In a Vase on Monday (on Tuesday) and more

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All of the big, showy flowers are showing up early this year. I say, while we got ’em, flaunt ’em.

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The bearded iris ‘Immortality’ starts as an icy blue bud that unfurls to pristine white perfection.


This clump is about ready for dividing. I plan to put some closer to the house, where we can truly appreciate them.


The tree peony ‘Chinese Dragon’ produces magnificent deep red flowers but I haven’t perfected the pruning techniques that would coax the shrub into a pleasing overall shape. Enter the close-up, a device used by gardener/photographers to fool you into thinking that all is sweetness and light. To fill out the bouquet, I added a few stems of Weigelia ‘Wine and Roses’ and some Tellima grandiflora, a wildflower that looks something like Heuchera.

And now for the “and more”: (Joy Creek) has changed up its Sunday seminars a bit. There is still the occasional free talk we’ve become used to, but there are now expanded sessions for a nominal fee. Coming up this Sunday is a class called Troughs the Easy Way, taught by a true rock garden star, Christine Ebrahimi. This might be a creative way to spend part of Mothers’ Day. Disclaimer: I am now part of the JC team, but my enthusiasm is genuine and I just have an inside track on what’s going on there.

19 thoughts on “In a Vase on Monday (on Tuesday) and more

  1. I love close-ups. Such a valuable tool to trick people into thinking I have a full, gorgeous garden, when in reality it’s a sparse, weedy mess. Things are definitely early this year. One of my rhododendrons that usually blooms in late May started opening a week ago. I’m not ready for summer yet. Too much watering to do!

    • Speaking of weeds, I am way behind on getting ahead of them (not that we ever do,really) so I hate to think of spending time watering instead.

  2. I. ‘Immortality’ is a star performer, a shame it isn’t perfumed, but you can’t have everything. Works brilliantly with the peony. I think (but I don’t grow them my self so don’t pretend to be an expert) that peonies are best with as little pruning as possible, I’ll be able to divide my I. ‘Immortality’ this year too.

    • I would love to get away with not pruning the tree peony but it flops all over the place in an ungainly fashion. It gets far less sun than when I first planted it, so that may be the culprit. I know they hate to be moved.

  3. I know that trick with the close-ups too! 😉 The white iris is a stunner, and this combination with the red peonies is really lovely. I am waiting with bated breath to see my first peony open soon.

  4. I love your definition of a close up: a multitude of plant sins can be hidden that way. The red peony looks fantastic. I wasn’t aware peonies needed to be pruned.

    • I don’t know what the protocol is for pruning tree peonies (different than herbaceous peonies). All I know is that mine have gotten gangly and overextended, so they seem to be pleading for a haircut.

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