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Here are the photos of the first peonies to bloom this spring. The first ones are always the Coral Charm, Coral Supreme, Coral Sunset and the second and overlapping peony is Red Charm. They were blooming in profusion (California’s version of profusion!) starting in mid April.
The coral peonies are semi-double and somewhat double but open up very flat rather than staying in a tighter bloom. Red Charm stays very fluffy and the center bomb stands out with the larger guard petals making a skirt. These are among my favorite peonies.
And then there is Mrs. F.D. Roosevelt. There was only one plant blooming this early with others to follow later.
There was one early Festiva Maxima and one Do Tell a few days later. And one I didn’t recognize as well as a Japanese single, Doreen.
What is to Come?
Peonies will be blooming for another month, if last year’s experience was typical. Usually, I just enjoy the blooms as they come and don’t bother to document the timing and sequence, but I did do that last year. I missed the end of the bloom as I left for a trip near then end of May which surprised me as I didn’t remember having blooms extend into June. I missed seeing the last ones to bloom.
The varieties left to bloom apart are more coral peonies, Henry Bockstoce, Sarah Bernhardt, Mrs. FD Roosevelt and Festiva Maxima in their regular time, Carol, Charlie’s White, Cheddar Surprise, Coral Fay, Paula Fay, Duchess de Nemours, Gardenia, Mons Jules Elie, Princess Margaret, and Mr. Ed. Most are doubles or bomb form in this group.
If you are in the area do call and come see them.
I was peering under the spreading branches of a Viburnum Tomentosum which is a wonderful shrub providing shade below and saw a magnificent sight! My first Lily of the Valley were blooming and I counted nine stems. As they are planted a few inches apart, they will not look very compact, but who cares. There they were.
Ironstone Vineyards, Motherlode Daffodil Show in Murphy is a fabulous display usually held over St. Patrick’s Day weekend as it was this year, but I was babysitting while my children were skiing in Utah.
So, Merle Reuser and I visited the winery with its one million daffodil and other bulbs after we saw Daffodil Hill in Volcano, Ca. He had seen it while I was babysitting as he had on other occasions.
In the photos above, there are many different varieties of Tulips and Daffodils. The Salmon Parrot Tulips in the first photo are an old favorite from when I grew cut flowers in Portola Valley. The second photo is a grouping of daffodils with a particularly garish daffodil in person, Einstein, which looks good in this photo but is Velveeta Cheese orange and looks almost phlorescent. The third photo features the Tete a Tete daffodils which are a favorite of mine and which I love to see clustered together like these are.
This winery also owns the largest gold nugget in the world although it was not on display that day. At forty four pounds it must be a sight and came out of a deposit of one hundred ounces of which it was the largest piece. How appropriate for a winery in California’s Gold Country which also has one million daffodils. Two hundred thousand more daffodils and they will have as many daffodils as the nuggest is worth is dollars, give or take a hundred thousand or so.
Along the road to the winery were planted three feet wide swaths of daffodils against the fencing of the vineyard. What a pleasant sight! Next year, I plant to go to see the many hundreds of daffodils created by daffodil enthusiasts that will be on display over the St. Patrick’s weekend.
Having the daffodils line the road in from of the vineyard is a great use of them.
On Wednesday, March 27th, Merle Reuser and drove to Volcano, CA to see the Daffodil Hill that I heard of for many years. We packed Cedric into my SUV and drove about four hours up I80 to 50 to Folsom Road to 49 to Volcano if I have this straight. Volcano is a tiny and charming one street town with a hotel called the St. George and some gold rush era facades, oh, and a post office!
Cedric was thrilled to be out of the car for an extended time and enjoyed the walk around about four acres of grounds and daffodils. Children love to pet him and he loves them too.
There were many varieties that I grow planted in swathes and Ice Follies and Scarlet O’Hara were prevalent as were Dutch Master and Mt. Hood. Also, there were some I have found too fancy for landscaping, but that is really a matter of taste. Some were new to me but similar to ones I know like the one below which look like a pure white variety called Cheerfulness although this one has a yellow center.
This one is a pink variety, but I don’t recognize it and haven’t grown it.
I didn’t see any of the newer daffodils that do naturalize like Trevithian, Golden Dawn, Thalia or Erlicheer nor any Tazetta Narcissi. Overall it was a terrific sight!
There are more photographs on Marde Ross & Company Facebook and please “Like” my page!