My Peonies are in now full bloom.
They've taken their sweet time unfurling, but it has been more than worth the wait. I have them throughout the gardens in various shades of cream and blush pink. Some, like these Festiva Maxima and Shirley Temple buds, produce large, ruffled blooms in a pretty creams and blush pink with hints of fuscia. They are very fragrant. Others, like my Duchesse de Nemours, have small buds which produce smaller, pure white blooms with yellow centers. Their fragrance is more delicate, but still very pretty. I have six varieties so far and each year I try to add a new one. Actually, one of my favourite booths at the Country Living Fair last weekend sold Peonies. She had so many wonderful varieties. I would have loved to have been able to bring some home with me, but once again, border regulations didn't allow it.
After the rain had stopped this morning, I walked out back, through the damp grass, to cut some blooms for my table. The air smelled so beautifully sweet.
They're just such wonderful flowers.
The ants working to help the blooms unfold.
I spent the morning cleaning the dining room. It needed it, desperately. It was hard to see the gardens for all the little fingerprints, and there were lots of muddy tracks from boys playing in the yard!
You can see from these photos that the dining room has been freshened up. This Spring I gave it a fresh coat of paint (Walls - Simply White by Benjamin Moore, and Trim - Decorators White by Benjamin Moore). Our round table, which was in need of refinishing, found it's new home at the store, and an old desk took it's place. It's narrow, which suits this space nicely. I'm still looking for an antique table that I can add leaves to when guest come for dinner. I would also love to do banquet seating to make better use of the space.
For now, I'm happy with this.
Here is the link to Peony's Envy, the booth I loved from the fair.
I think I've added something to my bucket list; to tour all 8 acres of this beautiful New York farm, which boasts more than five hundred varieties, during it's peak blooming time.