“Blossom by blossom spring begins.” ~ Algernon Charles Swinburne
Tree Peony, Hanakisoi
Good Sunday morning, dear friends. As I write this post (Saturday, May 1), we are under cloudless blue skies and much is happening at ‘Maison de Jardin.’ Therefore, I thought you may enjoy seeing a few of our treasures as they unfold. Treasures I consider to be beautiful and I hope you will too. Spring does hold such exquisite beauty.
Tree Peony, Hanakisoi in our garden about to unfold.
I would like you to meet our tree peony, Hanakisoi. Her name means ~ Floral Rivalry. Tree peonies, unlike herbaceous peonies, have woody stems. They will lose their foliage in the fall, but their woody stems remain. Blooms will form in the spring from these tree-like branches. Tree peonies are native to China and are prized for their large and prolific blooms. These beauties are excellent cut flowers, and many will have blooms up to ten inches in diameter. It has been said that a tree peony is the most beautiful flower to bloom in a garden. Their blooms are delicate and thin, resembling crepe paper. Unfortunately, when fully opened, they only last a very short time.
Pale blush pink Hanakisoi in the vase.
“Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity.” ~ John Ruskin
Tree Peony, Princess Cathy.
Hanakisoi is not to be confused with Princess Cathy. Princess Cathy was given to me by my dear friend and neighbor who moved several years ago. I named this beauty for Cathy, as Cathy received her at a plant swap and there was not a name attached. I wanted you to see her enormous buds. Once fully opened, she is a deeper shade of pink than Hanakisoi. She will be in my post ‘In Full Bloom.’
Soon, she will take center stage.
Tree peony ~ Shimadaijin.
And, the last of our tree peonies is this lovely deep violet ~ Shimadaijin. I have always loved the color and she is exquisite in the vase. You will also see her ‘In Full Bloom.’
Shimadaijin about to unfold.
“Every spring is the only spring, a perpetual astonishment.” ~ Ellis Peters
Next, unfolding is our Carolina Jessamine. One reason I am so attached to her is, I grew her from two three-inch pots. She is a burst of sunshine with an intoxicating fragrance. Her perfume overwhelms the entire garden. Miss Jessamine is the state flower of South Carolina. Beloved by many and thought to be an invasive weed by others. Nonetheless, she is truly lovely, in my opinion.
In this next photo, you can see where a freeze a few weeks ago bit her blooms. She is too tall to cover, so Jack Frost had to show himself before he left town.
“Spring heralds the return of the sun’s warmth, the renewal of life, and the reappearance of green and color everywhere.” ~ Unknown
I had a lovely surprise the other morning. This pretty girl had opened. Her buds are a blush pink and they turn to this beautiful white. We planted her about four years ago. We have native rhododendrons on one side of the front of our home, which are a pretty lavender color. On the other side, we have a lovely deep pink rhododendron and had a hot, hot pink azalea, with orange tones, beside it. The two together were like nails on a chalkboard. I do not like to remove mature plants, however, after three springs I decided I didn’t want to see the azalea again. And, that is when ‘Bright Eyes’ arrived on the scene. She looks like a movie star in between the two pink rhododendrons. Her blotch is a rosy pink. Just as a point of info, the rhododendron is the state flower of West Virginia.
“What a desolate place would be a world without a flower! It would be a face without a smile, a feast without a welcome. Are not flowers the stars of the earth, and are not our stars the flowers of the heaven?” ~ A. J. Balfour
This iris and peony are lovely friends. The peony, Sunny Girl, is butter yellow. The iris, Ruby Morning, is chocolate. They are rather like two snooty girls, who think they look pretty together. And they do, so I felt they would be happy living beside each other. They will both be in the ‘Full Bloom’ post.
Dear friends, I hope you have enjoyed your visit and seeing a bit of spring as she unfolds here in our beautiful “Mountain State.” Know, I thank you for stopping by and I hope I haven’t kept you too long. Spring is beautiful in every corner of our world. What I love about her here is, she stays around for quite a while and gently unfolds.
Finally, I wish you and yours a magnificent day and week ahead. And I am going to do my best to follow the words of Anne Lamott. I hope you will too.
The lilacs continue to add their beautiful fragrance to our home. We are blessed.
“I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen.” ~ Anne Lamott
Images: Michael S. Lambiotte