In late April it was the tulips that filled a small part of the Willamette Valley with brilliant color. A month later, other flowers had that honor. On a lovely May day, the Avamere Senior Apartments' Friday outing took us to the Adelman Peony Gardens, just a few miles to the north.
In the midst of acres of tall grasses, a colorful swath stood out. Like the tulips, the peonies were planted in long rows of identical blossoms--seeing them all together was very much like viewing a living rainbow.
By studying the colorful catalog provided by the Adelmans, I learned that some peonies have developed the knack of turning their stamens (the pollen-bearing part of a flower) into petals! The "Full Double" peonies achieve their puff-ball appearance this way. There is a photo album attached to this page where you can see other examples of peonies that still have their stamens (the "Single" type), then the "Japanese" type where the doubling process has begun, and on up to the "Full Doubles." Gee! Who knew peonies were so complicated!
Ah, and so beautiful.
May 30, 2009
Unless otherwise noted, text and photos are the property of Barbara Halliday, © 2009