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Tree Peony-Nishiki

I wish the rain would stop.  It’s been raining on and off for a few days.  I know it’s good for the garden, but not all plants love a lot of rain.  We have waited for the Tree Peony “Nishiki” (Paeonia suffruticosa) to blossom, twelve flowers this year, but they’re too delicate to withstand a heavy rain and that takes the fun out of it.

The Nishiki started to unfurl one by one two weeks ago.  They look great on a sunny day. The flowers are around 8 to 10 inches in diameter when fully open.  On a cloudy day they refuse to open completely.  Perhaps a self-preservation mechanism as the flowers are too large for the stalk to hold up under the added weight of rain.    I cut the root suckers off them early this year to cut down crowding but one still sneaked out growing about a foot away from the main plant.  I think I’ll let it grow and then transplant it later on in the season.  I left them to bloom last year just to see what the flowers would look like.  They turned out pretty too, one layer of petals and a deep pink.  They looked more like the herbaceous peony (Paeonia officinalis).

Then the rain came down taking a lot of petals off the flowers.  Bummer.  The one that was only half-open looked great after the rain though.  Now we just have to wait for the herbaceous peonies to bloom and hope that the rain will let us enjoy them longer.

Nishiki-fully open

Not yet beat up by the rain

Half bloom. Looks more like a rose.

Close up

A bloom from last year’s sucker