Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tree Peony ~ Unfurling For Over 3,000 Years


 Tree Peonies in the garden are a horticultural and cultural link to ancient China. Actually, early on these bodacious beauties were grown for medicinal purposes, but who could deny that they feed and heal the spirit as well. 
A small shrub that survives in my jungle of a garden, reaching up towards four feet, high above the horrid ocean of bishop's weed . . . that haunts me by day and even in my dreams.
Here are a few portraits capturing some of the many moods of our elegant Tree Peonies . . . wearing jewel-like droplets, honeybees and sometimes becoming chalices of light. 
  






  









Holding the sun and years of history within folds of petals.
Tree Peonies bloom earlier than their herbaceous cousins and retain their large woody stems even when the plant is dormant.
I am tempted to break my vow of only adding native plants to my multi-cultural gardens henceforth . . .  and sneaking a few more of China's national flowers in between some of our natives. 



20 comments:

Larry said...

They are indeed lovely Carol... a few posts back I did a series of photos on one of my tree peonies in particular that was amazing this year... that plant reignited my desire to have more, although I do have ten hybrids from seed developing in a special spot in the gardens. Love the bee! Larry

Pat @ Woodlouse House said...

I love these photos. The peonies are beautiful! Mine is only a year old so very small at the moment. I visited a National Trust house and complimented the gardener on his peony tree and he gave me a shoot to take home. Can't wait for it to grow as big as yours!

Eva said...

Dear Carol~~How exquisitely photographed! I had no idea that you had such a variety. I love how you describe the flower in your introduction . . . especially "chalice of light." And the honey bee! Lovely.

FlowerLady said...

These are beautiful blooms and I can see why you would want to add them or more of them to your gardens.

Have lovely holiday weekend.

FlowerLady

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

They are truly gorgeous, Carol! I have only one tree peony, and it just finished blooming. Do you have your plants blooming all at the same time?

Sharon Lovejoy said...

One word, DIVINE!

I love every inch of this posting.

Love,

Sharon

Randy Emmitt said...

Carol,
These bee and peony photos have me drooling, wow! Today I sat trapped while Meg's sister and mother were scrap booking. I was watching out the window a magnolia grandifloria in bloom with bees buzzing them. I finally went outside with the camera, but missed the bees. The aroma.. Thanks for sharing these photos.

Gardening said...

Beautiful photos, really! and beautiful blog too.

Our peonies didn't flower yet :( but then... I will tell the world! :)

Regards
Garden Chair

Delbensonphotography said...

Wow! what a beautiful flowers. I love your images. They are beautiful! The colors are great.

Carol said...

Thank you All! I so appreciate your kind words of support! All of my Tree Peonies do bloom at about the same time Tatyana . . . then there are late buds that linger and unfurl at different times.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Carol:
Tree Peonies are such magnificent flowers. They are truly regal, we think, in habit and in the glorious quality of their blooms.

Yours are truly lovely and the pale lemon one has absolutely captured our hearts. It has a dreamy quality to it and beautifully complements the finely divided and gloriously green foliage.

The Chinese heritage of gardening history is remarkable and so yes, we can well see the fascination and delight to be had by introducing more varieties of Chinese descent to your garden.

schmück-dich-glücklich said...

Hello,
I love your paeonies. The photos are wonderful.
Greetings from Germany.
Ulrike

Tammie Lee said...

dressed in rain
bathed in sunlight
visited and sleep in by the wee bugs
lovely colors
marvelous photographs

I love peonies.....
very much
all those petals just make my heart flip flop
just this year i have planted a few plants for the first time on this property, i think peonies would be happy here.... perhaps you have inspired me.

sweetbay said...

So beautiful!! Superb captures of the bees as well.

gippslandgardener said...

Hello Carol, those Tree Peonies are just so lovely - they really do have a soft glow! I love the industrious little bee too :)

Kalantikan said...

Hello Dear Carol, i haven't seen a peony in person and if i would maybe i will think it is a different variety of rose! I read somewhere, maybe in Larry's site that there is a hybrid between the tree peony and another peony. They look beautiful. I can relate to your planting only native plants...plus peonies, haha!

Cat said...

Carol, you have such a lovely writing style and the photos along with your gentle words are just as pretty. I can imagine you're enjoying your spring very much with such gorgeous blossoms to linger over.

Laila said...

Beautiful Peonies (one of my favorite flowers, can´t get enough of them) and stunning pictures of the busy honeybee!
Kram/Laila

Kathleen said...

I say go for it. The bees like them and they are absolutely gorgeous. A few more is always better. Your photos are spectacular.

Patty said...

I see Tree peonies in my future. Just seeing your yellow peonies is enough to send me to the nearest plant nursery.

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