June 9, 2012
'Kopper Kettle' Peony and 'Flore Plena' Filipendula hexapetala
I found the perfect companion for 'Kopper Kettle' peonies in the vase. The rosy-peach buds of 'Flore Plena' Filipendula hexapetala (which I ordered from Bluestone Perennials) pick up the same colors in the peony bloom, then the buds open to dainty cream flowers. Commonly called meadowsweet, Flore Plena is 2-3 feet tall and 1.5 feet wide, with flowers that are held on long stems above a low clump of ferny foliage. Grow it in full sun to mostly shade in zones 3 to 10. Bluestone says it 'requires no care whatsoever.' Amen to that. As a bonus, it's deer-resistant, doesn't mind clay soil, and attracts butterflies.
I love the flowers of 'Kopper Kettle' and my pink 'Keiko' peonies in vases. I do not love 'Kopper Kettle' blooms when the flowers have faded in the sun when left outside on the plant. This year KK has 20 buds and Keiko has just 11, and most of them will be cut and brought inside.
I haven't been doing much in my garden lately because I've been putting together a large fall bulb order for the temple. I've also been working with the landscape director, Marilyn, to get the annual plantings filled out with a few more plants. We've had such cold and rainy weather that the annuals are just sitting there instead of growing and blooming. Since this is my first year doing much of the design work for the annuals, I'm anxious for them to take off and start looking pretty! Although we included the standard petunias, alyssum and geraniums in the mix, I used a lot of less common plants to spice things up. Heliotrope, sweet potato vine, lantana, bacopa, angelonia, nemesia, verbena and 'Diamond Frost' euphorbia were included. I'll post pictures later in the summer when the pots and beds look (hopefully) really good.