Inspecteur Lavergne Peony

So two weeks ago purchased two potted peonies at North Haven Gardens for 37 buks a piece. They both had buds on them. Lats weekend I ended up breaking off one of the buds as it looked like it was going to drop off and I expected all the others to look the same. Well 2 days ago I was very surprised by 2 gorgeous blooms. 

Inspecteur Lavergne is a bomb type peony and is supposed to be an early bloomer.

Festiva maxima bud below doesnt look too healthy either. Wait and see if it blooms

Itea "Little Henry"

Conpact version of Virginia Sweet Spire. Grows 3'x3'. Deciduous. Fragrant spring flowers and supposed to have great fall color. I think it looks nice next to the Hot pink of the knock outs. 

Let's talk peonies!

My peony Karl Rosenfeld bloomed beautifully this year :) I bought the plant potted 3 yrs ago and got 1 bloom the first year, 3 the second and 8 glorious full sized blooms this year! The color is a hot pink fading to a lighter pink. Slightly fragrant! Enjoy!

I have purchases and planted 3 more peonies this year.

Left to Right as planted

Sarah Bernhardt - Light Pink Double 36" Late blooming
Karl Rosenfeld - Dark Pink Double 34" Mid Season
Festiva Maxima - White 34" Mid-Late season
Inspecteur Lavergne - Red 34" mid season

The Front Yard is falling in place

Well I have been busy over the past several weekends doing nothing but focusing on the front yard. I would say I am about 80% done. :) So far so good! 

Here is the before taken a few days before the work in the front started. It was the typical landscapers package with no rhyme or rhythm to plant placement.

Here is the AFTER:
The beds were increased in size with the focal point beginning at the second step. The goal is to have low maintenance, xeriscape garden but with a cottage style so that I can lot of color through the year.

I kept the cleyera (big square bush) by the entrance as I havent found the perfect replacement yet. Thinking about a dwarf alberta spruce spiral..we'll see how that goes. The bright lime green looking plant in front of the cleyera is abelia kaleidescope. In first set of windows are 2 boxwood "babygems". In front of that are 2 double knock outs "RadtKo" and then there are 3 dwarf euonymus in front of the roses. In between the euonymus I planted Salvia mystic spires, a perennials that blooms all summer long with purple flowers. To the left is Itea "Little Henry"; a deciduous compact shrub with sweet smelling white plumes of flowers in the spring. Autumn color is gorgeous on it. Behind it I have bought a Ilex Sky Pencil and will be adding berberis helmond pillar too. As a space filler I currently have sunpatiens Vigour in white growing there. I also added a foliage plant with lime green leaves and purple flowers to balance the kaleidescopes. 

4 Abelia "Rose Creek" are planted in front of the master bedroom window. I should have planted 3 but I can yank one out later, I needed to have a full look so in went 4. You see my single Peony Karl Rosenfeld blooming in front. It has now been joined by the following so going left to right the peonies are: Sarah bernhardt (light pink) Karl Rosenfeld (hot pink), Festiva maxina (white with pink specs and Inspecteur lavergne (Red). Dianthus in a a variety of pink shades are at the front of the bed. 

Dont know what to do at the ends of the beds yet. Looking at carpet roses and maybe an espalier lorepetlum for winter color.

This is an older photo as I have planted several peonies since. More current photo below.

The very front has red verbena and gaura in red foliage (whirling butterflies) and green foliage. I also added ornamental peppers in Garda Tricolor and Numex Twilight as space filler until the abelias mature.