Thursday, 26 May 2011


Kelway's stand at Chelsea
gift bunch - 'Coral Charm' (?)
'granny' peony; likely P. officinalis
P. 'Yachiyo-Tsubaki'
P. 'Bowl of Beauty'
A gorgeous gift bunch from Nicola at Cottington inspired me to review peonies. I nipped into the garden to check on ones I've planted. The dark red one is one I divided when I came here 20 years ago. Who knows, maybe it originates when the garden here was re-made in the Edwardian area, the peony heyday. Its autumn foliage makes a crazy colour clash with granny-inherited Nerine and the last few dahlias in a vase.  And 'Bowl of Beauty', which my exquisite taste friend says make her sick (selected by me, admittedly in bud and in haste).  By contrast, the delicate-est pink at the original peony nursery, Kelways. I picked up Claire Austin's catalogue at her beautifully presented stand (camera had run out of battery by this time), which usefully supplemented RHS books and a great article in May's Gardener's Illustrated.  To be included in planting designs. And here's a completely different take on peonies. It would be amazing to come across this on a mountain trek, Paeonia brownii.

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