Thursday, May 9, 2013

Paeonia Mascula type at Far Reaches Farm

Paeonia mascula type flower in bloom at Farm Reaches Farm
    As I mentioned yesterday, the shade garden at Far Reaches Farm is full of amazing treasures at their prime right now.  Among those are a number of species peonies, including this one.  Kelly says it is a mascula type, possibly a hybrid, which he salvaged from Leo Hitchcock's garden in Seattle in the 90's.  Leo was a botany professor at the University of Washington, and the author of Flora of the Pacific Northwest.  Kelly says that Leo had a garden in Seattle that had plantings dating from the late 40's and that it was full of horticultural treasures.  That property was sold to a developer who was going to destroy the garden, so Kelly managed to rescue some of the plants, including this one.  As a photographer, I am glad he did!
     I will have more posts about some of the species peonies later.  I have mixed feelings about them because their bloom period is so short--turn around and they will be done blooming, just about.  However, those mixed feelings evaporate every year at two times--when they first come up with their usually red snouts, and when they bloom.  This particular peony in the photo is a particularly photogenic one even if it is mainly white! Although this is a mascula type, it is not a usual mascula--those are usually pink.  I have a number of P. masculas in my garden and they self sow with abandon--to the extent that they will be on the noxious weed list before you know it!
     If you didn't already know this, if you click on the picture you can see a larger full frame version of it.  This is a good photo to do that to.

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