1 Last Thursday, I was outside at the farm, taking pictures as the sun was rising.
2 This early morning light is just so magical!
3 The herbaceous peony bed is at least 2 weeks late in blooming this spring.
4 It's been such a cold and rainy season, delaying the blooms of many plants.
5 In 2 or 3 days time, this garden will be magnificent.
6 The peony garden is surrounded by a double hedge of round boxwood.
7 A view of my house past thousands of peony buds
8 Inside the little house-like structure is a time-lapse camera, which is taking photos of this fabulous blooming process. If only it could capture aroma, too!
9 On Sunday, the peony garden looked quite different. There are so many, many types of herbaceous peonies to choose from today, and they should be an integral part of any perennial garden.
10 I wanted a large display of peonies in one place, so I created eleven double beds, each planted with two rows of peonies.
11 There are 21 different peonies, chosen because I liked their growing habits, their blooming schedules, their colors, their lush foliage before and after bloom, and their intensely fragrant and particularly abundant flowering proclivities.
12 My nephew, journalist Dan Slater, was amazed by this mass of fragrant blooms.
13 I purchased this entire collection from Roy Klehm's Song Sparrow Nursery, and I am thrilled with the results.
14 In this garden, there are 770 peony plants in all.
15 The soil in this garden is amended with superphosphate and Azomite, a natural product mined from an ancient mineral deposit in Utah (USA) that typically contains a broad spectrum of over 70 minerals and trace elements, distinct from any mineral deposit in the world.
16 These natural additives improve root systems and overall plant vigor, resulting in this fantastic profusion of blooms.
17 This is Beautiful Señorita, a Japanese peony that has a double row of deep pink guard petals and a cream center.
18 Brother Chuck - A fragrant, large double of soft blush with inner hints of light salmon pink.
19 This is Cora Stubbs, a Japanese peony whose raspberry pink petals create a bowl around the creamy-white center.
20 Star Power is a semi-double variety.
21 This delicate single peony is Lavender Whisper.
22 I decided to cut one of every peony that was blooming and display them outside on my shaded porch.
23 Other varieties in the collection are Elsa Sass, Victorian Blush, Fringed Ivory, Martha, Madylone, Lullaby Coos, Vivid Glow, Prairie Moon, Angel Cheeks, Miss America, Abalone Pearl, Reine Supreme, Mischief, Brother Chuck, and Flying Pink Saucers.
24 This flower form is a bomb, an extremely double flower, having a large number of petals, rising in the center to form a distinct high mound.
25 Semi-Double peonies are peonies which have more than one row of petals and an exposed center crown.
26 Another semi-double
27 And another
28 The Japanese Form are flowers with one or two rows of outer petals surrounding a distinct center.
29 The Crown Form may also be described as
'double.' The outer row of petals becomes very distinct as the flower ages, leaving a center dome of slightly raised petals.
30 The Single Form are flowers with one or maybe two rows of petals that surround the stamens and anthers in the center.
31 Top Brass is a bomb form.
32 A Japanese