Hope Springs Eternal

Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)May 7, 2007

It has been a month since the Arctic blast wiped out most of our new leaves and blooms. A lot is well on it's way to recovery, but a few trees and shrubs still look dead. In light of the terrible devestation in Kansas I feel rather ashamed to be whining about the loss of a few plants, leaves, and blooms !

Nevertheless, here are some pics of how things look today in our yard....

The back woods are greening up nicely:

The Ninebark is looking good:

The Multi Blue Clematis has two open blooms and more coming on:

But still looking sad, the Japanese Doublefile Viburnum:

The Japanese Redleaf Maple:

The biggest red Weigela:(That is brown leaves you are seeing.)

And the Dawn Redwood:

All of the above are putting on new leaves or leaf buds, but our large native Persimmon shows no sign of life....strange....

And there are more trees and shrubs that still look bare, but have tiny new buds or leaves.

There are many surprises, like the fact that the wild blackberries and dewberries, that were zapped during their early blooms, are reblooming ! So the wildlife will have their food after all. We were rather concerned about the behavior of the local black bears if there were no wild fruits. I do doubt that there will be any acorns, and many wild critters depend on them.

Speaking of wild critters....there is a skunk with newborn babies in Nolon's shop building. They are hidden well behind an old refrigerator,( and other stuff ), but we can hear the babies 'grunting'. The scent is barely detectable. :-)

There is at least one new fawn in our front woods, and most likely a nest of turkey eggs. Nolon has been seeing the turkey hen making daily trips across the driveway to and from the pond.

Ahhhh, Spring ! It is wonderful !

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Marian, in spite of the brown leaves here and there, everything looks so lush and green ! I envy those who have room to grow large shrubs and trees. I have to be so selective in my small garden. and skunks ! I'll never forget the evening back in the 80's when one walked into our family room and started eating out of the cat dish. My DH and I sat wide eyed and still , and finally Mr. Skunk finished dining and toddled back out the door.
I enjoyed your photos.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 10:23PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks Kathy. I hope to get pics of the new 'family'. We have never had a problem with 'our' skunks. We respect them, and ( so far) they have respected us. Nolon has even had one right at his feet in the shop, and they were both unconcerned! Our cats have never been sprayed, nor have we...:-)
The other night a large light grey opossum was eating the cat food I had left on the front porch. I opened the door to retrive the food, but Mr.Possum was not afraid, and was reluctant to back up. I had a short pruner on the window sill that I tapped him on the nose with. He still was not wanting to leave, but backed up enough for me to grab the plate of food and rapidly shut the door! I don't think they are harmful as long as they are not cornered, but I was taking no chances. :-)
Tonight it was a large Raccoon, but the food was already in.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 11:01PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

How nice to see things so lush in your neck of the woods Marian! We have had many lovely warm days recently but frost yesterday morning. Nothing was damaged this time though.

Things are quite dry and the hoses have already been set up. :(

As for critters, Charlotte had one skunk experience a few years ago. I doubt she learned from it though, so hope they stay away from the farm. But raccoons have babies in the barn once more. Not great, but better than in our house roof! They are terribly destructive critters.
Possums are not native here but have begun showing up in Ontario in the last 10 years or so. They are not traffic smart and we see many dead ones on the roads. As for bears, I hope not to see any this far south. They do live in Algonquin Park to our north.

Another sunny day here!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 8:23AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Oooops ! I don't know how I deleted the Doublefile Viburnum's pic:

Marie, I'm sorry you are so dry already. We are getting another downpour right now. Thunder preceded it, but seems to have ceased. I do hope no more frosts hit your area. We are surely passed that threat.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 9:01AM
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I laughed at the skunks in the shed, Marian. You and have similar outlooks on things like that... cats and skunks are generally pretty cool with each other, but I'd be nervous with a family of skunks and Wrecks. Man! can that smell linger on a dog. :( (right 'bug?) We have o'possums here, too, but many show signs of frostbite on their ears when you see them dead by the road (makes me sad!). They're marsupials (like kanagroos), and amazingly adaptive creatures which is why Marie sees them up her way (global warming?).

It's very dry here, too. They've had the red flag warnings up for nearly 2 weeks now; very high fire danger, NO burn permits issued. Next chance for rain is Friday, with a possibility of thunderstorms; sounds like a summer weather pattern.

I've watched the flooding and tornado destruction in the midwest on TV. I can't even image the scale of the destruction left by the tornado. How could you even BEGIN to recognize what you may have known all your life? everything is GONE.

Fun to see your reviving landscape; I'll try to post more pictures as things progress around here.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 3:44PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Its great to see all the regrowth happening, especially the things that are blooming again! ItÂs amazing how resilient plants can be. We often notice and lament all the things that winterkill but donÂt appreciate/notice as much the ones that pull through after a tough weather event. You  and those of us who read your threads  are likely to remember for quite a while the toughness exhibited by your trees. When you first said the Dawn Redwood was blasted I thought it might have a good chance of a comeback  anything that has survived from the days of the dinosaurs has got to be pretty tough!

In memory of your lost serviceberry blooms, below is the picture of my pathetic little one that started blooming today. ItÂs got a long way to grow before itÂll come close to the beautiful ones in your woods!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 5:01PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Yes, Chelone, I would be wary of having a dog like "Wrecks" around a family of skunks ! LOL. So,why are you examining the ears of roadkilled possums? :-)
I'm sorry it is so dry in your area. It rained on me most of the way to town today. Then there was another shower at home after we unloaded my purchases ( which included more plants!). It is very comforting to know I don't have to worry about my fire loving neighbor, when everything is so wet. He gave us another scare recently.
I googled about the Kansas tornado, and found a site of arial views of the wiped out town. Almost mindboggling! How amazing that more lives weren't lost. And the floods are so terrible. Poor, poor people.....
Now it is fires in Florida....

Susan, I am pleased that you are familiar with the Dawn Redwood. I think a lot of my friends have no idea what I am talking about. I love it's scientific name, Metasequoia glyptostroboides. It, and Dizygotheca elegantissima are my favorite plant names. :-)
Your serviceberry is not "pathetic" ! It is very pretty. Do you know what species it is ? Our serviceberries were damaged a lot, and still have lots of dead brown leaves, but are recovering. Right now the one by the bay window has more bright green from the Virginia creeper ( Parthenocissus quinquefolia)that climbs it, than from it's own leaves.
That is a magnolia in the background...right? It's great seeing your far north yard coming to life.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 7:03PM
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I'm particularly fond of the "proper name" Aristolochia durior (Dutchman's Piple"), rolls off tghe tongue so nicely. But, Metasequoia glyptostrostroboides is pretty smooth, too. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the other one you posted, lol. Hydrangea anomola petioris is nice, too! A lot of people get freaked out by the Latin names or worse, "poo-poo" them as too "snotty". How silly, they sure sound good, with some practice.

Here are some shots of Hydrangea anomala petiolaris from this very spring. Please remember that there is a "barrel vault" arbor spanning the privacy fence panels. It has taken fully 12-13 yrs., with heavy pruning to get the plant to do what you see in these pictures. I'm definitely a "cliptomaniac" when I deal with this plant. ;)

This what the plant looked like some years ago, and from a distance:

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 7:33PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Wow ! Chelone. I want to see pics of that Hydrangea in bloom. I'd like to have one climbing our tall wild cherry tree, but Nolon isn't happy with that idea.

Dizy-go-thee-ca el-eg-an-tiss-im-a , with the accent on the "thee" and the "tiss". False Aralia :-)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 8:00PM
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So there! ;) (chuckles and thanks)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 8:04PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Dizygotheca elegantissima...Marian, you stole MY favourite!

Chelone, why have you been hiding that? Amazing!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 8:09PM
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Yeah... I see clearly now that the fingers were clearly anticipating the brain... a very bad thing! My fingers clearly outrun my voice when "sounding out" a name, lol.

It is, Marian, a very pretty vine in bloom. I will be certain to snap some shots of it. I waited a long time for a nice display of blooms, but once it "hit its stride" it's never failed to deliver. And I prune this sucker HARD.

My favorite aspect of this large, vigorous vine is the beautiful cinnamon colored peeling bark. Everyone bemoans the time frame required for it to flower... never bothering to appreciate the delicate quality of the exfoliating bark. THAT'S what really "makes" this vine/shrub in MY mind.

Lots of time with NO leaves in New England, you take the thrills when they're offered! ;)

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 8:18PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

My serviceberry is pathetic because Im taller that it is! There is no other tree in my garden that is shorter than me and that serviceberry tree (I think its just an ordinary Downy Serviceberry) has been in the garden for 4 years. It seems to have a case of arrested development! After the flowers finish this spring Im going to prune it to remove the lowest side branches in hopes of making it a taller single-trunked trees. Maybe threatening it with the loppers will encourage it to get growing!

The magnolia in the background is a Randy variety one (how could I resist?!) I also have the Susan variety Randy is usually in full bloom at the same time as the serviceberry and I have some deep pink tulips in the bed behind that match the magnolia color and bloom with it too. This year the magnolia and tulips are lagging a bit behind.

Last year one of the other host gardens on the tour had a huge Dawn Redwood and an equally large Ginko. They both had to be at least 40-50 years old. Thats a combination Id love to have in the garden and include lots of other big, primitive-looking plants in the garden to go with them. There was a big ginko on the campus of the university DH and I attended but the first time I saw a Dawn Redwood was in England in the 1980s. I find their ancient origins fascinating. The nearby Royal Botanical Gardens here just got a Wollemi pine last month. Well have to go check that out once its settled in.

Its funny to hear you call my garden a far north one! In Canadian terms, southern Ontario is far from being the far north :- )

Chelone I definitely want to see that climbing hydrangea in bloom too! I moved two off the old shed last fall before we tore it down. They were fairly young and had only ever produced one or two flowers. I plunked them in the ground along the fences one on the north fence and one on the west, with not too much hope of survival. I was surprised at how few roots they had when I dug them up. Both are leafing out well at the moment when I fully expected them to die. Now Im not sure what to do with them leave them on the fences or find somewhere else for them.

On the other thread you commented on the trilliums. They are the highlight of May around here. The amazing thing is that the trillium wood is right beside a major road in the middle of 1960s-era suburbia! From what I can find, trilliums like neutral to slightly acid soil. Do you have the red trilliums there? Growing up in New Brunswick, the common ones were red, not the white ones here (the Trillium grandiflorum are the provincial flower of Ontario). Two of the rural elementary schools I attended (many long years ago :- ) had carpets of red trilliums in the surrounding woods. The yellow dog-tooth violets bloomed with them, also in masses. It was a memorable sight and showier in many ways than the more sedate white carpet in the trillium wood here. Conditions in Maine shouldnt be too different than NB I think so maybe you can find places with a red trillium wood ?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 8:54PM
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I am fascinated by Trillium. I'm "native" to New England and I can't remember ever seeing them in either Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Maine.

When we lived in MA our lot was on the low side, a brook ran behind our home. I recall wild LOV, Osmunda ferns, Jack in the Pulpits, Princess Pine, and an occasional Lady Slipper, etc., no Trillium.

In Northern NH, there was no Princess Pine, Jack in the Pulpit, or Trillium. Osmundas and wild LOV a-plenty! and the heavenly scented "Sweet Fern", and the low growing blueberries.

In ME., there is wild LOV, Gautheria procumbes, the trout lilies, tons of other ephemerals, Osmundas enough to encircle the globe, low bush blueberries, Lady Slippers, but no Trillium!

This leads me to the following thoughts: either the soil is too damp, or the fact that our lot was cleared for sheep pasture at the turn of the century wiped out any native Trillium; either are possibilities. I'd love to start some, but feel I need to get things more "under control" and undstand more about their culture before I give it a whirl... they're expensive little darHlins!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 7:53PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Susan, I can't help but chuckle about the serviceberry with "arrested development", :-)
But I am sorry it will not grow into a larger tree/shrub. They grow rapidly here, but don't have long lives, maybe about 30 years. They reseed plentifully also. I leave every one that comes up in a location where it isn't interfering with mowing or other plantings.
Yes, I understand about the "Randy" Magnolia. I bought an Evelyn Rose because that is my sister's name. How nice that both of you have Magnolias named after you....:-)
Re: my Ginkgo and Dawn Redwood...I am fond of incorporating 'rareties' into my yard. I have lost a lot that I've tried, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Another tree that is doing pretty good for me is the Maackii amur. It is a member of the pea family, but it's blooms aren't very interesting, it's pods are small, but it's shape and leaves are pretty. It's new leaves are gray and fuzzy. I have never heard of that Pine. I need to do a google on it. My only pine tree is a native pinus echinata, Shortleaf Pine. It is in the process of putting on new candles right now. I planted a bunch of small pines that the Forest Service gave to the Extension Homemaker's club a few years ago, and set them out all over in openings, but the deer ate them !
LOL, the "far North' that I was refering to is in respect to where I live. We are considered "South" but we aren't really...more Midcentral.

Chelone , sorry about the absence of trilliums where you have lived. There are several in our area. Actually, I haven't found any on our acreage, but near neighbors have them. I got a start of the Toadshade from a friend who was going to mow the area where they grew in her yard. She asked me to come and get anything that I wanted. I did, and it all "took" in my wildflower bed. I bought a white one. We have many of the other wild flowers that you mentioned. This area abounds with wild flowers. If you have seen my PT albums, you have probably seen all the ones I have documented on our place.

With our continuing rains ( more today) the new growth of everything is astonishing. It now looks like full-blown spring...again.

I spent the forenoon potting up stuff, but what I did is just the 'tip of the iceberg' ! I sure don't get things done very fast anymore. :-(
Just walking around the yard exhausts me.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 9:57PM
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OK, here are some shots of the destruction:

This guy is named Tom. He is an arborist with a passion for trees. He loves to climp them, he loves to prune them, he loves to manage them. And when they have to go "bye-bye" and are in a tough spot, he's the man for the job. Eden would appreciate his mastery of his skill and the care he takes to minimize any damage (not that it mattered in this case).

The first shot is for scale; here's another... should have gotten a close up of his tool belt! He likes to climb the tree ONCE.

I took this shot yesterday. Check out the length of the blade on the chainsaw! I commented on it and was told they have a longer one in the truck. The butt of the maple in the picture was easily 30-32" in diameter.

This is to the left of the door to the house. I love ferns. I love the way they emerge from their rhizomes, I love the color changes, I just think they're great. ;)

And lastly... how could I not include one of our glorious pride? Polly:

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 5:13PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Great pictures Chelone. The guy in the tree gives me the willies ! I am with you on the ferns. I love them. Beautiful kitty. We used to have one that color.
Speaking of saws, Nolon cut some unwanted limbs from the baywindow serviceberry today. He used an electric saw that looks like a combination of a chainsaw and a pruning saw. I could ask him what is is called, but he has gone to bed...:-) The limbs were overhanging the house's roof and I mentioned that they needed removed. I meant to do it myself, but he jumped at the chance.

It has rained again this afternoon. I think I am getting web feet. I managed to get some more combos potted up. Now if only the marauding varmints don't uproot everything on the deck like they did last year !

The shop skunk has moved her brood, and I think they are now under the extreme east corner of the house, under the diningroom. I heard a noise in that location when I first got up this morning. Of course it could be some other varmint, like an armadillo.

The fleas have returned inside and out. I'll have to do the flea bombs and carpet sprays, and Frontline the cats. Tommy goes ballistic when I attempt to treat him, and Nolon is no help in holding him.

I hope all are having a good evening, and rain is getting to all that need it.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 9:01PM
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Chelone, I bet those tree dudes have some prtetty hefty liability insurance premiums !

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 10:45PM
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Lots of interesting pictures.

Marian, I always enjoy your trees and shrubs.

Chelone, what a neat arbor and I would love to see it in bloom. I also really would like to see more wide angle pictures of your gardens. Wioe angle pictures gives me a sense of being in your garden.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 10:27AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Thanks Michelle, I enjoy them too....:-) And I am sooo thankful that almost everything is recovering.

I am still repotting and making combos. It appears that I need more low growing and trailing plants for my containers...;-)

As Kathy mentioned earlier, it is really really getting green and lush here. We can no longer see through the woods. The deer, bear, and turkeys can pass by unnoticed now. We can only see them if they come out into a clearing.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 12:07PM
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There's a reason I don't post a lot of "long" shots, you guys. The "close up" hides a multitude of sins! All the -hit I'd rather you didn't get to see... .

I probably need to "lighten up" and "get over it", huh? Well... be careful what you wish for, kiddy-os. You may just see more than you wanted!

(COVER YOUR EARS, Marian) Heheheh...(in a diabolical tone)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 8:13PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Nah, Chelone...I've hard it all...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 9:39PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

The hope that is springing eternally here at the moment is that we dont get frost! The weather and forecast has been very cool and the overnight lows are in frost territory for the next week. We were lucky that there was a lake breeze last night. Also, it was partly cloudy and the temperatures didnt get as low as forecast so we dodged the frost bullet last night. Tonight its going to be clear and cold so Ive got my fingers crossed again. The wisteria flowerbuds are starting to extend and there are quite a few buds on the Clematis montana. Both those things weve been waiting anxiously to see if they are going to bloom this year. Last year was the first time for both of them to bloom and were hoping for a repeat this year it should happen if we dont get frost this week!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 5:53PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Well we DID get the frost, but not as seriously as anticipated. Tonight we have to go through the same routine: covering new roses and clematis, bringing things indoors... What a pain.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 7:48PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Woody and Marie,and everyone else getting frosts, sorry ! My problem is worrying about the raccoons digging up my deck plants. I am bringing some in, and setting others up where I hope they won't bother them. It worked last year, after that damage was already done once.

We had a gorgeous day today. Perfect weather. No special activity for Mother's Day, but our son called me this afternoon. He and his lady friend were at a golf course. He is teaching her to golf, and she was beating him ! LOL

Tomorrow will be the date that I predicted that our trees may be leafed out again. Most are, but there are still some laggers. No sign of life yet on the mimosas or the crepe myrtle.The large persimmon tree is finally getting some leaves in the upper limbs. The woods have greened up enough that the persistant browned leaves/blossoms are almost all hidden.

I am wondering where Vegangirl is? I was hoping to hear from her again. There are others, also that I am missing.

I am wishing well for all who are ailing, or have loved ones and pets who are. Also for those with job woes.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 8:55PM
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vegangirl(z6 VA)

I'm here:-) I have a nasty cold, having just barely recovered from the flu :-( I think I have too much stress and it's affecting my immune system. Or I should say I am not handling my stressors very well. My parents have both had the flu and are just now feeling better.

Enjoying all the pictures. That freeze was horrible. I will check back in later. I need to get some sleep. Goodnight all :-)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 9:44PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Ahhh, VG, I so sorry! I hope you are all well soon, and I'm glad your parents are on the mend.
We pretty well escape the flu since we started getting the flu shots every fall.
One of my biggest problems, the past few months, was a potassium deficiency due to my blood pressure med. I didn't realize how hard that can be on a body!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2007 at 9:58PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

It has been a very good day. I did some weed-eating this morning,spread some tick granules around the perimeter of the house, then mowed a lot of our grass. After an afternoon rest I finished the mowing. It still amazes me the amount of debris that falls from the damaged shrubs when I brush against them. I am constantly brushing it off of my clothing as I go along on the riding mower. I need to do some major pruning, espacially of the large weigela.
Oh yes, I also set out several of the potted plants. Two of them are Hostas. I was thinking they were differant varieties,( I had got them on differant days), but they ended up being the same....oh well, they are still pretty..."Minuteman". Also a bunch of dianthus, in front of the house. The Hosta are in the back wildflower bed.

There must be a family of armadillos mining our yard for grubs. The northwest yard is full of holes !

I discovered a few leaves in the top of the large mimosa, and the large persimmon tree has a few leaves appearing. Now I think only the crepe myrtle is still dead looking.

As I sat working on a 'new' 1000 piece puzzle, awhile ago, a very loud whipperwill was serenading me right outside the sliding glass door !

Two of my favorite Peonies have opened:

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 10:23PM
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I'm a month/maybe a bit less away from Peonies, Marian. Your's are just lovely. My white ones are flecked with Magenta and the pink one is about the same color as your's but not the "bomb" shape, it's a basic double. Both came from an historic garden in Portsmouth, NH. The scent of Peonies is so great, isn't it. And I get a kick out of watching the ants on them, too. The ancient Chinese used to maintain that it was the delicate massages delivered by the ants that coaxed the buds to open... how sexy is that?!

I brushed over some moss growing next to a bed the other day and there was a cloud of orange "dust"... so cool that spores/pollen are released by such small things. I love moss, I'm fine with it on the edges of the lawn, too. It's like living velvet.

Skunks are what mine our lawns for grubs here. When my nose detects them I'm careful about taking Rex outdoors. ;)

    Bookmark   May 15, 2007 at 6:25PM
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Marian, love your peony pics. When I moved to Northern Cal from San Diego (20+ years ago) I was really excited that I would be able to grow peonies. I did so for quite a few years but now have only one lone tree peony and have given away all the herbaceous .They will grow here but just not very well.It gets to hot, or it rains every day for a week and ruins the flowers, or the winter is too warm and not enough chill hours to set blooms.If I had more space I would go for it...

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 12:16AM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The white peony is prettier than the pic, the angle and the sun were not right. It was labeled 'Primevere', but I'm not sure that is right.
Chelone, I don't have an old fashioned Festiva maxima, but would like to have one. I had some in Idaho. I do have another double white variety, but it has no flecks. Here is the single that is blooming for me now :

I really like these.The stamens get a lot more prominent, more like a mophead, only with stamens instead of petals. They do not get to looking like soggy rags when it rains. I thought that I have Bowl of Beauty,but if I do, it isn't blooming yet. It just may be one that the blasted voles has eaten the roots! That is apparently what happened to the Molly that Eileen sent me. I waited and waited for a sign of growth, and when it didn't appear I dug up the root...only there was no root left! It is beginning to look like the varmints are winning!

You may be right about the skunk, but I haven't detected any skunk odor when the digging is going on. The is another batch of holes all across the front of our front flowerbeds and front porch this morning, and out into the yard. We do have armadillos.

Kathy, I am sorry that you had to give up on growing Peonies. I had the same problem with Rhubarb. It grew great in Idaho, but I can't get it to do well here.

I have been reading lots of favorable reports on Diamond Frost Euphorbia. I bought one before I had read about it. Here is a pic of it planted in a combo with my very first Strobilanthes:

I'd like to get more of them if they are still available at the local nurseries or plant places.
We have gone back to more seasonal temps. It was the mid to low 40s the past two mornings, and possibly lower tomorrow, but not frost...thank goodness. I have all my tender stuff out on the deck, and do not plan on bringing it back in !

    Bookmark   May 17, 2007 at 11:29AM
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