Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tree Peony and Other Beauties

The herb garden--upper half.  See how the creeping thyme has crept!

I made a slow and sluggish start to my day--after a third night of poor sleep.
I had gotten through trundling the vacuum cleaner clumsily about, watered plants, scooped the litter boxes, all the while feeling that I wanted to curl up in a quiet corner.
J. came in and announced that he had errands in town and would be going on to Campbellsville.
I agreed to go if we could stop at Lowes.

It was already 80 degrees F by 10 oclock.
I waited through J.'s errands, drowsing in the car, a favorite gardening book in my lap.
My errand at Lowes was shopping for a trellis for the white clematis, picking up some bags of soil mix.

Flowers on the blackberry canes.

We were presented with more options for trellises than I expected.
Some were quite ornate with embellishments that would be hidden by any thriving plant.
Since the clematis vines are not heavy we chose a simple flat trellis.
Lowes garden and plant display area utilizes some sort of electronic bird scaring device which creates shrill
chitters and squawks, evidently mimicing a large predatory bird; the repetative sound track also includes some ominous hissings meant to discourage sparrows and the like from invading the garden displays.

I bought 3 pots of dianthus Fire Witch to use as part of the edging for the rock-enclosed bed.
A display of columbines [aquilegia] caught my attention.  I have some tiny self-sown ones getting lost in the rampage of mints near the Double-Red Knockout roses.
I chose one in periwinkle blue and white--it is a near replica of the one I planted in WY in memory of my dear Oscar-cat.
There were pots of un-named peonies @ 12.98 each.  Not a bad price.  There was one I coveted--a single white with bold gold stamens.  I passed it by, thinking of frugality [and the fact that my peony garden is full.]
I suppose it was inevitable that on arriving home I immediately wished I had bought the peony!

Back at home, I headed out to the shop to transplant tomatoes, happened to glance toward the
upper garden.
I ran for my camera before proceeding to gloat over the first two blooms on my tree peony.

I beleive I bought this last spring.  It was planted in the first border along the drive.  D. and I dis-interred it and moved it to the new planting area.  I didn't expect much from it this year, but see!

I wish my camera was capable of catching the texture of the petals--like crinkled tissue paper with a
slight sheen.
Peonies are such an established plant in old New England gardens that I tend to forget their Asian origins.
Something about this blossom has a very Oriental personna.
I shall have to see if the plant label survived the move.

J. put the flat trellis in place and gave some of the clematis vines a hand up the wires.
There is still a tangled clump at the base.
I am thinking at some point I will move the heavier trellis and replace it with another of the flat ones.
The heavy black trellis is quite sturdy enough to support a climbing rose--and there are several of those on my wish-list.

I closed out my day by potting on 50 tomato seedlings.
I'm not sure where I'm going to put these, as the hoped-for greenhouse has not yet materialized.
The plan has morphed from a free-standing 'kit' structure to a 'stick-built' one which will be attached to the back [south] wall of the small shop/garage which J. intends to renovate.
Last spring I crowded containers of seedlings onto the workbenches under the shop windows.  These at the moment are strewed with tools of every description.
I have about two dozen tomato seedlings remaining to pot on; a pot of achillea, one of foxglove, another of lavender have yet to grow to transplanting size.
It seems to me that one needs hours of leisure to stroll about and contemplate the beauties of spring.
I can only pray for the stamina to accomplish some of the chores that accompany the season.


  1. I love your tree peony, I have one in yellow that is just starting to grow little shoots. Do you ever trim back your clematis? I never have and wonder if I should. The work is never done in the gardens, I do try and make time to enjoy the work that I have done. It's hard to sit still for long, I always think I will just do one more thing and that adds to more and more. So fun!


  2. Shan; I haven't trimmed the clematis vines--they did get disturbed a bit when Devin and I renovated that area in September. I had to snip some of the vine away from the rusty chicken wire. Both the pink and the white seem more robust this season--but maybe I'm imagining that.
    I know the feeling--if I sit down, whether indoors or on the front porch--something catches my eye that "wants done."

  3. Your days sound like three of my days. I will continue to pray for your stamina. Your peonies look so beautiful. Take a little time for yourself so you can enjoy all your hard work.

  4. Love your peonies. From your sluggish start you seem to have achieved quite a lot during the day. There's no point having a garden if there's no time to enjoy it.

  5. Nice photos MM. I have the identical clematis covering a fence in the garden.

    @Sharonat vintage sparkle - you can and should cut them back occasionally and you can be quite fierce with them - they are very robust. You are prbably aeeing improved growth on yours due to the unscheduled trim MM.

  6. gorgeous peony, I love the ruffles, it's quite decadent :-)
    I have one here which needs moving soon, I hope it survives!

  7. I love your tree peony blooms I can just see your clematis climbing your new trellis. It sounds like you have a LOT going on there. Enjoy.

    Have a lovely Easter ~ FlowerLady

  8. Beautiful photos! I really wanted to fix up our beds with some flowering plants and other pretties, but as soon as I retired,it stopped raining here in West Texas. Now we are only allowed to water by hand (water hose only, no sprinklers) for 2 hours one day a week. So no flowers or grass for that matter, but the weeds still seem to thrive!

  9. The Peony is absolutely beautiful, they were one of my Dad's favourite flowers. I think you've managed to capture the effect, I can see the crinkle and shine on the petals.

  10. Ah, I know that feeling - so many things to see to in the garden and so little time. It ALL seems to need doing at once.

    LOVELY Peony with its gorgeous ruffled petals. Very decadent and Art Nouveau.

    80 deg. F? You lucky devils. We are barely above half that, with a perishing cold wind straight from Siberia, and half the country under snow - yes, this same country that had a heatwave over a week ago . . .