It was worth the effort I had taken looking after my auriculas this year, winning first prize with the show auricula: Clouded Yellow, at this month's members show: damage the 'farina' which starts to appear as the plant starts its growth spurt in February needs to be avoided. The farina is the flour like substance with grows on the leaves as well as parts of the flowers. The plants can well survive the cold, but they hate the wet and heat, and any drop of water will mark the leaves and flowers. I got this and another type of show auricula at a talk given by Pop's Plants about five years ago, and since then have managed to propagate them. Last year I sent some to Hill Close Gardens to sell at their auricula exhibition.
As the conservatory can get warm even in deepest winter in the sun, I have had to take the plants in and out, in and out ad infinitum. As well as this plant, I got a third prize for a scented geranium, and second prizes for 10 stems of Hellebore, and a nice pot of grape Hyacinth. With the very cold season this year, I realised that none of my pot grown flowering bulbs would be ready, if I did not bring them into the conservatory, and as the grape hyacinths were the most advanced, I choose these to 'force'.