Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tree Peony Blooms!

Early May is definitely my favorite time in the garden, because my tree peonies are in bloom! Even though the blooms are short-lived, they put on quite a show for a few days, dramatic, fragrant, and simply gorgeous.  I love to go out in the morning and stick my head into their big, blowsy faces. To give you an idea of the size, a fully opened bloom is the size of a dinner plate. They are a woody shrub, unlike the herbaceous peonies, and keep their good foliage and structure the rest of the season. I have three, a dark red in the backyard,  this pink one in the front perennial bed,  and a new yellow one, which I planted 2 years ago and has yet to bloom. Tree peonies can last 100 years--this one is young at 25 years old. I bought it at Merrifield Garden Center and I remember thinking it was the most expensive plant I ever bought--it was $15.  People walking by my house always comment on them and want to know what they are. As the tree peonies start to fade, the herbaceous peonies begin to bloom, so at least we get a week or two of peonies.

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