The Scent of Peonies in Rain…

June 6th, 2012 § Comments Off on The Scent of Peonies in Rain… § permalink

The Last of the Golden Tree Peony Blossoms Add Glorious Warmth and Fragrance to the Secret Garden on a Rainy Day (Paeonia moutan x lutea ‘High Noon’, and at Her Feet: Euphorbia cyparissias ‘Fen’s Ruby’, Heuchera ‘Stormy Seas’, Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’.

Peonies. As a gardener, I confess that they are my great weakness. When designing gardens, I tend to focus on the big picture: structure, plant form, foliage shapes, color relationships and textures. Flowers are wonderful of course, but in terms of garden design, I think of them as movie stars with scenes on a stage.

Yes, the movie stars come and go. And then, there’s the peony. A true bombshell; dramatic, feminine, voluptuous and heady with perfume…

But Paeonia lactiflora ‘Raspberry Sundae”? Oh, I Can Never Bear to Leave a Single Blossom Dragging in the Damp Earth. I Am Greedy for the Fragrance and Must Have Them Near!

Glorious, Golden Tree Peony, Glistening with Water Droplets (Paeonia moutan x lutea ‘High Noon’) To See More Photos and Read About The Lovely ‘High Noon’ Tree Peony, Click Here.

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At Ferncliff this week: The wildflower walk and other highlights of late spring…

May 27th, 2009 § Comments Off on At Ferncliff this week: The wildflower walk and other highlights of late spring… § permalink

wildflower-walk-may-juneThe wildflower walk, very late May…

Although there is a more formal entry to my home, at this time of year I usually take the ‘wildflower’ path through the garden. This seeded walkway was not designed for utility, (there is a much wider walkway along a retaining wall), but as more of a whimsical, meandering route to the secret garden below. In early spring, the path is blooming with unusual narcissus and species tulips. Then, as the last of the double daffodils fade out, the lupine begin to bloom. Closely following this show is one of my favorite informal-garden plants, the free-seeding adenophora confusa, (blue-violet lady-bells). A walkway like this may look carefree, but in reality it is not low-maintenance. In order for the lupine and adenophora to seed freely in and along this route, as they would in nature, I do not apply the same thick compost mulch used in the other garden areas. This means that weeding is a constant chore here. There is a very fine line between utter chaos and controlled, wild beauty in this garden. My mother is very good at wild-style flower gardening, and since she and my father sold their home, I have been trying to recreate the effect here at Ferncliff. Before they moved, my parents collected a bag of flower seed from their garden to pass on to mine, and although it has taken a few years, the path is beginning to fill out as planned…

lupine-close-up

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Other photos from Ferncliff this week…

tree-peony-high-noonPaeonia moutan x lutea, ‘High Noon’, an  American hybrid of the Chinese tree peony (1952)

phlox-divericata-heuchera-seedling-of-dales-strain-leucojum-aestivum-sanguinariaPhlox divaricata, Heuchera americana ‘Green Spice’, Leucojum aestevium, Sanguinaria, and Athyrium x filix-femina, ‘Lady in Red’

cimicifugaHeuchera americana ‘Caramel’, and Cimicifuga racemosa, ‘Hillside Black Beauty’

paeonia-suffriticosa-nishikiPaeonia x suffruticosa,(Chinese tree peony), ‘Black Dragon’

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Article and Photographs © Michaela at TGE

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