Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Stock Sunday - 4

For Summer Stock Sunday, I've got my lovely peonies which I transported from their original home in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia when we moved to Cole Harbour eight years ago.

This is the greatest amount of blooms we've had so far. There are five in total. The parent plant, which had been planted by my grandfather at my grandparents' home in Yarmouth over 40 years ago, had quite a few blooms when my husband and I lived there from 1999 to 2001.

This is their house on Nova Scotia's southwest tip. My husband and I moved in with my grandmother to help look after her. My grandfather had passed away eight years before we arrived. He was a lifelong gardener, and when I moved in I felt the lure of his garden beckoning to me. I'd never gardened before arriving in Yarmouth, and a grand love affair started that summer of 1999 that continues today.

As you walked around the side of the house, there was a sheltered side garden away from the constant wind from the ocean, which you can see in the distance.

My grandpa installed the weather-beaten white fence above the stone wall in order to give that wind protection. Tucked behind the orange lilies were the peonies.

As we packed up the house to move to Cole Harbour, I dug up the new forsythia bush, the American pillar rose bush I'd started from cuttings, and made sure to take cuttings from Gram's heritage quince bush on the opposite side of the house.

As we made one final walk-around to make sure we had everything, I looked at the garden to make my goodbye - and realized I hadn't dug up the peony plant.

I grabbed a broken, jagged broom handle from the trash and started digging madly for the peony bulbs. I plunged my hands into the earth and felt around until I could grasp the tubers. I yanked as hard as I could until a few broke free and came to the surface. I threw them in a box with some dirt and we slipped them onto the back of the truck.

We moved in October, so once we had unloaded the truck here in Cole Harbour, one of the first things I did was find a spot for the peonies, dig a hole and put them back in the ground before the winter came.

Their new home is in front of the stone wall my mom and I installed from all the rocks our neighbors dug up next door, when they put in a new deck two years ago. We had to snake it in and around the plants we already had growing in the front.

The yellow forsythia is the same tiny plant I'd bought at the Yarmouth Garden Society plant sale, dug up and transported here. And the peonies are hard to see, but they're to the left of the forsythia, and to the left of the rose bush. The peonies are also to the right of the tulips, in front of the stone wall.

For more Summer Stock Sunday, visit Robin at Around the Island.

Kaye says Your peonies are lovely and I have always wanted to visit Novia Scotia.

Robin says I can't grow plastic flowers without killing them.

Jessica the Rock Chick says Last year I planted a whole bunch of different plants without realizing how large they would become in future years. It appears I have grown a small jungle near my front porch!


kaye said...

Your peonies are lovely and I have always wanted to visit Novia Scotia.

Anonymous said...

What a story - sad and happy at the same time - new roots on a new place - that beautiful red flower will bring the memories!

Robin said...

You have such a beautiful yard, I can't grow plastic flowers without killing them.

Your grandparents home sounds like a very special place - a tiny piece of paradise on the edge of the ocean.

Carletta said...

Beautiful peonies!
My MIL always had them and they bloomed heavily.
I inherited two bushes from the previous owner of my home and this year they bloomed heavily until the rain came. I have to remember to stake them next year.

Jessica The Rock Chick said...

Gorgeous plants and landscaping. I'm so bad at gardening, it isn't even funny. Last year I planted a whole bunch of different plants without realizing how large they would become in future years. It appears I have grown a small jungle near my front porch! I love how quaint everything looks there. So peaceful.

Akelamalu said...

I have pink peonies which were part of my Dad's plant. I originally planted them in the back garden where they didn't do very well only getting one or two blooms. Since moving the whole thing to the front garden there are masses of blooms. You could try moving them to a different spot it could make a difference to how many blooms you get. :)

This Eclectic Life said...

What lovely peonies, and I love that they are "heirloom" plants. Keep showing us your love affair with your garden. It's delightful to see (and I love the story that you put with your pictures!).

Anonymous said...

You have quite the green thumb and sounds like it runs in the family.

Wishing you a scent-sational summer stock sunday!

Travis said...

How wonderful to have a little bit of the old home at the new one.

maryt/theteach said...

Julia, the story of your grandparents and the peony bush is extraordinary and so lovely! Thanks for sharing it! I have a Summer Stock Sunday post up finally! :)

Kailana said...

Okay, I am trying to place that house... (The Yarmouth one). Is it still there? (I'm from there, if you remember, so I am curious.)

You live in Cole Harbour? I LOVE the bookstore up around there... It has an awesome fantasy section.

Julia Smith said...

Kailana - the house in Yarmouth is still there, but we sold it and moved to Cole Harbour. It's no longer in our family. It's off of Main Street on Baker Street, on the water side. There used to be a shed with a painting on it. My grandfather, of course - he was an artist.