Elle Ronis is back, sharing more of her beautiful and diverse garden. (If you missed her previous photos, click here.)
Elle grows small, alpine, and rock garden plants in this beautiful collection of troughs. Traditional troughs are carved from stone but now are more commonly made from hypertufa (a kind of faux stone made from a lightweight cement mixture). Troughs are a beautiful addition to the garden in their own right, and a great space to display tiny, precious plants that might get overlooked in the larger garden. This row of troughs is like a collection of jewel boxes that are filled with tiny treasures.
The intensely patterned flowers of Rhododendron ‘Sappho’ (Zones 5–8) are white with a dramatic dark blotch.
Peonia rockii (Zones 3–8) is a species tree peony, one of the parents of the many beautiful hybrid tree peonies. Just like the rhododendron before it, this flower boasts white petals dramatically marked with dark burgundy. Patterns on flower petals help to attract pollinators, sometimes by guiding visitors to the center of the flower, and sometimes serving to fool male insects into thinking the dark spot is a female insect they can visit.
A spectacular hybrid tree peony. Peonies are one of the oldest plants cultivated for their beauty, and they have been wildly popular in China since the Tang dynasty. It is easy to see why!
A whole planting of tree peonies. Though called tree peonies because of their woody stems, they are more shrubs than trees. Tree peonies have large flowers and are more shade tolerant than their herbaceous counterparts, and the woody stems don’t need staking. However, the gorgeous flowers don’t last as long as those of herbaceous peonies.
Tree peonies blooming with an early-flowering rose.
Here’s a tree peony trying to live up to the tree name! Peonies are a great investment in the garden, as they are very long lived and just get bigger and better with each passing year.
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