Sunday, 27 April 2008

Grandma's peonies

'' Peonies are an old-fashioned flower, healthy and vigorous,
that seldom fail, even with neglect " (Roy Klehm)


It is rather difficult to imagine more spectacular flowers than those of the Tree Peonies. Most popular as garden plants are the cultivars of
Paoenia suffruticosa, which grow to some 2 metres in size and produce flowers 15-20 cm in April and May. This ones were planted out ages ago by my late Grandma so I don't know the exact age but anything above 25 years will do. In this area Tree Peonies are still thought of as 'Nanna's flowers' as everyone's grandma seemed to have a peony somewhere, and old varieties are lustfully sought after by collectors. Most of my Tree Peonies grow in partially shaded areas, and every other year their soil gets enriched with well decayed manure and peat which are responsible for the strong growth. Yes, they are hungry feeders. Planted along the pathway to your door, they are said to keep evil from your home. Peonies are rather long-lived and some can endure for decades and more.

In Chinese history, Tree Peonies were coveted by emperors and noblemen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Peonies are like wine, they get better with age. I just wish their wonderfully scented flowerheads lasted a bit longer, quite a bit longer, and would not get so badly battered by rain which makes them droop. Nevertheless, a grandiose Tree Peony in full flower is one of the most stunning sights any gardener will see.

Krusty decided to keep bumblebees
away from her very own Peony bush

12 komentari:

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...

Absolutely lovely. What a handsome garden helper you have to keep those bees away! --Curmudgeon

zvrk said...

Koji predivan primjerak !
I mi imamo tree peony - nasa je zuta i jako stara .

garden girl said...

Violet, your peonies are lovely. Your grandma picked some winners!

Katarina i Kullavik said...

Violet, thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad you did as it made me I find your great blog!
Your peonies are stunning! And I'm glad you told the tale of peonies keeping evil away from your house. i will remember that.
Two years ago, I planted a white tree peony. It hasn't shown any flowers yet, but maybe next year... I can't wait.

Ewa said...

What a great tree peony picture. They are really wonderful - is the picture taken now?
I planted one in my garden and for 2 years it was thinking whether it likes the place or not. This year it looks decisionw as taken and it stays with me.
Sometimes I feel little sad, that they will be really lovely when I will be granma :(

Viooltje said...

@ Curmudgeon: I agree, what do I need professionals for when I got these two ingenious experts, right?

@ zvrk: Wow, nikad nisam vidjela žute božure u živo, sigurno su predivni. Kad ih čovjek pogleda, ne bi ni rekao da su toliko stari (dobro skrivaju godine lol)

@ Linda: It's true, she left me more gifts than both her and I could have ever imagined... and all those being priceless.

@ Katarina: likewise, you're blog truly left me speechless...every year I wait for spring to come and wake my peonies, sometimes they last quite a long time, but mostly it is rain that spoils the whole thing

@ Ewa: yes I took the photos the other day, thought I'd do it before the rain showers...I'd say you should give it a couple of more years and they'll already be quite stunning. Or maybe you can look at it from this point of view - once your a grandma, they'll still be there to bring a smile to your face and you'll be glad for they have come all that way with you and your wonderful garden :-)

Brenda Kula said...

Violet, I have one that looks identical to that. And I wasn't even sure what it was until someone told me last week, as I inherited it. Mine has ants eating at it. Does yours? And if so, what do you do? I'm afraid of pesticides due to the pets.

gintoino said...

Such beautiful pictures (love the one with the cat ofcourse). Peonies are beautiful, I'm trying to germinate P. broteroi from seed..I hope they will sprout.

Helen by the Sea in Weymouth, Dorset said...

Violet, I love the peonies, I got a tree peoney from a mail order company for free because of being a good customer but no details supplied on colour or variety, it'll be fun watching what emerges, I hope it will flower this year and not keep me in suspense.

Viooltje said...

@ Brenda: now that you mentioned ants, I have a younger herbacious peony (yes, the one that I accidentally mowed away last year lol) and I've seen ants around its buds the other day. You shouldn't worry though, I think they do no damage at all, they are attracted to the sweet wax coating of a bud about to open and are supposed to be gone when it opens (if not just shake them away) I don't blame them, Peony scent is one of my favourites, how good does the nectar have to be then ? Usually when I spot ants on my plants, esp. Roses, I always look for aphids first, so they (ants) are always a good co-op of both my plants and garden. Btw, that gazebo of yours left me...speechless. Wiiicked!

@ gintoino: yes, Krusty surely made my day with that 'pose'. Good luck with germinating your seeds, is P. Broteroi that lovely darker cultivar with yellow fillaments?

@ Helen: thanks for stopping by, it's always fun watching emerging plants (especially when I have already forgotten what I planted/sowed and then this little stranger pops out every now and then). I hope your peony treats both your eyes and soul with a delightful flower!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

How incredibly lovely! That's what a Tree Peony should look like.

Patsi said...

Did you say they can tolerate some shade?
An old friend of mine keeps talking about her peonies even gave me one which died(too much shade). I think I'll have to make room for these beautiful flowers.

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