I just bought something wonderful from ParkSeed, and I am so excited, have to share it with you guys.
This is Peony 'Gardenia'. It's "The Most Fragrant Peony in the World"! And it's so elegant and out of this world beautiful. And the other good thing is it's relatively compact, about 3ft tall and 2.5ft wide, and it's deer/pest/disease resistant and heat/drought tolerant. It's hardy for Zone3-8, perfect for me (zone 5). You might knew this already, that tree peony is the chinese people's favorite flowers. We don't have an official national flower yet, but if we had one, it will have to be peony. Peony has always been in our poems and paintings through our 5000 years history, we even have a 10-day Peony festival and trade show in Luoyang, Henan Province’s city and the capital of several Chinese dynasties in central China. We even have a peony goddess. Varieties of peonies from overseas will be displayed besides the some 600 varieties of peonies developed in Luoyang itself. During that 10-day period, entire city will be covered with magnificent peony flowers, and thousands of tourists from all over the world will attend the festival. That shows how much we love peony.
I also bought this baby, Chinese Dogwood 'Wolf Eyes'. I love dogwood, and have been thinking about getting one for years. So, when I saw this one in my newsletter, I knew it's mine! It has the regular white four-petaled dogwood flowers, with a prominent light green cone -- the "wolf eye"! I think the best part is the leaves. They are variegated! I have never seen a dogwood with variegated leaves before, and I LOVE variegated plants. I have variegated jasmines, scented geraniums, and jade plants, why not get a variegated dogwood too. And the edge of the leaves are white, and looks like curly ribbons! They will have pink highlights in spring, and hold their dark green and white variegation through the summer, and the pink returns in fall. And like all other dogwood, there will be small red fruits after the flowers faded, and birds love them. I love butterflies and birds, already planted lots of plants for them, so this one will be an extra. And it grows really fast, in 5-7 years it will reach mature size, 10ft tall and 20ft in diameter. I will put a couple of chairs underneath it, so we can enjoy the summer days in the comfortable shade. Oh, now I am dreaming! I better wait till it grows bigger before I order some nice chairs.
This is so exciting. I will replace the wooden borders of the raised bed (cutting flower bed) with those nice stone blocks. I built the raised beds for vegetable garden originally, so didn't want to use pressure treated wood (didn't want the chemicals to release to the soil overtime). Now after 3 years, those wood boards started rotting, it's time to upgrade. Don't know whether I can finish the projects before the weather gets too cold, but I will definitely try my best. Oh, cannot wait to receive these two babies in the mail and plant them in the ground. Hope they come fast, the New England winter comes really early.
Oh, I have to share these with you as well. Lots of us who enjoy crafting have some ribbons, and sooner or later we will run into the problem of how to organize them. It needs to be space efficient, and easily accessible. I found this great post a while ago, and since I am a DIY girl, these look great to me, and I probably can design something similar that meet my needs better. I have lots of those satin cord for Chinese knotting, and boxes of ribbons too. Some of my chinese knotting cord are huge bundles, like a couple of lbs. So, regular tiny organizer will never work. I will use these as my inspiration, and see what I can come up with.