Tuesday, June 3, 2014

A good year for peonies! For hydrangeas not so much

Fernleaf peony

I thought this might be a good year for peonies. They’re reputed to like cold winters and those gorgeous peonies we saw in Russia certainly suggested a connection between frigid winters and spectacular peony blooms.

The peony season began with the early blooming delicate fern leaf peony followed by the most spectacular of all, the non-herbaceous peonies commonly known as tree peonies.
pink tree peony

My favorite combination is a bright white that I planted next to a deep burgundy tree peony.

Tree peonies may have the showiest flowers but they are certainly the most evanescent, lasting at most a couple of days.

Then the herbaceous peonies which combine gorgeous blooms with fragrance to die for—although unfortunately some of the new varieties have weak to non-existent fragrance

a very fragrant herbaceous peony blooming right now in my garden.

My husband deeply regrets that when his father sold his house and moved into assistant living that he didn’t dig up the astonishingly fragrant peonies which bloomed in that garden as far back as he can remember.

The cold weather that may have been responsible for a very good year for peonies was certainly responsible for the hydrangea disaster—-not just in my garden but all over the Delaware valley. My oak leaf and some lace caps have buds, but the mop head hydrangeas didn’t make it. I will really miss them.

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