The Tree Peony

Paeonia suffruticosa

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With temperatures rising to 10 degrees Celcius today, my thoughts of course, turn to the garden...and the promise of Spring...

Long known for it's extravagant beauty, in China, the tree peony, is a symbol of wealth, fortune, luck, prosperity, but most of all happiness....one of the first Spring blooms...

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It found it's way into my garden quite by accident, when I was short on garden knowledge and long on enthusiasm! I thought it was magnolia tree, since I bought it at the end of the growing season when a landscape company was going out of business...no tag or marker...just a great price! 

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It took years to establish itself in my garden, and the first Spring that it bloomed left me breathless....

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The dinner plate size, papery blooms just kept on coming....

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At the onset of Spring, I rush out to count the buds....

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It seems that the colder the winter, the more buds it sets...and from the frigid temps we have experience here in Zone 6, it looks like a magic show will be taking place this June...

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Two years ago, a large tree limb from the surrounding woods, fell on the bed it was planted in.....the tree was destroyed, except for the main branch, which stood about 10 inches from the ground...I was devastated....

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Slowly, it is regaining strength and last summer made a valiant effort to produce quite a few blooms....you can see it in the background, sharing space with rhododendrons, a few azaleas and hostas, in a bed a the edge of the woodland...

One of the most beautiful collections of tree peonies can be found at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden..and above, one, in my garden, creating a beautiful foil for Bella, my son's gentle Malamute....

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Welcome Spring.....