thinking. I think special varieties should be separate, like Inverewe, alpicola or Coppertones, but the ones that come in a multitude of colours from seed can stay mixed up as they look so pretty together.Thanks for the comment on the carving, those were the days, when my muscles could carve something that size!

  2. Yep – call it the persian carpet rainbow, love them all mixed up as the contrasting colours give a real zing.
    How well the border has come on since March.
    Where did you get that bit of sunshine from?

    • Pauline says:

      Karen, goodness knows where that bit of sunshine came from, usually all photos lately have been of dripping plants! The plants have certainly grown since March, all thanks to lots of lovely rain!! So glad you like the colours mixed too!

  3. You have quite an amazing collection of primulas Pauline. I would leave the random colors and go with a persian carpet rather than an organized rainbow. I try to be clever with my plant placements, but sometimes nature knows best and I find myself most pleased with sections of the garden where the plants chose their own spots to set up shop.

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Jennifer, I agree, nature knows best, so I will leave the primulas where they are as they look so nice together. I love the primula family, there are so many different ones suiting different situations and in so many colours, they just lend themselves to a rainbow!

  4. Kate says:

    I am very impressed by the way that border has filled out – it is absolutely gorgeous. I’d given up on candelabra primulas (bizarrely, they don’t seem to do well with me), but there’s nothing for it – I’m going to have to have another go. Those are all beautiful. Beautiful…

    • Pauline says:

      Kate, I think all the rain has helped everything to grow so much, there has to be a plus side to all this wet weather! Hopefully next year, when all the seedlings are flowering too, it will be even better. Hope you have another go with them and are successful this time.

  5. Christina says:

    All that rain has certainly helped all the plants to settle and thrive. I think I would be flexible and make the border with all the rainbow colours but mixed. Maybe you should just move the lovely white one, not part of the rainbow unless you planted masses at the front and thought of it as what happens when all the colours mix! Christina

    • Pauline says:

      So far, Christina, everyone is in agreement that the colours should stay mixed, thank goodness! I could maybe move the white one round the corner, where it is still semi- shaded and reasonably moist, have lots of white seedlings coming on so will need a home for them too !

  6. Your rainbow, your choice. I find the regimented military style a bit municipal park. Your own interpretation of a rainbow – would have the WOW factor.

    • Pauline says:

      Seems like everyone’s in agreement Diana and I feel it would have a much more natural look about it, which would go much better with the rest of the garden.

  7. your border is looking very pretty Pauline, I’m not commenting on how they should be aranged, like Diana says your rainbow your choice, you get glimpses of sun we get glimpses of rain, sometimes the sun is hiding behind white clouds here, like it is now, Frances

    • Pauline says:

      I think it is going to stay the same Frances, less work for me to do that way! So glad someone is getting some sunshine with white clouds, our clouds are all grey and black!!

  8. Liz says:

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely border; I think I’d plant white next to yellow if I’m graduating the colours…

    Plenty of Primulas there, are you trying to collect various species? I’ve seen a few at westcoury nurseries – they have a shop on amazon. Some very nice ones there too. And I know my mum would love your collection 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Liz, it wasn’t a conscious decision, I’m just so glad that they will grow in my very, very, wet soil in that part of the garden. If one plant looks happy, then I will buy a few of its cousins and hope that they like it too. I’m finding that the bonus is that so many of them have such a sweet perfume, such a pleasure to weed around them. Seeds are proving to be an easy way of increasing what I have, following Carol Klein’s instructions to sow them when they are green, shouldn’t have to buy any more primula plants hopefully.

  9. Alberto says:

    The deliberate mistake is what turns a project into a masterpiece. I vote for ‘let it be’! Your primulas look gorgeous, in particular the magenta ones with the peachy orange ones, like a sunset and the copper red is fantastic. I guess I never told you the carving is a very pretty feature for that border, I think you made it, right?

    • Pauline says:

      So glad Alberto, that you agree that I should let nature take its course, the three that came up together look so pretty side by side, it would be a shame to move them. I too like the copper coloured one very much, apparently there is also a red one, must track that one down to add to the rainbow. Thank you for your kind comment about the carving, and yes, I carved it about 5 yrs ago, It represents the Creation, Genesis ch 1 v.6-10, and has the earth spinning in the universe, the hole represents heaven or the void, and the wave is God putting the water on the earth, I think He is putting it all on England and Wales at the moment!!

  10. Anna says:

    Another vote for leaving be Pauline 🙂

  11. catmint says:

    I love that photo of the euphorbia behind the sculpture. very unusual photo. And very satisfying before and after.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Catmint, I felt the photo of the euphorbia was just asking to be taken. Even more primulas are now flowering in the bog garden, lots more yellow and orange, I can see it is now going to be a very colourful part of the garden, but still with the large foliage that was there before.

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