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. 

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