Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Concubine's Feather, Dragon in Ink Pool, Garden Waif, Smiling in the Thickets.....give up? They're named varieties of Tree Peonies

We had a huge planting project today; it included most of the gardeners, encompassed all of the garden areas, and reduced our growing area inventory significantly and in a good way. Wow. And all I got was this one little picture. The problem was that I was going full bore all day and didn't stop to photograph anybody or anything. That's not like me.

Sonja Behnke Festerling (daughter of Albert Behnke, who was the founder of Behnke Nurseries) used to laughingly make reference to "cardboard gardens". Plant lovers (including Sonja and me!) buy plants and sometimes they go home, aren't planted, and live for some time in the boxes they came home in. I cured myself of that habit a few years ago (an intervention was involved); if it comes home, it gets planted. Still....I remember being an abuser. And that kind of thing happens even in the best families (and in public gardens). We accumulate plants that just don't make it into the ground. Maybe we dont know where to put them, maybe the site needs preparation, maybe....well, the possibilities are  endless. Somebody above us, one of the powers that be?, decided to call us out, and today was the day. Plant it, give it away to somebody who would plant it today, or compost it. Creakily and grudgingly we complied, but by the end of the day I think everybody felt better. A lot of plants too; it's more fun to live in the ground than in a pot.

The plants in the picture are tree peonies that were donated by Peony's Envy. Pretty good name for a company don't you think? They were at the FONA Plant Sale this past spring with a wonderful selection of both herbaceous and tree Peonies. They donated 40 tree peonies. Very generous.

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