A sCycling Scaturday for me, riding into the Annapolis Valley (but avoiding the Apple Blossom Festival events) where it was strangely cooler than at home due to a northish breeze off the Bay of Fundy. Took a few pics of the morning beauties before I left, and found a whole palate-able tribe of colour on return.
First a few closeups of Paeonia mascula, the Male Peony, in a few colour variants. Of note, not much bee activity and so the older flowers (not photographed) have a heavy sprinkling of pollen on their lower petals-- usually the bees cart this stuff off to their hives. The first mascula is typical of the average of my plants. Second is the pale variant whose bud was shown yesterday; a superbly interesting centre, with the yellow anthers forming a nearly perfect sphere. The third is a slightly darker colour than the first.
Yesterday a bud of Paeonia steveniana, Stevens' Peony, sneaked into the frame of a photo. By this morning the bud had swelled significantly, so I took a photo of it, expecting it to probably be in flower by the time I got back. As you can see, it was (a bit of a green tint to the thumbnail, as can be seen on the golfball, but the full-size image is pretty close to correct). More to follow soon, but this is the forerunner. Lots of insect activity inside there! Also in the evening, took a pic of an interesting variant of steveniana which popped up in my seed lot, having a red rim on the petals (or at least it did last year in the field. It is now in one of the home beds where I can keep an eye on it and appreciate it properly!)
Closely related to mascula but from a different region, Paeonia kesrouanensis opened a few buds while I was away.
And in a surprise move, one plant of Paeonia mlokosewitschii, the Golden Peony, burst into bloom today (every bud but one!); again a green tinge to the thumbnail but not to the full-size image. This is in a different bed from the main display group (datum group); the datum plants of this species are not yet in bloom. This plant is also one with green foliage instead of the blue-green with purple stems that my other mature plant has.
Finally, a (probable hybrid of) Fern-leaf Peony, Paeonia tenuifolia, opened today as well. This too is in a non-datum bed. (The thing about non-datum beds is that it is hard to relate the relative sequence of blooming when sun exposure and soil compostion are different between plants of different species. Probably only of concern to pedantic folks like me...)