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Archive for June, 2015

Though we are honored and humbled to be known as Peony Heaven, we grow (and sell) a lot more than just peonies here at Cricket Hill Garden. Over the last few years we have added many interesting edible landscaping plants to our garden and orchard. Some of these younger plants are beginning to come into bearing this year. These trees, with the more established pear and apple trees in the garden add up to much salivation in anticipation of the harvest to come.

Before we forget about peonies, its worth noting the 'Cora Louise' intersectional peony has had a very long bloom this year.

Before we forget about peonies, its worth noting the ‘Cora Louise’ intersectional peony has had a very long bloom this year.

This was another great week for our shiitake mushrooms.

This was another great week for our shiitake mushrooms.

We were happy to sell our entire crop this week to some very fine Connecticut resturants.

We were happy to sell our entire crop this week to some very fine local resturants.

We are looking forward to what looks to be a fine crop of 'Taylor' red raspberries ripening in about two weeks.

We are looking forward to what looks to be a fine crop of ‘Taylor’ red raspberries ripening in about two weeks.

Our native Connecticut cactus, prickely pear or Opituna humufusa, is getting ready to bloom.

Our native Connecticut cactus, the eastern prickly pear (Opuntia humifusa), is getting ready to bloom.

Mullberries are starting to ripen.

Mulberries are starting to ripen.

Two seperate visitors asked this week: "Is that a avacado?" We were happy to reply, that no, its a pawpaw! We think these trees look great in the landscape with their tropical-like foliage.

Two different visitors asked this week: “Is that a avocado?” We were happy to reply, that no, its a pawpaw! We think these trees look great in the landscape with their tropical-like foliage.

Nanking cherries (P. tomentosa) will be ripe in a few weeks. With the late spring this year and no frosts after the bloom we have a great fruit set.

Nanking cherries (P. tomentosa) will be ripe in a few weeks. With the late spring this year and no frosts after the bloom we have a great fruit set.

One of the more unusual fruits in our orchard, the 'Norris' che. This mulberry relative bears red fruit which taste like a combination of fig and watermelon.

One of the more unusual fruits in our orchard, the ‘Norris’ che. This mulberry relative bears red fruit which taste like a combination of fig and watermelon.

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Our ‘Chapin’ pear has a good fruit set this year.

'Hosui' Japanese pear. We grow our asian pears as 'no-spray' and are able to harvest delicious fruit with little insect damage  in late summer.

‘Hosui’ Japanese pear. We grow our Asian pears as ‘no-spray’ and are able to harvest delicious fruit with little insect damage in late summer.

Rhubarb in the garden, sharing a bed with red romaine lettece and nestersiums.

Rhubarb in the veggie garden, sharing a bed with red romaine lettuce and nasturtiums.

'Northern Spy' apple fruitlets. With the dry spring this year, the apple trees are not infected with scab or apple cedar rust.

‘Northern Spy’ apple fruitlets. With the dry spring this year, the apple trees are not infected with scab or apple cedar rust.

'Adams' American elderberry just coming into bloom.

‘Adams’ American elderberry  just coming into bloom.

'Samdal,' a European variety of elderberry has already blossomed and set fruit.

‘Samdal,’ a European variety of elderberry has already blossomed and set fruit.

Breba frist crop figs on our 'Silver Dollar' fig tree. These early figs will be ripe in July.

Breba first crop figs on our ‘Silver Dollar’ fig tree. These early figs will be ripe in July.

This week saw the hatch of hundreds of thousands of toads around our top pond.

This week we noticed hundreds of thousands of recently metamorphosed juvenile toads around our ponds. We love to see these garden allies in such abundance.

 

 

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Its been a great season for us thus far at Cricket Hill Garden. As always, its a pleasure to see old friends and meet new ones in the garden. The late season herbaceous and intersectional peonies will continue to bloom for another two weeks, so if you are in the neighborhood we would love to see you in the garden this month. As the pictures below illustrate, there is still plenty to delight the senses at Peony Heaven.

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Bartzella‘ our favorite yellow intersectional peony.

'Bartzella' really does have dinner plate sized blossoms!

Bartzella‘ really does have dinner plate sized blossoms!

Another perrenial standout is the intersectional 'Cora Louise'

Another perennial standout is the intersectional ‘Cora Louise’

'High Noon'

High Noon‘ will grow well in more shade than most peonies. One advantage to planting it in such a location is a very long bloom period, two weeks and counting on this specimen.

'Garden Treasure' shimming in the late afternoon.

Garden Treasure‘ shimmering in the late afternoon sunshine.

'Maiden's Dress' rivals any peony in sumptuious appeal. It's blooms are large, luscious and oh so fragrant!

Maiden’s Dress‘ rivals any peony in sumptuous appeal. It’s blooms are large, luscious and oh so fragrant!

'Riches and Honor'. The name of this peony in Chinese is one of many name given to these flowers.

Riches and Honor‘. The name of this peony in Chinese, 富貴 fu gui or ‘wealth and status’ is one of many august titles accorded to peonies. The name signifies the high regard with which the breeder held this cultivar.

'Cao Zhou Red'

Cao Zhou Red‘ originated from the famous peony growing city of Heze in Shandong province. It is one of the tallest growing herbaceous peonies we grow, with stems reaching 4’ tall.

'Golden Wheel'

Golden Wheel‘ is one of the most sought after cultivars of herbaceous peony. We only have a few of this rare variety available this season.

'Purple Rose' is an excellent late blooming dark purple-red cultivar. Its a low growing plant with strong stems and does not require staking or support.

Purple Rose‘ is an excellent late blooming dark purple-red cultivar. Its a low growing plant with strong stems and does not require staking or support.

'Purple Phoenix Feather,' one of our favorites.

Purple Phoenix Feather,’ one of our favorites.

'Minnie Shaylor' happily co-existing with milkweed.

Minnie Shaylor‘ happily co-existing with milkweed.

Kasha and her beautiful display of peonies under our sales tent.

Kasha with a display of herbaceous peonies under our sales tent.

As part of our new venture growing shiitake mushrooms, soaking logs has become a weekly task. Most logs are contained within easy reach of the shore.

As part of our new venture growing shiitake mushrooms, soaking logs has become a weekly task. Most logs are contained within easy reach of the shore.

One log escaped, one of our resident painted turtles coralled it for us.

A log escaped the enclosure, but luckily one of our resident painted turtles corralled it for us.

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