Forget about fake news, it’s seemingly fake flowers that have my attention. Actually, these flowers are not fake, but they are so incredibly colorful and beautiful that they cause passersby to gawk in amazement. I’m talking about primulas.It only took about 72 hours of temperatures in the 20s, and I was begging for mercy from the cold. Just like magic, there they were, in a grocery store of all places, shouting to me, offering the respite I needed during the arctic blast.I do not understand why every florist, flower shop and garden center doesn’t have a truck full of a half-dozen or more varieties for us to buy. There is no better cure for the winter doldrums than having primulas in your sunroom, patio or deck, if your region allows.“Primula” comes from the Latin word meaning “first of spring” which, to be honest, really paints this plant’s picture. There are about 400 species of primulas, and most are alpine perennials with short rhizomes. I have always lived in the hot South and treasured them in containers. You may be able to enjoy yours in a morning-sun, afternoon-shade area of your landscape. These are not lantanas that will bloom until fall, but they will give you 12 to 14 weeks of unimaginable color that no other plant can match, and at an otherwise bleak time of the year. Please, if you see primulas at a garden center or flower shop looking like they are waiting for adoption, give them a try. I promise you will never go without them again, unless, of course, you can’t find them.I love their brightly colored flowers clustered together. Some of the mixes are so pretty, an artist’s palette would be jealous. They also excel in mixed containers when grown with pansies, daffodils, mustard or kale. Choose a good, light, well-drained mix for your container, and then plant at the same depth as they grew in the original pot. Look for plants with healthy foliage that fill up their container.I am partial to the Primula acaulis varieties, like the ‘Orion Mix,’ and the staggering beauty of the bicolored selections in the ‘Danova’ series. These are fairly short plants with short flower stalks, but they have colors that are so bold, you will feel like a kid opening up a new box of crayons.The next tallest group of primulas comes from another species or group, the Primula obconica hybrids. These plants can reach 12 to 18 inches in height, producing taller flower stalks. The colors are very pretty, though not as bold, but looking like fine depression glass. The ‘Libre Mix’ and ‘Juno Mix’ series are the most popular in this group. The Primula malacoides has taller stalks, but airy clusters of slightly smaller flowers and looks like Grandma’s cottage garden.When you get your plants, keep them moist and fed with a dilute, water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer with micronutrients. Avoid overhead watering to lessen fungal diseases. I use a small watering can with a tiny spout that allows me to pinpoint where the water goes. Be sure to keep old flowers removed for a tidy appearance and increased flower productivity. Pots of flowers with riveting color until spring are well worth it to me.Follow me on Twitter: @CGBGgardenguru.
The transformer station of the Windpark Fryslân nearshore wind project has started taking shape at Breezanddijk in the Netherlands. Source: Windpark Fryslân Once operational, Windpark Fryslân will become the largest wind farm in the world situated in inland water. According to the project developer, work is being done on the 382.7 MW wind farm despite the coronavirus situation. Located south of the Afsluitdijk and some six kilometers off the Frisian coast, Windpark Fryslân will comprise 89 4.3MW Siemens Gamesa turbines scheduled to be commissioned in 2021. The nearshore wind farm is being built by Zuiderzeewind, a consortium of Van Oord and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy.
By Scott OwenSHAWANO, Wis. (May 10) – Jerry Wilinski, Kyle Frederick and Tracy Wassenberg were winners of IMCA feature events Saturday at Shawano Speedway.Pole sitter Matt Oreskovich took the lead at the start of the IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified feature. Wilinski had moved from his seventh place starting position up to second by lap three and put a pass on Oreskovich for the lead on lap six. Oreskovich continued to pressure Wilinski and took the lead back on lap nine. Wilinski battled right back though on the following lap and regained the point. He was able to fend off Oreskovich for the win, while Jerry Muenster prevailed over son Eddie for third.The IMCA Sunoco Stock Car feature proved to be a real barnburner as Frederick worked his way up from 10th starting.He took the lead by a nose on lap 15 but Travis VanStraten took the spot the next time around. Frederick then used the outside line in corner four to take the lead back from VanStraten on the following lap and was able to hang on for the win. Jason Jach started on the pole of the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature and grabbed the early lead. Jordan Barkholtz took the lead on lap five from Jach, who raced back to the top spot on the next lap and looked like he had the car to beat. On lap 14, though, Wassenberg got to the rear bumper of Jach and began to pressure the leader. On lap 16, Wassenberg pulled even with Jach coming out of turn four. Heading into turn one on the next lap, Jach’s car shot out flames from underneath and his night was over. Wassenberg cruised to the victory.