Peony

Winterthur, Delaware, 2008 – 2019

 

To the secret pleasure of the gardeners at Winterthur, a plantation of German irises was dug up by Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) almost a hundred years ago.   

These irises needed labour-intensive, delicate and frequent dead-heading to remove spent blooms without damaging new flowers on the same stalk.

 

In their place he planted herbaceous and tree peonies. These benefited from the hybridizing work of the American peony pioneers, A.P. Saunders (1869-1953) and the Pennsylvanian, J. Franklin Styer (1900-1996).

 

 

DSC02431

 

 

There are four stepped platforms with the peonies overhung with lilac and beauty bushes.

At the edge of one of the beds, a few irises have been planted as if in memory of their lost colleagues.

 

 

 

 

No other plants have been allowed to distract from the beauty of these peonies.  

 

The whole the greatest pleasure;

the experience and memory unexpected solace from time to time in the quarter century of our sojourn together.

 

 

DSC02841

DSC02889

 

DSC02829 - Copy

 

DSC02195

DSC02833DSC02824

A peony named for the evening star, Hesperus.

 

The bushes are dead-headed when the flowers fade. The seed pods cannot be easily used to generate a new plant.  These are mulched.

 

 

DSC02407

Winterthur May 14, 2008 004

DSC00022

DSC00204

DSC03081DSC03080

The flowers fall down sometimes because their beauty is too great a burden for them.

DSC03083

DSC09994DSC02862DSC02867DSC02870DSC00047DSC02406DSC02799DSC00068DSC00063DSC00057DSC02809DSC00058

 

DSC02397DSC09998Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-13DSC02450Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-06DSC09997DSC02834DSC02452DSC02812DSC00007DSC00009DSC02830Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-05Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-02Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-05Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-15DSC02791DSC02810Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-11Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-21DSC00062Peonies, Winterthur May 22 2015-15Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-30Peonies, Winterthur May 22 2015-10Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-31DSC02876DSC00011DSC02409Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-08 - CopyDSC02395Peonies, Winterthur May 22 2015-05DSC00214-1

DSC07190

DSC07196

DSC00101DSC00095DSC02790

DSC02878Peony Winterthur May 22 2015-1

Fresh flowers at the front door of Winterthur’s museum.  This is in the park and comprises 175 rooms of the decorative arts of the Eastern US from 1640-1850.

 

DSC00195-1DSC00030

DSC02821 - Copy

The flowers fall down sometimes because their beauty is too great a burden for them.

Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-09 - CopyDSC04814Peonies, Winterthur May 22 2015-09

Peonies, Winterthur May 22 2015-17DSC00212DSC02882DSC02417DSC00201

DSC03108DSC02413Peonies, Winterthur May 22 2015-14Peonies, Winterthur, May 2014-20Peonies 2016 Winterthur, Delaware-16

DSC00075

DSC02802DSC00391DSC00183DSC02855

The flowers fall down sometimes because their beauty is too great a burden for them. 

DSC02840

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Peony

  1. “Come out here,
    The peonies are in full CRY.
    Come!”
    I remember well the spring morning MC called with this urging.
    I was an hour away – it wasn’t long before I took to the road. Great beauty already in sight –

    the pure lusciousness of peony

    In my former garden I lived with a peony whose name was ‘Bridal Icing’. How perfect & apt-
    I have heard of one who carries the name,
    ‘Rare Flower of Frosty Dew’.

    Have you ever been present the moment the petals give way and spill?

    Sarah, I was taken to a property once –
    A hilly landscape of tall grasses and amongst the grasses were hundreds of peonies in the wild.
    In the distance-row upon row of them.

    You so beautifully wrote,
    “ The flowers fall down sometimes
    because their beauty is too great a burden for them.”
    & I reply,
    Some of us follow suite falling to our knees in their presence.

    I appreciate being able to have a conversation with you through these postings.
    You offer
    I am stirred in one way or another.
    I respond.
    A certain kind of conversation had –
    Thanking you,Sarah Jane

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.