Not later than yesterday I stated that most garden work is done by now. Little did I know that on the wast sea of internet I would just stumble over some of the most beautiful peonies I have seen.
Ok, I admit that I have an unconditional love for big, lush peonies - I just can't resist their silky opulence and their perfume in spite of the short blooming period.
Klem's Song Sparrow Farm and Nurseries from US has the most incredible choice of this plants - both the herbaceous and the tree ones.
It is a real torture to pick just a couple, since if you are into big, opulent blooms - there is no such thing as an ugly peony. To me they are all just very close to perfection, but three of them caught my sight for the unusual colour.
The first one is Green Halo - very unusual with its lime green shading on the outer petals.
The second one is Golden Angel - a vision of purity with simple, cupped flowers, but the stunning fact is the golden colouring of the leaves. The shots turn from the usual red shade when very young, to an light golden green.
Hot Chocolate has the classical anemone shape, while the colour is velvety red with a brownish undertone - reminding of old Bordeaux vine.
I will not bother you with any details about planting and growing peonies - if you are prepared to dig a generous hole in a suny spot and fill it with good, rich leaf mould the plant will do almost all the rest by itself. And if it should like your garden you might become friends for a very long time - since a peony plant can live for 100 years!
For all the rest about peonies , Henry Mitchell has written some of the most beautiful and funny pages. You can find the book references in my book list at the end.
Be warned before you start looking at the page - the prices are as hot as their peonies... But as the French say: "quand on aime on ne compte pas!"