Whether we’re at the doctor’s office for tests or at the hospital concerned about a loved one, the times we’re interacting with nurses are not always our best. Despite this, their presence seems to make everything a little bit better while helping us heal and handle situations that can be scary on our own. With compassion, empathy and a lot of long hours, nurses are the human hands that hold our health and wellness paramount to anything else they might do all day. Putting a beautiful pot of primroses in those hands is the perfect way to express gratitude for all they do on National Nurse’s Day this May.
Primroses, identified by the Latin name, Primula, are native to Europe and sold as small, potted plants similar in size to an African violet. Broad flat leaves are arranged in a rosette, from which a large cluster of flowers emerges. The individual flowers are delicately scented and about 1 inch across. Many have a white or bright yellow center, while the outer petal can be a deep red, bright purple, true pink or rich, buttery gold. The blooms can last for several weeks and look amazing in a terra-cotta pot lined with sphagnum moss and ribbon. The evergreen leaves are a lush shade of green and are actually edible, with a look and flavor similar to lettuce.
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In the language of flowers, primrose are said to convey the message “I can’t live without you,” which can be interpreted quite literally in the case of nurses, whose quick actions and careful considerations save lives every day. Additionally, it is said to symbolize unappreciated merit, which won’t feel unappreciated for long with these beautiful blooms and a kind card from you.
As perennials, primrose will make an excellent houseplant in a window with indirect light and will bloom again each spring given care and a bit of fertilizer. Additionally, though small, primrose are quite hardy and will grow well planted outside in a garden even in colder climates. Considered a staple in “cottage garden,” they look great planted next to hollyhock and foxglove and prefer well draining soil and full to partial shade. One of the first flowers to bloom each spring, these small but splendid plants are surprisingly easy to care for. They are the perfect plant for someone who spends their time caring for others.