Papaver Orientale Miss Piggy is in bud! I bought this plant last spring and was impressed with the size and quality of the product I received. (Not like some companies where you get something tiny and wizened in a little pot or -worse- those little micro-propagated plugs which can be disappointing and, at best, very fiddly to handle!) She will be a big (25cm diameter!) white fluffy flower, with ruffled edges and a black centre. Just like a certain character's feather boa - I can't wait!!
Clearly I have to admit to being a sucker for a bit of temptation and Gardener's World did a feature the other week on Auriculas.
To be honest this is not a fad for me, as I already have a collection of these gorgeous alpines - but I did take it as another opportunity to be inspired and go off and buy some more varieties! I got these:
Bran, Starling & Country Park Red (pictures courtesy of Drointon Nurseries)
What no one mentioned on Gardener's World was THE SCENT by Jove! Fantastic little jewel-like flowers - gently dusted with fine powder-down - with a tempting array of colours and the ability to encourage obsession and attempts at breeding.... yes... but they also have an over-poweringly beautiful perfume!!!
I've been sleeping with a little yellow one by my bed since February - (not that Auriculas relish those kind of conditions, mind). I've put him back outside now but there is nothing else like being wafted to sleep by Auricula perfume!
I bought my plants from this Yorkshire nursery whom I highly recommend: www.auricula-plants.co.uk