Tuesday, June 15, 2010

peonies in the rain

Last year, no peonies. Something ate all the buds. This year, some were eaten, one scalloped away to show the layers of petals inside like tree-rings, but over half survived. I nearly gave up on them, all the same, because the volunteer peonies across the street flowered weeks before and had already begun to lapse when I cut one of the buds and brought it inside to flower and die. Too soon! Because the rest have bloomed.

What amazes me about peonies is how they keep on expanding, not just spreading but pushing out from the centre like some sort of Giger alien flower. This one is only about halfway done.

In the front yard the Dortmund and Sir Clough are blooming happily, though the Dortmund's companion rose doesn't like the wet weather we've been having.
In the backyard the albas are washing over the garage again, and the gallicas are putting out buds. Bees forage among the comfrey and rocket, and today I saw the blackberries white with blossoms, and a fat black and lemon-yellow bee bobbling among them. Maybe it will be summer for a while, instead of a blustery spring.


fairyhedgehog said...

Those are gorgeous photos. Your blog is looking very pretty too.

Terri-Lynne said...

Look at your pretty new page!!! Very nice.

Peonies have always amazed me. I have peonies that once bloomed in my great grandfather's garden. Well, offshoots, I'm certain. My grandfather took them from his father's bed when his father died and the house sold. He planted them in his garden, then took them with him when he moved from that house. My mom took some of them, planted them in her garden. When I moved to CT, I took some from hers, planted them here. And then I moved from one side of the river to the other, and yes--I took some of those peonies with me.
They've yet to bloom here. They come up every year, a little spindly. I think the ground is too well-drained. But I have them!

batgirl said...

Thanks, fairy! I see you've taken advantage of the new designs too :) I played about for a half-hour (when I should have been revising) trying out different looks.

Terri, peonies can take ages to bloom, I think. The ones that Mark transplanted to alongside the fence have never put out a bud, though they get much more sun.
I was reading that they like to have their roots a bit exposed, the persnickety things.

fairyhedgehog said...

Playing with blog designs is much more fun than revising. And it gives your brain a much-needed break, too!

Terri-Lynne said...

Irises and peonies--slap them on the ground, sprinkle a little dirt. The more you ignore them, the better they like it.

The tradition has been to leave some of the peonies behind, take the offshoots. I guess when I snagged my offshoots, I snagged the wee ones that needed some years of bulking up before blooming.

batgirl said...

That's what I like, plants that thrive on neglect! If only manuscripts did the same thing.