Peonies And Fringe Trees
So I’ve got good Peony news and bad Peony news. I only got Peonies to begin with because Judy wanted some. But now I do like to having a few Peonies around.
Anyway, here’s the good news. A couple of years ago I planted some ‘Snow Swan’ Peonies in the back garden. The spot was too shady, and they languished.
Seeing that they were languishing, I decided to move them to the much sunnier Parkway Bed. Good idea. Problem was that the idea struck me during a hot, dry stretch of August, and I wanted to take action right away. This was a bad idea. Did I mention I tend to be a little impatient?
The three transplanted Peonies immediately shriveled up and fainted dead away. But the good news is that 2 of the 3 Peonies have come back this year and are looking pretty healthy. The larger has 9 flower buds, the smaller has 4. I look forward to both of them bulking up.
The bad news is that only 1 of the 4 Peonies in the Back Garden is still looking good. All these Peonies are growing in a spot that probably doesn’t get enough sun. Peony ‘America’ doesn’t seem to mind – it keeps coming back with a decent number of flowers.
But the others are not doing well. Peony ‘Abalone Pearl’ has only a single flower this year. And Paeonia anomala, a species Peony, has disappeared completely. I should probably try to save ‘Abalone Pearl’ by moving it out front. But not until the weather cools in the fall.
On a totally different front, my two Fringe Trees (Chionanthus virginicus) are blooming more profusely than ever before. The flowers come in clusters with petals that look like, well, fringes. This tree is not native to Illinois, but it is native to nearby Ohio, Missouri, and points south. It likes part sun and moist, fertile soil.
I planted these Fringe Trees five years ago as small, bareroot plants. They’ve been growing rather slowly. They’re not large trees, though, growing only 12-20 feet tall. Fringe Trees bear small fruits that are popular with birds. However, to get the fruit you need a male and a female tree. I don’t yet know if I have a male and a female. We’ve had no fruits so far, but maybe this year we’ll see some.
Even without the fruit, it’s an attractive and unusual tree. It should really be more popular in American gardens.