Old fashioned Primulas-E. S. Rodhe

Old fashioned Primula
As early as January the first primroses shine forth in 
their ethereal loveliness, but they never attain their full 
beauty till April sun and showers have developed their 
soft beautiful leaves. Woodland primroses are such shy 
flowers that they never look quite at their ease in gardens 
except in a wild part or on a bank. What is the colour of 
the primrose ? There is an exceeding softness and delicacy 
about the flowers, enhanced by the down of their 
stalks and the faint green of the under surfaces of their 
leaves. About them is the mystery and purity of the far 
expanses of the gardens of space. In the pure light of 
their petals they seem to reflect the luminous majesty of 
the flowers in the starry meadows of the Pleiades. How 
curiously arresting is the pale yet vivid green eye of the 
primrose with its circle of orange. Violets' eyes are full 
of dreams, aconites' of demure laughter, wood anemones' 
of fairy secrets, but in the delicate sensitive eye of the 
primrose there is something of almost human appeal. It 
is sweet and grave and child-like, thoughtful without a 
trace of sadness. Beyond all this is the elusive other- 
world expression which always baffles us. We may look 
at them, but their eyes never meet ours. The first 
ambassadors of spring in the woodlands bring with them 
a nameless quality from worlds infinitely remote and 
beyond our ken. Their secret is held in their faint 
ethereal perfume, so delicate that one never tires of it, 
so fresh that no other scent can be compared to its un- 
earthly purity. They are redolent of the paths of the 
angels. Primroses shine with a sudden gladness lacking 
in flowers far more brilliant in hue. But their light does 
not seem to be of this earth, and memories of them haunt 
us even when the merry bluebells carpet the greenwood.