Today we’re visiting with Elle Ronis in her Stamford, Connecticut, garden. We’ve visited this incredible garden before (Flowers Big and Small), and it is always a pleasure to see the beauties Elle has growing.
Troughs full of tiny rock-garden plants in bloom contrast with the enormous flowers of tree peonies all around them.
The reddish leaves of ‘Rainbow’ Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Rainbow’, Zones 5–9) echo the rich red color of a tree peony. Tree peonies are a group of species and hybrids in the genus Paeonia that, instead of dying back to the ground each winter, grow permanent woody stems to form small shrubs. They are hardy to Zones 4–7, sometimes surviving in Zone 8 or even Zone 9.
Tree peonies have huge, dramatic blooms like nothing else in the garden. Elle grows 50 tree peonies in her garden.
Itoh peonies are hybrids between tree peonies and herbaceous peonies. They are named for Toichi Itoh, a Japanese plant breeder who created the first hybrids of this kind, which are some of the most vigorous peonies you can grow.
In this flurry of baby pink flowers on a weigela (Weigela florida, Zones 4–8), the pale pink flowers contrast beautifully with the dark stems. New selections of weigela make short, compact shrubs, but it is hard to beat the beauty of a huge, old weigela in full bloom if you have space for it.
The pink of the weigela echoes in a pink Clematis montana (Zones 5–11) trained up along the roofline.
More trough containers, home to small perennials and shrubs.
Acer pseudoplatanus ‘Esk Sunset’ (Zones 4–7) has dramatic variegated foliage, but be sure to cut out any all-green branches if they develop, as they will quickly take over from the variegated leaves.
‘Violet’s Pride’ rose
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