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FROM PAEONIA to HEBE -flowers that gave us joy in  DECEMBER and JANUARY
Photographs taken by Gay Klok with her trusty digital camera
                     Paeonia suffruticosa.  This tree peony sp. is one of the most beautiful plants
                we grow at "Kibbenjelok".   They will grow in either sun or semi shade
                      but are best when shielded from early morning sun.  Very long living plants,
                  the tree peony can reach 8 ft in height by about the same across but I have
              never seen any as large as that.   The flowering season is not very long
              but for the two weeks they are in bloom, I will go and pay my respects
                  every day, you don't blame me, do you?
   This is the  "Hoheria" glabrata tree, a native of New Zealand.   From
   the middle summer to late summer the tree covers itself with clusters
        of pure white cherry-like flowers.   It is a very handy time for the garden
                      to have a flowering tree. The flowers are much bigger than the similar "Halesia",
      and the racemes last, shining amongst the lime green, for several weeks
    Its worse feature is that it is deciduous but never quite loses its leaves
         in our cool temperate climate and so spends the Winter looking rather the
worse for wear or as if it was just getting over the 'flue
                One of the Rhododendron beds in the Old Orchard Garden A perennial Sweet pea
     lathyrus clambering over a Philadelphis "Belle Etoile" and in the middle is
        a strong red "Astilbe".   On the far side a hydrangea is just starting to flower,
         the blue blooms showing that the soil is acid.  Next month I will show you the
many shades that have begun to appear on the various cultivars growing
at the country garden.
Hardy orchids growing lushly in the damp, but drained, conditions in the
long border
  This is one of my Christmas presents from my daughter, Francesca. The head
              is a fishing buoy and the body is made of straw and he has a great face.  The clothes
      come from the Salvation Army and another member of the family suggested that
               I may like to swap my gardening clothes for the straw man's, as his were in far better condition
    I don't know if you can see this Christmas present, well two gifts really.   I had to
            take this through the window as this was their first stroll out into the big World.   In the
           top hand corner you may be able to make out the Dove Cote my son Matthew made for
             me last Christmas.   It has taken us all the year to find two white turtle doves [fantails?]
             to occupy the grand house.   Matthew managed to find these two, very young and a pair,
     with the gentlest, pretty faces you can imagine and last weekend, I heard them coo!
     Their parents are named Romeo & Juliet - so do you have any suggestions?   If you
            can come up with a suggestion for their names, I will send you a dozen peafowl as first prize!!!
A better photo taken last weekend.  The doves have settled in quite
happily now and are tame.
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