In the spirit of a Wordless Wednesday post I am today sharing with you a few photos of my floral highlight this week. This beautiful tree peony was bought as a very small plant in a 9cm pot. Sadly its label disappeared when Nelson was a puppy, so I have no idea of its name. As ever any suggestions are appreciated!
It was bought and planted in the spring of 2011 and its first flower opened in May 2012. In 2013 it had three flowers, which opened during Chelsea week. This week I have six flowers! I am keeping my fingers crossed for many more in future years.
Tree peonies are deciduous shrubs rather than herbaceous perennials. They grow on a permanent framework, which can be pruned as necessary to improve their shape. Despite their delicate appearance they are actually very hardy. They must not, however, be cut to the ground in the autumn as you would with a herbaceous peony. I have not yet had any need to prune my tree peony, but if it starts to get leggy I will cut the overlong stems back hard to a bud. It is growing in a sheltered position in a large border that gets the sun until midday. In the spring I feed it with fish, blood and bone and mulch with garden compost. Despite its short flowering season it is an attractive foliage plant, so I am happy to have it growing in a spot near to the house.
For its brief annual flowering period it is the real star of the spring border!