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May 1, 2020 10:04 PM CST
|This small garden area was a lot of fun to create... and it is where I most frequently sit on this side of the house. The triangular brick "patio" allows the use of an old wrought-iron patio bench... and the triangular planting area is just large enough for a few favorite perennials.The Culver's Root [Veronicastrum virginicum] blooms at about the same time as the 'Muscadet' Lilies and the two vertical statements work real well together. There are enough 'Blue Mouse Ears' Hosta in this bed to make two distinct areas of groundcover... they are spectacular when the Hostas bloom [if you're willing to get down low enough to really appreciate each flower.]
Planting 'Purple Sensation' Allium and 'Eye of the Tiger' Iris helped liven up the spring look.
But the one addition that has had the most impact is the placement of three potted herbaceous Peonies behind the bench. Root systems for the Peonies were dug last fall and potted in 16 inch pots... and were then left to make it through the winter on the covered patio. They did beautifully... they are much larger this spring than they were in the ground... and each plant has more blooms than in previous years. The white 'Festiva Pixie' is in bloom now. The 'Edulis Superba' will be next... its blooms started opening today. And, hopefully, the single pink blooms of 'Nymphe' will finish the show. I worried about these 3 plants all winter... watering when I thought they needed it... and the results this spring have been spectacular. All three are large, dense, deep green mounds of foliage on strong stalks... and all three have flower buds. 'Edulis Superba' has 4 that are opening, 'Festiva Pixie' has 10, and 'Nymphe' has 15. The plants in their pots are tall enough and wide enough to create a degree of screening between the bench and the entire sideyard... making the seating a bit more intimate and cozy.
POSTSCRIPT -- It turns out the Peony with the most blooms is not 'Nymphe' with pink single blossoms. It is 'Raspberry Sundae'. 'Nymphe' must have been the one I gave to Bessie.
In an email I tried describing 'Raspberry Sundae' and ran into a divergence of opinion on what type of bloom it was. The NGA entry calls it a "bomb" flower type. A growers website calls it a "double bomb" flower type. The Missouri Botanical Garden calls it a "double" flower type. The last source I checked, Peonies by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall, was the most descriptive source, "A vanilla bombe with a ring of narrow petals sits on a saucer of pale pink guard petals, topped with a large tuft of darker pink petals [the raspberry sauce]."
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