Nature’s jewels in the News

Loudhailer Psychedelia at it’s most flowery!

There’s a lovely colourful feature about  specialist auricula growers and Chelsea Gold Medallists Robin and Annabel Graham of Drointon Nurseries near Ripon in the Northern Echo Magazine. You can read it below including Annabel’s top tips for growing auriculas and a piece about their lovely new cultivar Primula auricula Loudhailer.
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Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Loudhailer Home Page

Primula auricula Loudhailer

Something really unexpected has happened and we are over the moon! It all started because we are musicians with a garden full of Primula auricula flowers.  We are totally chuffed to find out that we have had a beautiful new flower named in our honour by specialist auricula growers Robin and Annabel Graham of Drointon Nurseries near Ripon.

Here it is, Primula auricula Loudhailer, a brand new cultivar of the popular alpine border flower with lovely yellow petals, a pink blush and the most beautiful delicate scent. Click on one of Rich’s photos to see the full flower and scroll through…

It’s called Loudhailer after our music name – Rich and I perform as ‘Loudhailer’ – we host Loudhailer Acoustic nights and our full psychedelic electric band Loudhailer Electric Company has just released our debut studio album, Cursus.

After growing Primula auriculas and investigating the social history behind the flowers we wrote The Auricula Suite – a set of songs telling a re-imagined story of a historical journey to a new land. Inspired by folk tales of the alpine flower and its 16th century journey to England with the Huguenot refugees, it is a tale of love and loss, persecution and a new beginning.

Auricula headerWe worked with Robin and Annabel Graham of Drointon Nurseries to present a number of concerts with Primula auricula shows and launched the songs with a concert and flower show at the National Trust’s Calke Abbey, site of the oldest auricula theatre – a traditional way of displaying the flowers – in England.

Chelsea Gold Medallists Robin and Annabel Graham of Drointon Nurseries have been growing Primula auriculas at their Ripon nursery for over 20 years and hold the national collection of border auriculas.

Robin explains

“A few years ago we germinated about 3,000 seedlings from seed collected from our National Collection® of Border auriculas. From these we selected 8 plants that we think show promise. The rest have been sent to the compost heap! So far, we have named 4 of them and ‘Loudhailer’ is the next in the series.

If you breed a new cultivar that offers something different visually you need to make sure that it has a good constitution before releasing it. So, in the case of a Border auricula, this involves planting them outside for a couple of years and checking that it is robust enough.

We have had the pleasure of working with Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard at several gigs of ‘The Auricula Suite’ over the years and so with the recent launch of their album their band name ‘Loudhailer’ was an obvious choice.”

Previously named flowers include ‘Alice’ after Alice through the Looking Glass, ‘Brunhilde’ from Wagner’s  Ring Cycle, and ‘Charlotte’ released at Malvern soon after the birth of Princess Charlotte. As is usual with a new cultivar, stocks of Primula auricula Loudhailer are limited this year and will be plentifully available from Drointon Nurseries in years to come.

It’s just amazing how this wonderful flower continues to bring people together. Having a new cultivar from Robin and Annabel named after the band is a true honour, the colour, scent and everything about it is perfect.

So, we are absolutely surprised and thrilled. Here’s a big thank you to Robin and Annabel at Drointon Nurseries. You can read the press feature here HDM feature by Hannah Robinson

The songs on our Loudhailer Electric Company album, Cursus, tell a collection of stories, some featuring spoken word poetry and many of them influenced by the East Yorkshire countryside. The album title – Cursus – refers to stories of life along the Neolithic courses which lead to the tallest standing stone in the UK, at Rudston in East Yorkshire. Inspiration for our songs include legends about the Gypsey Race stream which runs through the Wolds, the bleak North Sea – and in the final song we take you on a trip a little further out west – to Lake Windermere.

The Auricula Suite album and Cursus are available from all digital outlets including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Bandcamp and limited edition CDs are available from the band’s website – search The Auricula Suite or Loudhailer Electric Company https://loudhailer.net/

Web links

The Auricula Suite https://auriculasuite.net/

Drointon Nurseries http://www.auricula-plants.co.uk/shop/

Loudhailer Electric Company https://loudhailer.net/

George Swinford’s… Powder Puff?

Fantastic flowers…

George Swinford's Leathercoat

The Auricula Suite

Today’s selection of auriculas from the cold frame all have fabulous names. They are beautiful flowers with gorgeous scents too of course. So, here they are, under the lights this morning, Primula auricula First Light, Lazy River, George Swinford’s Leathercoat, Sirius and Powder Puff. Just click on a flower to see the full image and scroll along…

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Loudhailer Home Page

Discover The Auricula Suite

Auricula photographs © Rich Duffy-Howard

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Altogether now!

One more for today, our auriculas altogether in the cold frame, they look lovely and the scent is gorgeous…

The Auricula Suite

Rich takes gorgeous closes up photographs of most of the flowers we grow in the cold frames in the garden, but I thought it would be good to have some pictures of them altogether. So I went outside with my phone camera and here’s some of the auriculas in flower today in one of our cold frames…

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Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Loudhailer Home Page

Discover The Auricula Suite

Auricula photographs © Rich Duffy-Howard

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Flowers Like Garden Birds

More of Rich’s lovely photos from The Auricula Suite

The Auricula Suite

In the garden today it’s a pair of beautifully named flowers.  Primula auricula Eden Goldfinch and Starling, both lovely colours and reminiscent of the garden birds…

Eden Goldfinch Eden Goldfinch

Starling Starling

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Loudhailer Home Page

Discover The Auricula Suite

Auricula photographs © Rich Duffy-Howard

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Moon Fairy and Friends

Lovely flowers – from The Auricula Suite

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The Auricula Suite

The auriculas have fabulous names to suit them, here’s Rich’s lovely photos of Primula auricula Athene, Lavender Lady, Moon Fairy, Brownie and Clouded Yellow.

Click on a flower in the gallery and scroll through…

Auricula photographs © Rich Duffy-Howard

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Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Loudhailer Home Page

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It’s a Scorcher

Helen Barter is closely followed by Primula auricula Scorcher…

The Auricula Suite

We haven’t really had a scorcher of a day yet this year, but Primula auricula Scorcher makes up for that…

Scorcher Primula auricula Scorcher

Scorcher Primula auricula Scorcher

Photographs © Rich Duffy-Howard

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Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard- visit our Loudhailer Home Page

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The First Flowers

Here come the flower photographs. Primula auricula Helen Barter was always going to the first on the stage…

The Auricula Suite

Our cold frame is bursting with colour this week, and here’s the first auricula to flower. It was always going to be Primula auricula Helen Barter.

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Auricula photographs © Rich Duffy-Howard

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Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Loudhailer Home Page

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The Auricula Suite

auricula-suite-cover-2017-600pxWe are delighted that our album of songs inspired by the beautiful flowers – The Auricula Suite  –  is released on the DHM record label on March 6th 2017.

“An album of songs by an East Riding group, The Auricula Suite Ensemble, telling the story of a historical journey to a new land inspired by tales of the alpine flower – the Primula auricula – and its 16th century journey to England is now released internationally on the DHM record label. The Auricula Suite is a tale of love and loss, persecution and a new beginning, written and recorded by alternative folk musicians Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard.

Auricula gardener Rich explains, “I have a growing collection of Primula auriculas, and the idea to write the songs began when we discovered the fascinating story of how they were made popular here by the first people to be called ‘florists’, the Huguenot refugees.”

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Songwriter and composer, Lou continues, “This fascinating story still resonates today. The Huguenot people brought horticultural skills to England when they sought refuge here 500 years ago. Settlers from war torn lands are making new lives here in Hull, today. Music brings people of different cultures together, overcoming adversity and creating something new, and this is reflected in the album.”

Guitarist and vocalist, Rich and Lou invited special guests Amanda Lowe (hammer dulcimer), Quentin Budworth (hurdy gurdy) and Corey Clough-Howard (guitar on My Ancestors were French) to form the Auricula Suite Ensemble. The East Riding of Yorkshire based musicians have a rich musical history, having performed at a range of world fusion and alternative music venues and festivals throughout the UK and Europe.

The Auricula Suite featured in Rich and Lou’s ‘My Ancestors were French’ heritage project – music, art, film and poetry telling of a journey to a new land. Part of ‘All Our Stories’, in support of BBC2’s ‘The Great British Story – A People’s History’ it explored what it feels like to be a stranger in a strange land. The group performed The Auricula Suite concert at the National Trust’s Calke Abbey in Derbyshire, home of the oldest surviving Auricula Theatre in England.

Lou explained: “Since our concert at Calke Abbey in 2013 we have gathered a lot of followers in countries where the flowers are popular – Belgium, Holland, Scandinavia and as far afield as Japan, so we are delighted that the album is now available worldwide.” Hannah Robinson HDM 8.3.17

“What a fantastic evening the Auricula Suite concert is – beautiful people, music, and flowers. A room bursting with colour, love & enriched with mesmeric music…we all absolutely loved it!” Lynn Beaumont, Once Upon A Time Bears

The Auricula Suite is written and performed by Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard (guitars and vocals) with special guests Amanda Lowe (hammer dulcimer) and Quentin Budworth (hurdy gurdy) and Corey Clough-Howard (guitar on My Ancestors were French).

The Auricula Suite Ensemble

The Auricula Suite Ensemble was created by Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard especially to record and perform The Auricula Suite. The East Riding of Yorkshire based musicians have a rich musical history, having performed at a range of world fusion and alternative music venues and festivals as far afield as Japan, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.
Lou Duffy-Howard: Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Richard Duffy-Howard: Guitar
Amanda Lowe: Hammer Dulcimer, Violin
Quentin Budworth: Hurdy Gurdy, Cajon
Corey Clough-Howard: Guitar on My Ancestors were French

Words written by Louise Duffy-Howard except The Same Sky by Richard and Louise Duffy-Howard. Music composed by Louise Duffy-Howard except My Ancestors were French by Corey Clough-Howard. Recorded by Andy Newlove.

© Duffy-Howard 2013

The Auricula Suite is a Duffy-Howard Music Project, originally released April 20, 2013

Links:

The Auricula Suite https://auriculasuite.net/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuriculaGig

Twitter  https://twitter.com/The_Auricle

DHM Record Label https://loudhailer.net/dhm/

Flower like a Greenfinch

Today’s Primula auriculas – Lazy River, Sweet Pastures, Grey Hawk, Clouded Yellow, Eden Greenfinch (colors like a greenfinch), and an unknown border we found in a Rotary Club car park plant sale. The cold frame is bursting at the seams and even the names of the flowers are fabulous. Rich took these gorgeous photos. Just click on an image to see it full size, and scroll through the flowers in the gallery…

Auricula photographs © Rich Duffy-Howard

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Home Page

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