The peonies are blooming and I am soooo happy to be able to enjoy not only their beauty but their scent. The peony scent takes me back to my childhood and never fails to make me happy.
Duchesse de Nemours PeonyThis year has been a fabulous year for peonies even with all of the rain. Yes, some were beat down but most of my peonies chose to open their smiling faces after the heavy rains passed. Here are a few for my blogging friends and family.
'Sarah Bernhardt ' PeonyI wish I could pick a favorite but I guess I love all peonies. I recently did a swap of peonies with my good friend Naomi. She actually dug a tree peony in order to separate an herbaceous peony from it for me! The type of gardener who separates her peonies for another is very rare. I, of course, let her dig my plants too. I do not normally allow many folks to do this. Naomi is one good gardener though and my garden is enriched because of her generosity. Both the peony she gave me and her tree peony she kept suffered a lot of trauma. They will not be showcased today:(
Unknown Red in Front Sidewalk GardenAnother kind gardener who lives south of me here in a small town called Palmyra shared a red peony with me. I've never ever met so many generous gardeners! I think peonies are the ultimate to share I have to admit that I've not shared mine with anyone-yet. That is due to change this fall when Naomi gets her piece of a peony and my daughters get a start of a few as well. I might have shared with some folks but honestly my peonies are just now getting to the 'share' point. It's not that I wouldn't share it's just that I couldn't-honest! This peony has very rich color and is paired with a very rich iris. 'May Night' salvia grows in front of the peony.
'Duchesse de Nemours'I hate photographing anything white. My poor 4.0 megapixel point and shoot camera just cannot pick up the subtle shades of white flowers. It did pick up the petals of this peony in the close up white peony showcased above.
A long view of a few of the peonies here. I think I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 peonies. There are four in this bed though you can see only two. Sometimes you see peony borders where peonies are all massed together in a long bed. I tried this but did not like the effect. For my garden I prefer to mix the peonies in with other perennials. Here in the south peonies can take a bit of shade too; which is great for my borders since none are in full sun.
Finally we have some hardy ground orchids. My sister Dawn first posted on these lovelies a few years ago on this very blog. This post is still an often Googled post that many people enjoy.
I purchased my ground orchids from the Don Shadow Nursery last fall. These are botanically known as Bletilla striata or simply ground or Chinese ground orchids. They are hardy here in Tennessee but are only reliably hardy to Zone 6, possibly to Zone 5 with protection. My sister is in Zone 5 so she is smart to keep her orchids in the house. These orchids need a winter dormancy period. I have mine growing in a new garden area I just created last year when we removed our swimming pool. It is paired with a fabulous dark dark purple dwarf iris I received from a kind blogger in Texas. You can just see a bud opening in the background. The pink and purple are a perfect pairing!
Lastly, a close up of the orchid. I may have an old 4 megapixel camera but every now and then the two of us-my camera and I-get a great shot-and I love this one! This shot and the one previous one does not have any extra lighting-it is all natural and not retouched in any way.
in the garden....
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