Two years ago I discovered this lovely single peony in the midst of a rather mundane offering at Lowes. Much as I love the petticoat ruffles of the 'bomb' type peonies, the singles seem more exotic.
I dug peony roots last spring planning to set them in a to-be-created perennial strip at the Bedford stone house which we were renovating at the time.
The peonies, along with a few other plants, spent the summer in large pots on the back patio.
The area where I thought to establish a garden wasn't practical as a maze of tree roots made digging nearly impossible.
This white one with its delicate greenish center surprised me--when--and where--did I acquire it?
Although the plant is young and was hastily stuck into the ground here in late October, it is flourishing.
This is definitely one from a bargin packaged root bought at Wal Mart--slow to establish in its former setting, it is out-doing the others in terms of blossoms.
The blooms are small but ambitious.
When we bought the little place in Gradyville in March 2010, one of my first joyful discoveries was the presence of two vintage peonies which had spread to bushel basket size at the edge of what was to become our vegetable garden. Both were pink, one blooming earlier than the other.
I thought I had separated roots from each one--it may be that the peony planted next to this one--not likely to blossom this year--is the 'other' pink. Most likely one of the pinks is the old variety,
This bud, opening unevenly, has a rakish look.
Iris roots in what will likely be a temporary spot.
I found four colorations of purple iris at the Gradyville home and had been dividing them each year. There was also a distinctive 'butterscotch' iris which I hoped would increase.
I snatched these roots from the ground on one of the last days packing there--seemingly I dug up only one color.
Several clumps haven't blossomed this spring--maybe I'll be happily surprised next year to see the coveted butterscotch blooms.
Yesterday, in a rare moment of sitting on the side porch I saw my first ruby-throated hummingbird of the season, buzzing amongst the roses. Today I unearthed one of the nectar feeders and hung it out.
Sweet-scented, fragile petals.
A few plants purchased in April from a local nursery, became root-bound in their inadequate pots.
With little time [and energy] to spare for clearing the remainder of the strip designated for perennials, I have moved most of the plants into larger pots, doing the same for those that I up-earthed from the interim garden at the stone house.
In this view you can see that the house and workshop are set very closely together, only the width of the drive between. The over-hang area of the house is typical of local Amish construction. Anna Miller had a clothesline here to supplement the long pulley line which ran from her wash house to a tree on the other side of the brook.
The door from this back area leads directly into the finished basement room where we installed the washer and dryer. If I choose to hang out towels and sheets there are only a few steps to carry the laundry basket.
Down the lane is what we refer to as the 'lower house'--the one currently claiming Jim's energies as he renovates it to "English" mode of living.
The above photos were all taken on Monday, before dark clouds ushered in a late afternoon rain.
There were several sharp showers overnight, and it was with fore-boding that I went out on Tuesday morning to view the peonies.
Nearly every year peonies at the height of their beauty have been muddied and flattened by a deluge.
These plants are somewhat sheltered by the overhang of the workshop roof.
Also, the bushes are smaller, therefore less weighted down with rain.
The blossoms came through the rain unscathed.
The cool showers erased the humidity which had been with us for a week, bringing the sort of days that we wish could be typical of the entire summer season--bright, shimmering hours of sunshine without 'mugginess'--air washed clean, trees, grasses, wayside flowers, refreshed.
We made two trips on Tuesday for building supplies.
In the evening I hauled out stacks of curtain fabric, measuring, considering, picking out the hems on several sets of curtains made for windows in former houses.
My mind seethed with ideas, but today my time has been spent in baking and tending to laundry rather than sewing.
Perhaps tomorrow I will create curtains.
Each day I will take photos of the peonies, their season is so brief and they are so flamboyantly beautiful.