Monday, May 30th, 2011...12:00 am

Visiting Cricket Hill Garden

peony intersectional

Double Vision by thegardenbuzz

It may look dismal outside and the rains are not letting gardeners work in their gardens, but this GardenLady is still “high” from a long weekend spent looking at gorgeous gardens and outstanding nurseries in the Northwestern corner of Conn. Let me explain.

This past weekend, I convinced a gardening friend to visit some of the gardens I have written about on TheGardenLady.org blog and other gardens or nurseries I wanted to visit to enable me to write about them. The added bonus was that this weekend there was a charity event to raise money for battered women and the charity was an event featuring top notch plant businesses and garden furnishing businesses that were selling their wares to those who attended and a second day of visiting private gardens. You paid the entrance fee, all money went to the charity, and spent two days in garden lovers paradise.

I wanted to visit Cricket Hill Peony Garden, a garden that I have written about and recommended in past posts. The owners of this garden carved a number of acres out of wooded hilly Connecticut to make their peony nursery and 7 of those acres are a show garden of just peonies; though they have other flowers mixed in with the peonies which I suggested that they should also sell.

Kasha, the owner, and her son are now doing most of the work and the work they are doing is miraculous. You must visit Cricket Hill Peony Garden just to see the peonies.  I believe their garden may have the largest selection of Chinese tree peonies outside of China.

I have so many peonies on my property – four are from my parent’s farm for a total of about a ten peony plants – that I swore that I would just go to look but would resist the temptation of buying another peony plant. I admit, I could not resist. The resistance that I could muster up was that I only bought two peony plants; one was an American peony called Coral Charm and the other is an intersectional peony. Because I wanted a tree peony with yellow flowers, the intersectional peony was the closest to a Chinese tree peony that was in a price range that I could afford.

An intersectional peony (see photo above) is a cross between a tree peony and a herbaceous peony. Buying these peonies were my self indulgence because I do not or cannot afford pricey plants. But the reason I could indulge was that there is one section of the plant sale area that has bargain plants. These are wonderful plants that are sold at a reduced rate because the owners might not know which plant it is or because it is slightly smaller than the plants they sell in the regular sales area or they only have one of a kind remaining. These bargain plants are all healthy and beautiful. How could I resist?

This is the time to visit Cricket Hill Garden plus now they are having glass sculpture strategically placed among the peonies- art and flowers, the best of all possible worlds. If you go, please tell Kasha, the owner, that you read about the nursery on this TheGardenLady blog. And if you want flowering plants that once established will, seemingly, live forever -one hundred year old peonies are found in American gardens and Chinese tree peonies seem to live even longer. If you want flowering plants that have few problems with pests- deer don’t eat them and you want flowering plants that have very few diseases, the peony is for you. And the peony flower is not only large and eye catching, many have fragrance. What more can one ask for in a flower? This GardenLady thinks the peony is the most romantic of all flowers. The Chinese call it the “King of Flowers” this http://www.china-peony.com/

 

 

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