‘There were two rows of auriculas by the path, very velvety and rich…’

“There were two rows of auriculas by the path, very velvety and rich.” Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Last week I was given seven auriculas. They ranged in colour from cream through the softest green to burgundy and black, with a slash of the fiercest french blue thrown in.

They came with instructions. They don’t like being watered from above. (How did they survive in the wild with vertical rain?)

They like shade. (My whole garden is a north-facing Australian garden)

Snails love them. (I failed with hostas because my garden BREEDS snails)

But for many years, ever since I saw an auricula in a botanical illustration, I’ve been fascinated by them.

And then I saw them in tapestries and stitching and became even more obsessed.

And so I potted them up and placed them in a theatre, which is how they are often displayed (tiered platforms on a black background). 

My theatre was a wooden outdoor table, against a cream wall. Oh well.

They wilted. Looked unhappy. The flowers lasted a week (is that normal?)

So today I moved them to a shady spot, at the backside of a clipped box ball. They will be watered from a sideways squirt of the watering system. And I have scattered snail bait all across the top of the three tubs. I’m not expecting them to survive.

Perhaps it’d be better if I learned how to stitch them in stumpwork, like these from Windflower Embroideries.