Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Peonies 2017

To buy peonies, or not to buy peonies, that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to just say no?!?  Can I even say no? 

I wasn't, I swear, going to buy any more peonies this year. 

I can debate WANT versus NEED in my head, until my head explodes, but when it comes to peonies, I clearly can't help myself, and why should I anyway?

But as far as addictions go, peonies are a pretty safe one. They don't lock you up for it at least.
Paeonia ostii 'Feng Dan Bai' (Phoenix White) from 2011
Paeonia 'Yachiyo Tsubaki 八千代椿' (Eternal Camellias Tree Peony) in bud from 2015
Paeonia 'Kokuryu Nishiki 黑竜錦' (Black Dragon Brocade Tree Peony) from 2015
Paeonia 'Black Panther 黑豹' (Black Panther Tree Peony) from 2011 with nearly 30 flowers
Much like "45", what comes out of my mouth, is clearly NOT what I will end up doing. So when I babble alternative facts about not getting any more peonies, just nod your head and say "Yeah, right", under your breath. You can't believe a word I say!

As is annually prescribed, Alan and Anita and I went to Adleman Peony Gardens opening weekend this year April 29th. It was interesting in that almost none of the plants were blooming, even in the display garden, so we had to pick plants in bud. Our cold, wet spring had all the plants on a delay. The bonus, however, was getting to see all the buds open at home and be able to enjoy the first year of flowers.

I said I wouldn't get any new babies. I came home with seven. Two or three might have been what a "normal" person would have come home with. Oops!

I've always wanted one of the really dark chocolate red peonies and finally came home with 'Buckeye Belle'.  Also coming home with me this year were more lactiflora type peonies: 'Belleville', 'Fairy Princess', 'Paula Fay', 'Pink Teacup', 'Salmon Dream', and 'Stellar Charm'. I tried to mix up the colors a bit.

In order to incorporate these new plants, and after some debate, an extension on an existing flower bed had to be made. The little flower bed with Cercis canadensis 'Merlot' was too small anyway, so the enlarged bed turned out great.

I was lucky enough to "persuade" (con) Alan of the Mardi Gras Gardener into grabbing a shovel and helping dig grass, while I bashed clumps of sod to get the dirt off. 

The new extension looks a much more appropriate size with the tree now as the focal point and it balances the yard out and gives that side of the garden more paths of grass. See how easily I can justify this in my brain?

Some of the existing plants that were cramscaped into the original bed got moved out into the new space. I did need to buy a few plants that bloom all summer to fill in the spaces after the peonies are no longer showy.

The before - The tiny bed with Cercis canadensis 'Merlot'
The "help" resting.
The after.

This post has pics of some new and some old peonies. There are still so many to open.

New for 2017 - 'Stellar Charm'
New for 2017 - 'Paula Fay'
New for 2017 - 'Salmon Dream' opening

'Rivida' from 2012
Noid peony - I call it 'Fried Eggs' from 2006
Itoh 'Lemon Dream' from 2016

Itoh 'First Arrival' from 2016
Paeonia 'Chojuraku 长寿乐' (Pleasure of Longevity Tree Peony) and Spider friend.

Happy peony-ing!