Prim Rose Not Rose

These photos are more from the set I took on my birthday. Check out the earlier primrose posts: Primula Birthday and Prim? Not. Also from the same shoot, a spectacular Guzmania hybrid flower: Big Rock Candy Mountains.

Check out my Primula set on Flickr.

There are many things I like about photographing primroses (and these primrose photos, if I say so myself). The action is very close, extreme macro, so what you see is unexpected: unless you’ve studied a primula carefully close-up.

The colors are wild. Gardeners who think of themselves as true keepers of the primula flame regard these hybrids as garish. The original primrose plants were modest, shy, understated things: not what you see here.

While I was photographing these primroses at Berkeley Hort, I got into a conversation with another gardener. She was kind of prim herself, “of a certain age” (as they say), with long, stringy gray hair and metal-rimmed glasses. She spoke with a clipped, New England accent (however improbable such a thing may be in Berkeley).

She told me how she hated these colorful, wild, artificially engineered flowers: “I prefer my primroses simple and plain, the way they are in the wild, the way they are meant to be. Not these garish colors.”

The colors may be wild and “garish,” but the textures–the way petals fold into one another like Navajo blankets–are unexpected and sometimes subtle.


Primula 6

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Primula 9

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Primula 5

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Primula 7

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This entry was posted in Flowers, Photography.

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