As a dog owner, I find myself wandering the garden during the early morning hours, long before the streets are alive with activity and the only sound in the air is that of the birds and the gentle flow and trickle of our pond/waterfall and that of our neighbours.
I've been meaning for a few days now to take a photo of this Bowl of Beauty Peony (above). Now, it is somewhat faded but still beautiful. This flower closes tight during the night and opens as the sun peeks over the horizon. Most mornings I am out before it is, but this morning I had the presence of mind to grab the camera to capture this shot. As a new bloom, the Bowl of Beauty has single bright pink outer petals, slightly overlapping the next petal, with sunny yellow stamens. In its current somewhat faded stage, it is still lovely.
Karl Rosenfeld (the magenta bloom) is a late bloomer, blooming after the Sorbet, Sarah Bernhart peonies and Festiva Maxima (pictured below), while the Bowl of Beauty seems to be the last to bloom. It is a relatively young plant with few blossoms. I look forward to when it comes into its own a bit more, but that will likely necessitate moving these plants as they are now a tad crowded. For now, though, they mask the unsightly window well, so it will be a couple years before the move is necessary.
There are few plants that provide the show that peonies do. All in all, ants aside, they are one of my all time favourites. Easy care, fragrant blossoms, and a showy display = a perfect addition to the garden!