Articles about Peony insects
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Sunday, March 29, 2020

2020 The Tree Peony and the Honey Bee

Tree Peony P. Rockii Seedling & Honey Bee

I'm not sure who was more eager to see this tree peony open - me or the honey bee! We finally got some sunshine after days and days of rain and cloudiness, and boy was I thankful for it! So was this bee apparently, since the sun helped open up all of these flowers in bud. This tree peony is a seedling I grew from some seed I purchased on Ebay, 2013 P. Rockii Peony Seeds from Cricket Hill Garden. I guess this would be considered a semi-double bloom since it has more than a single row of petals. It sure is gorgeous, and I just love those purple flares in the center of the flower!! I will definitely be labeling this one so that I remember to move it this fall out of the seedling bed fall and into my garden! :-)

Tree Peony P. Rockii Seedling & Honey Bee

Tree Peony P. Rockii Seedling & Honey Bee

I'm sure the honey bees will be happy to have more flowers in the garden each year. I do know of one peony grower in Canada that also likes peonies & bees - Blossom Hill Nursery. They have their own hives, make their own honey, and lots of other products with the wax. I am just so grateful to see the bees here in my garden. I know that bees have been having a hard time. I hope that bees are able to recover. I also hope that we can all do our part to reduce our dependence on harmful chemicals and try to make each of our individual garden spaces bee friendly. Bees are our friends, let's make them welcome! :-)

Tree Peony P. Rockii Seedling & Honey Bee

Saturday, July 27, 2019

2019 Peonies & Butterflies

I didn't capture a ton of butterfly photos in the peony garden this year, but I did catch a couple. I thought it was fun to research this moth & butterfly to see what their names were. The black and white spotted one is a Mournful Thyris Moth, and the brown one with orange and white markings is a Spotted Skipper Butterfly. It was so nice to have them in the garden too. There were several other butterflies enjoying the peonies, but some of them were too fast for me to get a photo. (If you want to take a closer look at these, just click the photo and a larger version will appear.) If anyone else was able to capture some butterflies on their peonies this year, please share. I'd love to see them! :-)

Peony 'Pastelorama'
Mournful Thyris Moth

Intersectional Peony 'Morning Lilac'
Spotted Skipper Butterfly

Friday, June 21, 2019

2019 American Peony Society Convention Reiman Gardens Conservatory & Butterfly House

Reiman Gardens Conservatory

After things had settled down with the 2019 American Peony Society Convention Reiman Gardens Peony Flower Exhibition a bit, I finally got to check out Reiman Gardens, and boy am I glad I did! Those blue couches in the middle of the conservatory that look like a dream? Yes, I lounged there a bit and took in the sights and sounds all around me. I was met with well grown and carefully groomed plants everywhere I looked. While I relaxed on the dreamy sofa, I took in the playful sounds of the waterfall and let the tropical foliage take me away to an imaginary (yet very real!) retreat. I must say I was quite surprised by the hidden gems around every corner in this conservatory. It was not in the least what I expected, yet very much more than I expected - what a treat! It was amazing yet very relaxing and peaceful all at once.

Reiman Gardens Tropical Waterfall

Reiman Gardens Conservatory Planters

There were brightly colored blooming bulbs in pretty much every pot in sight - tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, alliums, and vases overflowing with bunches of blooms. There were palm trees of all kinds, urns filled with blooming orchids, and small water fountains everywhere! The delights for the senses surrounded you - sights, smells, sounds. Reiman gardens had even decorated the conservatory and their entire garden actually with a theme. The current theme is "Toys and Games". Apparently they change the theme every year. So this year there were dice planters, big dice between the cacti in the conservatory and the ferns at the front desk, playing cards tucked into planters, and a a giant dice sculpture outdoors. I'm not sure that I've seen another garden do a them quite like this, and it definitely added an extra fun element that popped up all around the display gardens.

Reiman Gardens Conservatory

Reiman Gardens Hallway

The Reiman Gardens Butterfly House was another treat after I'd finished exploring the Hughes Conservatory. I took the opportunity to rest on a few of the benches they had scattered throughout the butterfly house (and take some nice butterfly shots while I was there). There were actually a lot of butterflies in the house the day I went, and they all seemed to be quite active. I guess I went at the right time of day, perhaps. There were butterflies of orange, yellow, brown, white, and blue. They were fluttering about chasing each other, resting on a leaves, sipping nectar from flowers, and learning to fly. There's just something about tiny little creatures with large, colorful wings that really spark my imagination and carry me away to a world of whimsy.

Reiman Gardens Butterfly House Butterflies

Paper Kite Butterfly
Reiman Gardens Butterfly House

Reiman Gardens Butterfly House

Yellow, Black, & Blue Butterfly
Reiman Gardens Butterfly House

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

2018 The Wasp and The Ladybug (on the Peony)

The Wasp and The Ladybug

Today was the first 70 degree day we've had since February (when we oddly had an entire week of 70s). With all of this warm weather the peonies continued to grow, and all of the bugs decided to come out today as well. There were so many wasps on and flying around my peonies today, searching for and finding plenty of sweet nectar to eat off of my peony buds. They were doing the peonies no harm, and as long as they found no threat in me, did me no harm either. Wasps are definitely not my favorite flying insects, especially since I just got stung by one last year that was underneath my deck. However I'm sure they just get a bad rap, and are most likely needed, just like bees, to aid in pollination. So unless they are making nests on my front or back porch, I'm inclined to leave them be.

Peony Nectar, The Ladybug's Afternoon Snack

When I spotted this wasp trying to land on the same peony bud as this bright red ladybug, I couldn't resist taking some photos. "The Wasp and The Ladybug"... It sounds like some sort of fable, like I need to make up an entertaining story about these two. Well, the real story was that this ladybug had already found its afternoon snack, and the wasp came along and tried to take it from the ladybug. The wasp was quite persistent, but the ladybug maintained its ground, and eventually was the victor of this food battle. This bright red ladybug is just too cute. I don't remember if I've ever seen one on one of my peony buds before. Ladybugs are supposed to be good luck. Let's hope that means the peonies will be blooming well this year. With all the cold weather we've had this March (until today), you can probably imagine that I'm getting a little impatient waiting for the peony buds to start opening... Let's hope they bloom soon!

The Ladybug "Cleaning" the Peony Bud

Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 The Peony & the Praying Mantis

The Peony & the Praying Mantis. It sounds like the title of a book. Hmm... Anyway I was working on collecting more data for 2011 in my peony garden today, and I was thrilled to see a praying mantis on one of my long spent peony blooms. The spent bloom and the praying mantis were the exact same color, dark brown, so the mantis blended in with the bloom stem quite nicely. He definitely kept me entertained for bit in what otherwise can be at times a somewhat dull task. I was privileged to witness these praying mantis acrobatics so I just had to share... :-)