Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Joy of Peonies and Other Plants

My husband and I both like to garden, although I would have to say we are "sometime" gardeners. When we've done the required pruning and weeding, our back yard is beautiful in a crisp and manicured way. Then it looks beautiful in a raggedy sort of way. Finally it just looks raggedy, and it's time to get to work again.

So we worked last week-end. I pruned dead roses and lilies, and some of the lower branches of our tangelo tree and our lime tree. Both of us pulled up tons of weeds. Then Rajan tilled the back vegetable garden area and put in rows of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. (We've learned the hard way to think twice about zucchini.)

We are the second owners of our sweet old bungalow. Luckily for us, the previous family loved gardening, so we inherited: two crape myrtles that turn into pink clouds in mid-summer; planters filled with azalea bushes that flower in a variety of colors; and a side strip crammed with peonies that just last week burst into white and magenta blooms and are still going strong. I forget to separate the bulbs and transplant them like you are supposed to, but that doesn't stop them from opening their ruffled petals and releasing a fragrance like no other along the side of our house.

Peonies have a short blooming season, so I've been cutting bouquets of them for the house. Every room except the kitchen is filled right now with their perfume. The kitchen smells like tangelos and mint, which is lovely, too. This is a good time to walk in our front door.

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