With the seemingly interminable winter, and ice which persisted into mid-April in shady spots, it seemed as if the peony bloom would never arrive. In New England we like to joke ‘if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.’ This has been true with our transition from winter to summer. Spring seems like an afterthought after two weeks of weather in 70s, 80s and even a few days earlier this week around 90. Needless to say, this summer-like weather of the last few weeks has rushed the season along. This past weekend, we still had forsythia blooming, even as the lilacs and peonies began to open. While its been very dry, and we could use a good rain, now that the peony bloom has come, we hope that the dry weather continues.
Its cold and grey outside, so we seek a bit of spring in this selection of peony related haiku. Most of these poems date from the Edo period (1603-1868). Many of the masters of the haiku such as Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson and Kobayashi Isaa used peonies as a muse and metaphor. As in Chinese poetry, this selection of haikus illustrates the way in which peonies are linked with female beauty and sensuality in traditional Japanese literary culture.
If you garden is looking brown and dreary like ours, we hope that you will enjoy these haikus. They help to remind us that in only a few short months the sleeping beauties that are the peonies will awake and our gardens will once again be aglow!
In the midst of our 5th week of Cricket Hill Garden’s 2014 peony bloom, we finally have a moment to post some photos of the herbaceous and intersectional or ‘Itoh’ peonies. We should still have flowers in the garden for another week, proving that in our climate planting different types of peonies does indeed provide six full weeks of gorgeous blossoms. We hope you enjoy the following late season bloom recap.
The Chinese tree peonies bloomed about ten days later this year than usual. Needless to say, once they began they were even more breathtaking than we remembered. Our Japanese and Lutea hybrid tree peonies are still in bloom, with some still very tightly budded. There are still weeks of peonies to come this spring so we will be posting more as the blossoms open.
On a recent trip to am unnamed box store for some spring renovation supplies, we were surprised to see intersectional peonies offered along with the standard spring selection of dahlia tubers and gladiolas bulbs. It was only a few years ago that intersectional peonies, hybrids between tree and herbaceous peonies, were so rare that they could only be found at specialty nurseries such as ourselves. Today, thanks to increased importation of Dutch grown intersectional peonies, they are found more frequently at less specialized nurseries and garden centers. However, as many of you know, not all peonies are equal.
We invite you to Cricket Hill Garden’s 26th anniversary peony festival this spring. Despite the long winter and late thaw, we are confident that it will be our most spectacular season to date at Peony Heaven. Some of the tree peonies in our display garden are reaching an impressive size. If you are in the area of northwestern Connecticut, please come and say hello, stroll the garden, bring a picnic to eat by the pond, and most of all enjoy the peonies. As always, the garden is open to the public and there is no admission fee.
We are happy to accommodate garden clubs and other groups. There is no fee for this, but we do ask that you make an appointment for a large group in advance. Give us a call at 860 283 1042 or email email@example.com to make arrangements. Our garden and nursery is located in the picturesque hills of Litchfield county. There are good restaurants, other beautiful gardens and endless hiking trails in the area. Have a look here for a little peak at what our leafy corner of Connecticut has to offer.
Cricket Hill Garden Nursery Hours Spring 2015
The nursery will open for plant sales the week of April 15th, given that our snow is melted by then!
The peonies will not be in bloom until May, but we will have an interesting selection of potted peonies and fruit trees.
In April, we are open Wednesday through Saturday for early plant sales. Open 10-5.
May 1st to June 21st- Display Garden & Nursery Open Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm
- After June 21st, by appointment only
2015 Peony Festival Schedule
April through early May
May 15th to late May
May 10th Mothers Day: We celebrate mothers with the with specials on selected potted peonies. Peonies are budded, but this year it is too cold for peonies to open for Mother’s Day. May 25th Memorial Day: Specials on selected potted peonies at the nursery. This will be a great weekend to see the peonies this year. We anticipate tree peonies will peak around this time.
Early June Blooms
June 10th to 21st
These projections are our best guess based on the current forecasts for the coming weather. It has been colder than average and the blooms are slow to develop this year. We will update our information as the season progresses. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (860) 283 1042 for up-to-date peony bloom information.