Thursday, 27 June 2013

Peonies at Penshurst Place

I visited Penshurst Place for the first time this week.  Inspired by Claire Austin’s talk at Wisley, I wanted to catch the peonies before their season finished (it’s a shame they’re so ‘blink and you’ll miss us’) and also test out my nervous, new photography skills in a beautiful setting. I took 382 photos! Thank goodness for digital cameras.

I’ll focus on peonies here and I’ll write another post or two for the rest of the gardens, otherwise this post will be mammoth.

What I loved about the peony border is that you walk around the first gardens that you come across, looking from pear tree to lavender shrub, and you enjoy it so much, you forget what you came to see in the first place. Then you turn a corner and – wow. The scent along nearly knocked me off my feet. There are four varieties on display, from hot pink (Mons Jules Elie) to the ice cream and blush shades of Lady Alexander Duff, Albert Crousse and Sarah Bernhardt.

The border is one hundred metres long. Imagine a sprint set alongside it – it would draw the most languid runners, stopping to look, touch and sniff as they ambled along.

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