Local nurseries’ primroses blossomming in US and UK

A SPECIALTY variety of flower grown by a County Kilkenny nursery has been featuring in the UK and the US.

A SPECIALTY variety of flower grown by a County Kilkenny nursery has been featuring in the UK and the US.

The BBC’s Gardener’s World visited FitzGerald Nurseries recently to film a segment featuring the story behind the Kennedy Irish Primroses for Gardener’s World programme presented by Carol Klein to air this Friday.

Carol’s piece was set at FitzGerald Nurseries and in the Irish Famine Garden in Newmarket, Co Kilkenny, where FitzGerald Nurseries has donated and planted a wider range of these old Irish primroses. The programme also focuses on the native primroses in the rath (ringfort) on the family farm immediately beside the nursery where the inspiration for the general primrose conservation work had been taken.

On March 13 these hardy perennial Irish primroses were written up by Graham Rice, editor in chief of the RHS Encyclopaedia of Perennials on his RHS blog. It’s high praise coming from such a well-respected source and recognition for bringing Primula into its proper standing amongst perennials.

American TV and newspapers are also featuring Kennedy Irish Primroses. They featured on the Martha Stewart Living TV programme, where plants were included in handout gifts on the show and presented by Lloyd Traven of Peacetree Farm as a gift for Martha’s garden.

Both Drumcliff and Innisfree were planted alongside the nursery’s Carex Everest, which is now a top-selling plant in the US, outside the Irish landmark pub and steak house in Seattle, FX McRory’s.

Last Friday, Pat FitzGerald presented the Kennedy Irish Primrose story to a group at a specially organised Primrose party in Seattle and met with FX McRory’s owner Mick McHugh. Seattle Times newspaper columnist Ciscoe Morris has Featured Primula Drumcliff as one of his “buys of the week” for gardeners in Washington

Then, yesterday (Tuesday) the primroses featured as a centrepiece for a pre-show party hosted by gardening author and garden designer Rebecca Sweet during the San Francisco Garden Show week. Kennedy Irish Primroses is being featured at the garden show by Skagit Gardens of Mount Vernon, Washington.

Kennedy Irish Primroses are also being displayed by Pacific Plug and Liner and Skagit Gardens at the California Spring Trials, one of the biggest events in the US professional ornamental horticulture industry.