Sunday, April 24, 2022

2022 Southern Peony Easter Egg Hunt

Southern Peony Easter Egg Hunt

I am once again reminded of how the simple things in life can be so meaningful. Being able to gather with friends and family, something we all took for granted not so long ago, was not an option for many during the global pandemic. I am so grateful that we are once again able to share a tasty meal, celebrate a spring holiday, and watch the children run and play in the garden amongst the flowers.

Southern Peony Easter Egg Hunt

These photos are from last Sunday, and I am not sure why I couldn't get an in focus photo of my little boy. Maybe he was too excited to find the eggs and running too fast for the camera. The peonies and irises were definitely putting on a colorful show. Not everything is in bloom yet, but many of the earlier peony varieties had flowers, and a few of the intersectional peonies were starting to open too.

Southern Peony Easter Egg Hunt

I think everyone had a good time, with plenty of eggs (and candy) to go around. This year we also threw some Easter Eggs into the lawn, just to watch the kids race to the eggs. :-D I also found 3 more unfound eggs out in the garden this weekend (a week later). So the kids didn't find them all. I bet I haven't found them all yet either! We were definitely blessed to be able to share Easter with my granparents, parents, brother's family, and friends. I hope each one of you had a nice Easter as well, and you found a little time to spend out in the flower garden!

Southern Peony Easter Egg Hunt

Friday, April 22, 2022

2022 Southern Peony @ Blossom + Bone Flower Arranging Workshop

Southern Peony Flower Workshop Bouquet with Blossom + Bone

I have been pretty busy this past week, not in the garden but at our quarterly All Hands Meeting at work. This time, though, I actually got to do an activity with and learn something about flowers! How cool is that? (especially since software is my day job)? We were given three options for the social activity on the final day of the meeting, and one of the options was a flower arranging class with Blossom + Bone, a local Durham, NC florist. Of course I picked that one, and I made a thing...

Southern Peony Flower Wrapped Workshop Bouquet

We were allowed to choose the flower colors for our bouquets and the greenery. I decided to pick some of the more lavender colors for my bouquet (of course). There were so many pretty flowers to choose from though, there were bright, sunny yellow snapdragons and neon orange poppies that really grabbed your attention. Even though there weren't any peonies to put in our bouquets, I still had a great time thinking about how to best use the greenery, how to fill in dead space in an arrangement, and how to coordinate (or contrast) the colors in your bouquet. It was so much fun, and I can't wait to put my flower arranging skills to good use again at the upcoming APS Convention!

Blossom + Bone Florals

How can you not love a florist that has an intersectional (itoh) peony on the front page of their web site? Blossom + Bone Florals. I had such a great time meeting some of the ladies of Blossom + Bone, and getting to chat with them about their backgrounds. I even got to hang out with a fellow lefty that helped me tie my bouquet with twine. She had previously worked on a flower farm (after graduating college), and it was fun to hear her stories on how to grow some of the trickier types of flowers. I am filled with gratitude for being able to meet some other flower aficianados, spend some fun time with my colleagues, and get to take home an awesome floral bouquet!!

Monday, April 11, 2022

2022 Tree Peony Blooms - Week 3

Sometimes you just want to look at the flowers. This week had several tree peonies blooming and one that just smelled so good - the bright pink one, Tree Peony 'Sahohime'. I just couldn't get enough of its scent. Every time I passed by it, I just had to lean in for another sniff! The purple flares on the Tree Peony Paeonia Rockii always impress me. The bright red color of Tree Peony 'Taiyo' almost calls to you from way across the garden, beckoning to come nearer. And who can resist such a full, bountiful double blooms as that of Tree Peony 'Shimanishiki'?

Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace'

Tree Peony Paeonia Rockii

Tree Peony 'Taiyo' 太陽 (The Sun)

Tree Peony 'Sahohime' 佐保姫 (Princess Saho)

Tree Peony 'Shimanishiki' 島錦 (Island Brocade)

Thursday, April 7, 2022

2022 Red Tree Peony Broken!

Red Tree Peony with Broken Branch

I have a sneaking suspicion that the squirrels might have had something to do with this broken branch on my red tree peony. They have been pillaging the sunflowers in my bird feeders, digging up (and eating) lots of crocus bulbs (and muscari bulbs) in my garden this spring, and just being a nuiscance in general. They've even dug up some daffodil bulbs (which they supposedly don't like)!

Red Tree Peony Broken Branch

I know things like this (broken tree peony branches) happen from time to time, but this year this red tree peony looked especially good and was growing so well. It even had 5 blooms on it, which is the most blooms it has ever had! Aside from losing the bloom, which already hurts, it kind of feels like this tree peony is losing 20% of it's growing capabilities for the entire year, as there was quite a bit of tree peony foliage broken off with this branch as well.

Red Tree Peony with Broken Branch

My tree peony garden feels like it really has had a rough time getting started. I started collecting tree peonies last (after herbaceous and intersectional peonies), and the only tree peony that I have that is doing stupendous at the moment is Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'. I have been having a really hard time getting so many tree peonies to take. Many of them will grow for 1-3 years, sometimes more, but many of them will peter out after that or never really grow well, and just get smaller each year until they die. (Some of them have even gotten sprayed with weed killer!) I hope this string of bad luck with tree peonies ends soon!

Red Tree Peony Bloom

Friday, April 1, 2022

2022 Second Tree Peony Bloom(s) of the Season!!

We've had quite the cold spell since the 2022 First Tree Peony Bud of the Season! That tree peony ostii with the first bud was the lone tree peony with blooms for about a week and a half, and it has also been dry with no rain. Yesterday we got a big rain, about an inch and a half, with a warm front, and that really did the trick!! Several other tree peonies and one herbaceous peony all burst into bloom on the same day, April 1st! The extra moisture (and especially the warmer weather) really spurred these peonies into action! I love the whites and lavenders of these very early peonies. It is nice to enjoy these delicate, pastel petal colors in the early peony bloom season. 🙂

Tree Peony 'White Pheonix'

Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'

Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'

Tree Peony Paeonii Rockii Lavender

Peony 'Halcyon'

Tree Peony Paeonii Rockii Lavender

Tree Peony Seedling