Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tree Peony North Fife

Tonight over a garden wall in Newburgh North Fife I noticed this tree peony, it's one of my favourite garden flowers, the blooms last but a few days but much appreciated. The leaf and flower forms are frequently used in Tibetan Buddhist arts and crafts.

152 varieties of peony have been described and pictured for the first time in the West; the ampler publication until now, with the nicest hybrid or selected peony from Japan, France, Great Britain and the Untied States.

For the first time photographs and descriptions have been published even on the spontaneous peony from the Chinese mountains, that the author re-discovered (following the Victorian hunters plant tracks) in their natural habitat that hadn’t been seen since the beginning of this century.
In the East, peony is the most important flower and for Chinese and Japonese cultral patrimony in paintings, fabrics, poems, porcelain and lacquer it recurs frequently. For an anonymous poet of the third century before Christ the peony is "the queen of the vegetable kingdom", and Apollo is called "Peonios".

These flowers are surely among the more spectacular ones with which nature gifted us. In fashion at the end of the eighteenth century, it was considered the noblest of plants.The Book of Tree Peonies (Archives of botanic and garden studies)

About the Author
Since leaving his career in reconstructing post-war industries in 1975, Gian Lupo Osti has dedicated himself to botanical research, in particular to the discovery of arboreal peonies in the mountainous areas of China, which had not been seen growing naturally since the turn of the century. Chinese botanists have subsequently named an arboreal peony after him: Paeonia Ostii. He has also dedicated much time to finding the wild herbacious peonies which grow around the mediterranean.
He is an honourary member of the International Dendrology Society; he founded and was the first president of the Friends of the Hanbury Gardens, an association established with the participation of the most important British botanical institutions, to preserve the gardens of Mortola.
Gian Lupo Osti has received the Veitchii Memorial Gold Medal from the RHS in recognition of his contribution to horticulture and botany. With Allemandi he has published The Book of Tree Peonies and The Book of Meditteranean Peonies.

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