Our Chinese tree peonies are coming into peak bloom at Cricket Hill Garden. The bulk of this collection consists of Central Plains (zhongyuan) cultivars from the famous peony growing center of Luoyang and Heze in central China, as well of rockii type (ziban) tree peonies from Gansu province in northwestern China. The seesawing winter temperatures, which went from a very warm December and January, to a frigid February, caused much damage to some of the early blooming zhongyuan cultivars. Some have no flowers at all this year, while others have smaller or distorted flowers. The rockii tree peonies are slightly later blooming and were not effected by the winter. Neither were the Japanese tree peonies. All in all, 2016 is shaping up to be a fine peony bloom, with mild weather and thus far little ‘peony rain.’ Once again, in the garden as in rest of life, we see the benefit of diversity.
Paeonia anomala, a species of herbaceous peony from a range between northern European Russia and Northern Mongolia, and south to the Tien Shan Mountains. We love it for its fine foliage and tall habit. Plants reach 2.5′ on strong stems. Will grow in full sun or part shade.
‘Centerpiece of Fruit’ 盤中取果 Pan Zhong Qu Guo
‘Champion Black Jade’ 冠世墨玉 Guan Shi Mo Yu. Very slow growing, with only a few flowers every year. Still quite spectacular.
‘Early Bird’ (Saunders, 1950) A hybrid between P. veitchii and P. tenufolia.
‘Era of Purple‘ 今紫 Imamurasaki An early blooming Japanese cultivar.
‘Fragrant Jade’ 香玉 Xiang Yu
‘Blue Chrysanthemum’ 藍菊花 Lan Ju Hua An early blooming rockii type Chinese tree peony.
‘Green Dragon Lying on a Chinese Ink Stone’ 青龍臥墨池 Qing Long Wo Mo Chi
‘Journey of Flowers’ 花遊 Hanasobi
‘Heaven Scented Wet with Dew’ 天香湛露 Tian Xiang Zhan Lu. This is a classical variety bloomed exceptionally well this year. We plan to propagate it this fall and have young plants available in a few years.
‘Necklace with Precious Pearls’ 瓔珞寶珠 Ying Luo Bao Zhu
‘Yu Ban’s White’ 玉班白 Yu Ban Bai
A new seedling of ours. Large red flowers are borne on a tall growing and robust plant. Its one to watch!
‘Top Quality Ink’
Our woodland display garden.
The east garden with a stunning glass sculpture by Mundy Hepburn.
Lots of buds still to come!