You were probably expecting the regular Mish-Mash Monday post today and, frankly, so was I! But I just have waaaay too many photos so I'm sticking to one topic for each of the next few posts. (I know!)
I have three peonies, all divisions from a gardening friend. The one in the sunniest location had just started blooming while I was in Chicago.
Here's one of the big, poofy flowers in bloom.
And another bud about to open. (The rain droplets almost make me look like I know what I'm doing with the camera, but that's sheer coincidence!)
The second peony, at the north side of my house, is now opening, too. The burgundy irises look so nice next to it, a wonderful color contrast, but I find it difficult photographing dark and light things together. You'll just have to trust me when I tell you how great it looks!
My third peony is in one of my wild beds. It gets the least amount of sun, and the fewest buds, and hasn't started blooming yet.
But wait! We're not done with peonies. Not by a long shot. We're off now to visit the Peony Garden at the University of Michigan Nichols Arboretum (that's where the daffodil line was, too).
The garden has 230 kinds of peonies, arranged in three rows of nine beds each (making 27—it's Monday Maths without a drawing!). Each bed has about 30 plants.
Yep, that's my mom. She's joining us on our walk.
I was happy to see some single peonies, like this grouping of a light pink variety. (Even though each bed had a laminated sign with plant IDs, the colors were faded from the sun and it was hard matching the photo to the live plant. So we'll just enjoy the pretty colors and textures.)
And this nice darker pink variety.
And this white kind.
I was also fascinated by the bud colors. My own peonies have buds with burgundy and white striping/splashes. They are very striking and remind me of a Monet painting. So I was surprised to find solid-color buds, like this one in vibrant pink...
...and this one in white.
I also really liked this variety with red stems.
Speaking of red, peonies tend to be shades of pink and white, so I was surprised to find red and burgundy peonies in this collection. This is the darkest peony I've ever seen, a true burgundy. The camera didn't capture the color precisely correctly; it was even darker and deeper than this!
I was amazed at how red this peony was. It looks more fuchsia in the photo, but was truly red in real life.
My mom and I both loved this fringed peony, Lois Kelsey (its unique leaves made it easy to pick out on the laminated ID sheet!). Isn't she cool?
And, finally, I love the textures and colors of this grouping. The buds and young flowers are pink, the older flowers white, the stamens yellow, and the pistils pink. Cool!
Well, I hope you enjoyed our little peony walk. Now let's go to lunch!