The primrose is one of those archetypal British wildflowers that always causes us a little flutter when we see them but many of the garden varieties are so garish that our natural inclination to enjoy them is promptly punctured. Varieties in the Kennedy Irish Primroses series are different, adding new colours and styles and colour combinations but retaining the natural charm of the wild form.
Developed in Ireland, where there’s a long tradition of growing fine primroses, raiser Joe Kennedy began his work in County Carlow and continues in County Antrim. The latest on the scene, new in the 2014 RHS Plant Finder, is Avondale (‘K29’) which is the tenth in the series.
Each flower is soft pink with a neat ochre and yellow eye and slender streak of white running through each lobe of the flower. It’s prolific and charming and lovely in a woodland tapestry with other spring flowers – and other Kennedy Irish Primroses.
As with the earlier varieties in the series, Avondale is hardy outside all across the British Isles - it will take - 25ºC (77ºF) - not like those gaudy types which fade away over the winter. It’s also tolerant of wet, snow and (once established) dry summers.
Find out more about the Kennedy Irish Primroses, plus you can take a look at the FitzGerald Nurseries blog on the Kennedy Irish Primrose Collection. They even have their own Facebook page. Also, I wrote about some of the earlier Kennedy Irish Primroses on the RHS New Plants blog a couple of years ago.
You can order plants of Avondale from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries, and also order a collection of other Kennedy Irish Primroses.
** Please note the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author and are not necessarily those of the RHS **