Paeonia 'Duchess de Nemours'


At Pig Row the weather has broken and I am in the garden again, digging new beds and fighting my ongoing battle with sheeps sorrel.
It is a difficult weed to eradicate without weedkiller and though I go over each bed with a fork, just one piece of root can send out runners for up to three feet before it pokes its head through the soil. It can be disheartening, especially when you find out it is one of the primary sources of hay fever for most sufferers. Such is the pungency of its spore. As a hay fever sufferer I do find myself reaching for the drugs before tackling it and it may be a case of what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Though I don't want to I will have to spray off the new growth or continue to suffer with it. The common saying with sorrel is that if you leave just one rosette to go to seed you will be weeding it for seven years. I plan to wipe this out in the next few seasons.

On a positive note though, the fine weather has meant that I have planted the Jasmine Officinale on Carol's studio, and I am preparing the bed for the Paeonia pictured. This is 'Duchess de Nemours' purchased from the Cumbrian nursery, Cath's Garden Plants at Gardeners' World Live 2012. This glorious flower has been against the wall in the cloister for the last week, its scent filling the small space as we go to and from the garden, brushing against this and the Attar de Roses leaves you heady and happy. I feel a flurry of cuttings from the Pelargonium for next year and I will in a few years look into dividing the Paeonia. Sadly, they cannot be grown on from root cuttings and have to be divided. If it flowers next year in its new home, a few years later when it has more eyes on it (this means more stems) then I will divide and increase stock. You can't blame me for wanting more of a beautiful and scented flower by the site of our proposed arbour. This side of the garden, along with the cloister, will be devoted to scent. This Paeonia is this first step to it.

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