Biblitz delivers advise

ASK Biblitz about Peonies.

'Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden, ..'

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I saw the most extraordinary shrub with two or three huge, rose-like flowers, but they weren't roses at all. What the blazes was it?

treePeony04 Biblitz replies:

That would be a peony, most likely, probably a tree peony at that. Very fussy customers, tree peonies. Fragile things of beauty - just so -

Blue Iris

By Mary Oliver


This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old buttery fingers
and they open -
pools of lace,
white and pink -
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities -
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies, and tip their fragrance to the air,
and rise,
their red stems folding

all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again -

beauty the brave, the exemplary,
blazing open.
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,

and softly,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

(-- pgs. 36-37)

All about peonies, including the Biblitz Krinkle White tree peony pictured here in full bloom:

Monet's Passion

Ideas, Inspiration and Insights from the Painter's Garden

By Elizabeth Murray

treePeoney01 Deciduous shrubs with irregular branching habit 3 to 6 feet tall need full sun. Leaves are large, deeply varied, blue-green to bronzy green. Flowers are very large and elegant with silky texture, upt to 12 inches across. Monet preferred the single Japanese types to the heavy double European kinds. (Biblitz likes 'em all. Krinkles here was simply cheaper). Many have the fragrance of old-fashioned roses (as does that of Biblitz!) Colors include white, yellow, pink, red, lavender and purple. Very hardy to cold, blooming in the early to late spring. Water regularly in summer. Plant deep in the fall in a well-dug hole enriched with organic matter (avoid using manure near roots.) Zones 4-8. (-- p. 103)

Further instructions:
To this Biblitz would add the following: Dash a couple of shovels of well-manured compost in late February to early March just before blooming on the soil beneath the leaves all the way to the reach of its widest branches. Add to this one or two handfuls of bone meal, depending on the size of the thing. As you can see, the Biblitz Krinkle White pictured here April 27/10 is now a four-year-old corker, so he is regaled with the full complement. Another blast of the same compost in the same amount in the fall gives him something to chew on over the winter, which on the Left Coast of Canada is quite mild. Krinkles faces south from his base camp in front of David Austin Graham Thomas and Princess Marguerite shrub roses, so he also enjoys a vig from the steer manure forked liberally in their soil first pre-bloom followed by post-bloom compost and - oink, oink - again in the fall. More of the roses later on. Please check back soon for updates

Pest control:

More on flower arrangement - even for weddings.

Who can afford the ecological or the economic cost of pesticides? Not Biblitz, not you. Much better to infect the surroundings with small mounds of herbs few insects but bees enjoy - lavender, for instance, which looks and smells good most of the year. Soldiering aphids will still make their way occasionally but not as much. Before you know it, the earwig patrol arrives to stem the oncoming tide. Black ants, too, jealously guarding their precious peony nectar as you would a wine cellar will also chip in and do their bit.

Creating a Garden for the Senses

Text by Jeff Fox
Photographs by Jerry Pavia

One of the chief joys of the cold-area gardener is the peony, especially the Chinese peony (Paeonia lactiflora), whose golf-ball-sized buds open to huge, double flowers up to 10 inches (25.4 cm) across, perfumed with the scent of roses. (Tree peonies and other species lack this kind of fragrance). (Not true!) These perennials have pretty leaves much used in Chinese paintings. The big blooms are short-lived, unfortunately, and a rain during their short bloom will bend them down and turn them to brown mush. (-- p. 101)

Blue Iris

By Mary Oliver

White Flowers

Last night
in the fields
I lay down in the darkness
to think about death,
but instead I fell asleep, as if in a vast and sloping room
filled with those white flowers

that open all summer
sticky and untidy,
in the warm fields.
When I woke
the morning light was just slipping
in front of the stars,
and I was covered
with blossoms.
I don't know
how it happened -
I don't know
if my body went diving down
under the sugary vines
in some sleep-sharpened affinity
with the depths, or whether
that green energy
rose like a wave
and curled over me, claiming me
in its husky arms.
Never in my life had I felt so plush,
or so slippery,
or so resplendently empty.
Never in my life
had I felt myself so near
that porous line
where my own body was done with and the roots and the stems and the flowers

(-- pgs. 50-51)