Friday, 13 May 2022

May's Magical Moments in our Garden

Paeonia lutea ludlowii - yellow peony tree

This tree is named in honour of Frank Ludlow, a British Naturalist. He discovered this tree whilst on an expedition through the Tsangpo Valley in Eastern Tibet during 1936. Before this date the tree was completely unknown in the West. It has very large black shiny seeds which it sheds around the base of the tree. We must have grown at least 20 trees from them which have all been given to friends who tell us how much they enjoy them.
This luscious red peony tree is our pride and joy - Paeonia delavayi, named after Father Jean Marie Delavay, a French Catholic missionary in China, who collected plants. It is endemic to southwestern China, where it is limited to Sichuan, Yunnan and the very South-East of Tibet. It does not produce bountiful seeds like the yellow tree but is much rarer. It is listed as endangered by the China Plant Red Data Book where it is under threat. This is as a result of the people digging out its roots for medicine on a scale that is not adequately controlled.
This a Lutea Hybrid Tree Peony - Paeonia 'Alhambra'. We had a similar one in ballerina pink, but the deer have trampled on it and smashed it into smithereens.
This shrub hails from the
Himalayas - Piptanthus nepalennsis - Nepal Laburnam. It has lovely very dark green shiny stems which gradually turn black and thus form a stunning contrast with its citrus yellow pea like flowers.
We have given the small walled garden a bit of a revamp this Spring. It used to have lots of ornamental grasses which had become rather thuggish, so they have been removed. For the moment we have filled the cleared beds with cheap and cheerful pansies.
Lots of Alliums adding splashes of purple all around the garden.

The Cercis siliquastrum - Judas Tree - with its pretty heart shaped leaves is looking a picture. I want it to stay just as it is for as long as possible, but I know the blossom will drop before I am ready to let it go.
I have brought a small branch of the Judas Tree into the kitchen so that we can continue to admire it whilst indoors.