Joe Koller sent in today’s photos of peonies.
These photos were taken on May 27 at Alan Summers’ gardens in Zone 7 in northern Maryland. He opened his gardens to the public for the first time that week. Alan formerly owned Carroll Gardens and was frequently mentioned in early issues of Fine Gardening as a source for unusual plants. Alan has given me permission to submit these photos and to name him as the source. He currently has a Saturday morning radio show where he handles gardening questions from all over the country for one hour. I hope you enjoy these photos, and good luck to all!
What is better than a peony (Paeonia lactiflora, Zones 3–8)? Why, a giant row of hundreds of them! Peonies are a good choice for massing like this because they give such an over-the-top show when they flower, and they are notably long-lived, easy-to-care-for plants. All they really ask is sun and some sort of support to keep their heavy flowers from drooping.
Another view of the massive planting of peonies. Though peonies are only in bloom for a short while, rows of daylilies in front of them stand ready to carry on the show.
Closeup of a lovely white peony, just flushed with a bit of pink at its heart. Watch this video on how to protect peonies.
More peonies. It is no wonder Alan opened his garden the week that he did; with all the peonies in bloom, it could hardly be more beautiful.
Wide grassy paths and specimen trees make a beautiful structure for the flowers to strut their stuff.
Rows of carefully labeled trial beds of irises. The American Iris Society visited this trial garden with 2,000 iris plants, many of them rare varieties that are no longer commercially available.
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