What a wackadoodle spring it's been. First, spring comes early, then winter returns, then it's summer, and now I'm sitting here wrapped up in a blanket in my flannel jammies, wearing my Uggs fringed moccasins to keep warm. I don't know what month it is behaving like, but it is not May.
But it is May. I know, because the peonies are blooming. I've got three types here at Our Little Acre: tree peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa), herbaceous peonies (Paeonia lactiflora), and intersectional (Itoh) peonies, which are a cross between a tree peony and an herbaceous peony. I used to also have a fernleaf peony (Paeonia ternifolia), but it disappeared one year and has never returned. I loved it and if I ever find another one, I'll buy it again.
The tree peonies are always the first to bloom, followed by the herbaceous and then finally, the intersectionals. (The fernleaf peony, when I had it, bloomed before the tree peonies.)
|The buds on the tree peonies are bulbous and larger than those of the |
herbaceous peonies. Some of my buds were as large as a racquetball.
Herbaceous peonies are known for their beautiful fragrance - traditional rose-like in nature - but tree peonies not so much. Many people think those stink. But it depends! Of all my tree peonies, only a couple of them have stinky smells. The others have a nice fragrance to them including my largest one, this pink variety that I purchased in 2005 at the Cleveland Flower Show.
|This was sold to me as Paeonia suffruticosa 'Sahohime', but it lacks|
that cultivar's dark red eye zone.
|Paeonia suffruticosa 'Kamatanishiki' really is lavender.|
I've purchased the 'Shimanishiki' tree peony twice, but both times, the bloom made it obvious that isn't what I got. I'll keep trying. Maybe the third time is a charm? I think I need to buy it when it's in bloom.
I had so many blooms this year that I cut several to bring in the house and put them in this silver bowl. These are from three different tree peonies, but most of them are from the not-Sahohime.
Tree peony blooms always look to me like they're made of crepe paper.
In a Vase on Monday is hosted by Rambling In the Garden. Go there to see more beautiful cut flowers and plants!