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Archive for May, 2011

The rains finally abated and we have had several days of gorgeous weather…

The flowers on the tree peonies are enormous this year.

It’s also peony fairy season in the garden.

Last Friday we hosted a fundraiser for CT NOFA. Despite intermittent showers a good crowd came out to sample some delicious local wines and other beautiful treats.

Classic tree peonies….

‘Yang Guifei Wearing a Crown of Kingfisher Feathers’ 貴妃插翠

‘Tipsy Imperial Concubine’ 酒醉楊妃

Truly intoxicating!

‘Lucky 18 Red’ 十八號

A P. rockii hybrid which we need to identify. Though giving it a name will not add to its beauty one bit.

‘Red Lotus’ 紅蓮

Always a favorite with visitors, the Japanese tree peony ‘Island Brocade’ 島錦.

 Some of the Peony Heaven test plants which are excited about this year…

‘Peony Heaven luminous Pink’ This plant is about 10 years old and over 6′ tall. We will offer young plants for sale next year.

This beautiful coral-red test plant bloomed for the first time this year. Luscious 8.5” flowers carry the distinct fragrance of a fresh sugar snap pea!

We selected this seedling out because of its lavender tones and ruffled form.

‘Mundy Hepburn: Garden Glass,’ show continues until July….

You never know who you are going to bump into at Cricket Hill.

We planted some very magic beans this year.

The glass family.

Garden views from this week….

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We have a lot going on these days at Cricket Hill. The first Chinese tree peonies began to open at the end of last week, and then it started to rain. Everything has been on hold since. As soon as we get a day of sun, the garden will be awash in color, though the vibrancy of flowers pops even more on misty gray days.

‘Apple Gorgeous’

‘Fire in the Garden’ Short, low growing and relatively few flowers, but oh what a color!

‘Beauty Spied in the Bath’  One of the many Chinese tree peonies named after Yang Guifei.

‘Coral Terrace’ 珊瑚台

‘Black Dragon Holds a Splendid Flower’ 烏龍捧盛 This is one our original peonies from China which we planted in December 1989. It has been cut back quite a bit over the years to accommodate the walking path.

‘Capital Red’ 首案紅 This bud has been slowly unfurling for two weeks. When it is finally fully open then flower is going to be massive.

‘Phoenix White’ 鳳丹白 Waiting for the sun.

‘Hubei Blue’ 湖北藍 A new addition to our collection which we are seeing bloom for the first time this year.

The view today from the patio.

Over the last week, the artist Mundy Hepburn installed 14 glass sculptures throughout the garden. Even David has to admit that they enhance the overall experience of the garden. The sculptures will be on display through July.

Rosa xanthenia, species rose native to north east China.

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‘Silver and Red Intertwined’ 銀紅爭春 The first tree peony to bloom this year.

Artist Mundy Hepburn came to the garden today to set up some of this glass sculptures.

Mundy ‘nested’ the sculptures beautifully in his van and all survived the ride up to the garden from his studio in Old Saybrook, CT.

The garden will be an outdoor gallery for Mundy’s glass sculptures this spring throughout the peony season. The opening will be this Sunday from 2-5pm.

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We finally had a bit of sun today and herbaceous hybrid ‘Early Windflower’ opened. This rare hybrid was introduced by Prof. Arthur Saunders and offers a tantalizing preview of the splendor to come.

What a tease…..

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