Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Noses, Shoots, and Deploying Leafs (part 5)

This is the last part of this series of pics from 8 May. Whew.

Fern-leaf Peony, Paeonia tenuifolia, at home in a grass swarm. Not planned; the grass came later (as it is tending to do in all my beds. Why oh why do we insist/persist in using creeping grasses in lawns?! (why do we have lawns at all?)

And here, probably a hybrid of tenuifolia, or maybe just a variation on the species. Whichever, it's also enjoying the grass. And while writing that, it has just occured to me that the grass may help to moderate soil moisture in winter here and thus break the plants out of their habit of decline after wet mild winters. Hmmm, time will tell.

Pre-2000 we used to have cold winters with dry snow; back then Paeonia anomala or the Anomalous Peony used to be way ahead of the garden peonies and the other species I was growing back then (which were only a few, and none of the very early ones). These days it choses to sleep in and in fact is not showing yet in most locations around the property. Note the sections of crown and roots sitting proud of the soil. Several plants of this species have adopted the bareback approach to life almost since they were first planted about 12 years ago. I don't bother covering them up.

And finally showing up today, the noses of the traditional Chinese Peony, Paeonia lactiflora, forebear of most of the garden peonies. More slender than any (?) others, and redder. At last something familiar-looking to many! This plant is grown from seed collected in the wilds of Mongolia or northern China (again, the intrepid Halda).

Missing in action (well, inaction really!) is Veitch's Peony Paeonia veitchii, and several tree peony species. They're just not starting yet.

A brief note to those who check this site daily, I have made 3 postings on the evening of 10 May, all dated 8 May: parts 3-5 of this theme. (the reason for messing with the dates is because of the date of the photos)

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