The beautiful flowers and wonderful scent of peonies are always worth the wait. Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is a double flowering peony too full of soft petals to hold its blossoms fully upright. Here the perennial forms a backdrop for the vivid purple flowers of Campanula glomerata (clustered bellflower). The fat buds of Dianthus caryophylus ‘Grenadin’ (pink carnation) have not opened yet.
Peonies have one of my favourite scents in the garden. The fragrance wafts on the lightest breeze, and entices me to venture to this side of the garden. It’s hard to resist bending over and sniffing the heavenly perfume up close.
The pink shadings of Sarah Bernhardt are delightful. Towards the centre, where the petals are tightly folded, it is a medium pink. Towards the outer edges, where the petals flare out, they are a pale pink, like the inside of a delicate shell.
I have my peony planted in part shade, but it still gets a fair number of blossoms. It has a metal support ring under it, to keep upright. However, the longest branches still arch, with the heavy flowers leaning over. This is such a cherished plant, that this habit becomes an endearing trait.
Sarah Bernhardt is a particularly lovely peony, with its pink powder puffs. This perennial usually blooms for about 2 weeks, but easily earns its way in the garden. However brief the flowering time, the beauty and fragrance of peony blossoms are worth the anticipation.
You can see more pictures of Paeonia ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, and read more about them in this follow up post. Do you have a favourite peony?