Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Giddy For Peonies

The story is this particular native flame azalea was borrowed from a campground in Maggie Valley, NC many long years ago by my sister. It is blooming beautifully this year sister.

There is a strong genetic predisposition to the acquisition of plants in the family. There is an old photo of my grandmother harvesting shrubberies in the wilds of Florida in the 1910's or so. Her catch is displayed in the back of a Model T type auto like some hunter with a deer. She brought the shrubbery home to her garden.

A fair amount of disposable income goes towards acquiring plants. This pyrethrum could have easily been a regular, ooh that's pretty, perennial purchase.

But it is the peonies right now that are making a certain someone a bit giddy. There have never been this many blooms. Who knew squishing a bunch of caterpillars could make your mother this happy. The small size and weak performance was always blamed on the shade.

The catalogs are being poured through and compared to the new blooms opening each day. More will be ordered. Different ones of course. No mass plantings of a single variety for Bulbarella. She wants them all.

Peonies in every shade and variation will be considered.

Fake out. That flower above is the roadside rose having its best bloom year ever. I'm beginning to think my presence here is having some strange effects.

Really all I did was squish the caterpillars on the peonies when they were first emerging, before they could eat the buds and cut through the young stems causing the loss of half the plant before it ever had a chance.

I can see my early springs will now be filled with monitoring the increasing numbers of peonies for caterpillars.

It's the best year ever so you have to take a picture. It could be another decade before the Philadelphus blooms like this again.

This place must be getting to me because the wild things really draw my attention more than those over sized dinner plate peonies. Last year we had Erigeron annuus, the white Daisy Fleabane. This year we have the pink Erigeron philadelphicus, Common Fleabane. How these things change is a mystery to me. The Daisy Fleabane is bound to show up still. Because we have it all.

A solid patch of blue bearded iris leaves one gardener scratching her head. What happened to all my different iris? Another gardener sees survival of the fittest, not overly bred, peasant iris and likes a bold statement. He thinks go with the flow. He thinks that would look great next to the yellow Louisiana iris.

Gardening is a constant adventure when you let it be. The unsteady and always shifting line of let it be is at the heart of gardening. It has to be. Nature is always the co-gardener whether you realize it or not. That realization is when the true adventure can begin.

And the wheel keeps turning.


sweet bay said...

Nature is the one really in charge, the gardener is just along for the ride.

Anonymous said...

What an eloquent exposition on the life of gardening! And congrats on noticing those caterpillars; I am going to look at mine early next spring!
I loved the story of your shrubbery-hunting grandma with her trophies in the back seat; made me smile. Truly is in the genes.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Yes, all of us are walking along side of Mother Nature. She allows us to garden with her and if we get lazy or do something we shouldn't she steps in and takes over. As it should be.

Seeing all of these peonies makes me want to try some.

Lola said...

I love the peonies but can't grow them here. Maybe a bit too hot & humid.
Mother Nature is our guide but when we go wrong she will step in as Lisa said.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmp, my memory says they came to visit and saw it and the next time they came, they brought a shovel.............
Although I do admit to the plant acquisition gene.Currently on my way to clinic is a hosta planted in full Florida sun. It is in it's second year in that location and is spreading.........someone really should divide that clump.

Wondering Woman said...

My peonies were so beautiful this year that I also developed peony fever and spend hours on the internet tracking down the ones I want to own before next spring.

Siria said...

I love peonies! Yours are gorgeous!

Gail said...

Your last paragraph says it all Christopher we just have to flow. I love the all of one color iris! gail