Monday, February 25, 2008

Winter Peonies

Despite the overnight dusting of snow and the bitterly cold wind,I ventured down to Tokugawen,a local garden/museum yesterday morning.After a tour of the museum,of which more next week, I strolled over to see the winter peonies in the adjacent garden.
The plants,as you can see above,each have their own straw thatch/matting tent to protect them from the rigors of winter.The tent like-structures help the blooms defy the elements that would otherwise ravage and spoil them.Ive also noticed looking again at the photo above the abysmal state of the lawn.Brown and dried up it doesnt exactly enhance the area at this time of year.

Although most of the winter peonies or botan were past their best some of the blooms were splendid and retained their beauty.There are a number of different shades and shapes of peonies cultivated at Tokugawaen.From subtle salmon pinks to brassy reds and from tight compact flowers to the more exuberant ruffled styles.

Despite the inclement weather I was surprised by the number of people who were doing a tour of the garden.In fact,several buses disgorged their elderly contents while I was there.

I was pleased that I wasnt the only one taking photos of the peonies.One chap armed with a video camera was making a movie with his wife directing him to shoot what she considered suitable specimens.Im not sure what advantage a video camera would have over a digital one in this instance.Its not as though there is any action,apart from the odd gust of wind buffeting the blooms.

Apart from the peonies much of the garden seemed as bare and forlorn as the lawns.There were however small signs that Spring is on its way.Some of the early flowering plum trees had the odd flower out while the small birds which inhabit the gardens seemed to be scouting for real estate.I'll probably return in April or May to see what the now dormant iris beds look like in their prime.

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