Peony Time!

Ahh, peonies. Easy-going, romantic, and full of variety. I love them in the garden. I love them as cut flowers. I just think their old-fashioned beauty is charming. They make me think of my grandmothers. Here’s a look at the peonies blooming in our garden this spring:


‘Pink Spritzer’ peony



‘Paree Fru Fru’ peony


Mystery fancy-single type bush peony: there were some distressed, unknown varieties of peonies for sale for very cheap at the Dawes sale a few years ago. I got 2. 1 made it, 1 didn’t. This is the surprise peony that survived, isn’t it striking?



‘Ann Cousins’ (I think!) peony with bonus false indigo

There are so many gorgeous varieties of peonies to choose from. (Around 3,000 is the estimate I keep finding.) It is both hard to choose because they are all so tempting—and easy because one can hardly go wrong! I love the sheer extravagance of the bomb-type flowers (like the Ann Cousins)- absolutely worth the effort of hooping/staking to deal with the drooping. I also love the exoticism of the fancy single type blooms (like the Pink Spritzer) and their relatively lighter blooms don’t tend to droop or need hoops/stakes.This year, we picked up a ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony plant at the Chadwick¬†Arboretum sale- a pink bomb flower that has been available since 1906. Such a classic, I can hardly wait for it to bloom next year. ūüôā

What’s your favorite peony variety?



The Best Bouquets…



aren’t found in a vase! Although I enjoy having flowers inside, I love to see them growing outside even more. I’m pretty tender-hearted and have a hard time cutting flowers from my yard to use indoors.

This summer, my husband and I are going to try something different with regards to growing flowers. Instead of growing even more vegetables in our community garden plot, this year we’re going to plant a cutting garden. We’ve already got a bunch of seeds. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. If the flowers are expressly grown to be harvested for bouquets and they aren’t part of my garden’s design, I’m hoping I’ll actually be able to cut some. ūüėä

Here are some more of the daffodils currently putting on a show in our garden:


Happy Vernal Equinox! (Yes, darn it,¬†even¬†though it feels way more hiems-ish than vernal outside just yet.¬†Astronomically speaking, it’s now¬†Spring!)¬† I’m torn between savoring the signs that Spring is springing and wanting to tell the buds to go back to sleep for a little bit.¬† Yet my heart leaps to see the crocuses croaking and the daffodils starting to surge upwards.¬† This year, there’s a new sign of spring in our yard:

Cornus offincinalis 'Kintoki'

Cornus offincinalis ‘Kintoki’

At last year’s Dawes Arboretum plant sales, we picked up a new-to-us type of dogwood, a Japanese cornelian cherry or Japanese Cornel Dogwood.¬† The¬†variety we¬†got¬†is supposed to be particularly suited to small spaces (great for our packed¬† yard) and should provide a brilliant Spring show with its early yellow blooms, plus the exfoliating bark has winter interest and the fall color is supposed to be good, too.¬† Last fall was too dry for anything to have good color, and this tree isn’t mature enough yet for the bark to be doing much exfoliating, but look at these buds!¬† It’s not even properly blooming yet, and it’s already a sunny happy bit of punctuation in our backyard.¬† Hooray!


buds nearly ready to bloom on the cornelian cherry…

Spring Blooms

White and pink daffodils

It has been an odd spring, with a few days of abnormally high temperatures that have thrown normal bloom times out the window.  Then we had a fairly hard frost last night.  Hopefully things that started earlier than usual will survive.  Here are some pictures from around our yard, there has already been some really beautiful stuff happening this spring!

The yellow magnolia tree, which didn't have a very long bloom time this spring because of the weird weather ---too warm, too fast. But it sure was pretty for the three days or so when it was in bloom!

Close-up of magnolia flower.

'Appalachian Red' redbud tree. The color is so glorious, more fuschia than the purple color found in most redbuds (which is also lovely!). This tree has been putting on a show for weeks now. Beautiful!

Before the Appalachian Red hit full bloom earlier this spring.

Same tree, about a week and a half later.

'Lavender Twist' weeping redbud tree.

Cherry blossoms

Weeping cherry tree.

Fancy double daffodils.

These daffodils look like sunshine in flower form!