P is for Paeonia, Philadelphus and Pyrus Calleryana

We've been a bit mean to this Pyrus Calleryana. Up till last year it produced the tiny pear fruit that it's programmed to do. We were so dazzled by its silvery, velvet leaves and pretty white flowers, that we forgot it has to fruit too. Oy vey, this gardening lark is complicated.

We’ve been a bit mean to this Pyrus Calleryana. Up till last year it produced the tiny pear fruit that it’s programmed to do. We were so dazzled by its silvery, velvet leaves and pretty white flowers, that we forgot it has to fruit too. Oy vey, this gardening lark is complicated.

We’ve two peonies, both misplaced. One is in the ground beside the archway and isn’t getting enough food, light and space. The other is in a pot and is so miffed about it, it’s automatically pushing up foliage every year, but has given up on flowering. It hasn’t flowered once since it got here.

I first noticed them flourish in Outlands in a relative’s garden, then spotted them in a couple of neighbors’ gardens, and then noticed that ours were consistently under-performing. The overall plants weren’t reaching hip height, there was no abundance of gloriously feminine, lush blooms. The plants are sulking but, God love them, getting on with it. There’s something I can do about both. The one in the pot can get put into a permanent home to see if it’ll flower this year or next in a place that gives it a sporting chance. And the other will have to wait to be rehoused next year. Otherwise the surgery (disentangling its roots from those of the jasmine and wisteria in the arch, and the box hedge and phormium on its other side) could kill it. Argh. Moa moida awaits me.

The philadelphus is unadulterated joy. Its common name is Mock Orange. It’s a peach of a plant that is easily pruned (no thorns) and it produces masses of sweet-smelling white flowers (the perfume is fresh, light and vaguely citrussy, not heady like lavender) early summer. Hence it gets cut back (read: savaged) in July.

And the Pyrus Calleryana is the ornamental pear tree. It could grow to about 18 feet high and proportionally wide in its root spread if we didn’t chop it back every year. It’s back to pruning school for me now till I get its phases right.

 

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