Silver Creek Garden

passion and obsession for gardening, food, and living lightly

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Wood duck and ducklings

Rain was threatening this afternoon, but we got in a short walk to Scudder Pond to see the wood duck and her ducklings. Though I am only a beginning birder, I do get emails from a local bird group, and knew at least 2 wood ducks had been spotted with young on the pond.

We walked to Whatcom Falls.  The past 2 days of rain has not much affected our own Silver Creek, but the falls was moving pretty swiftly.

Whatcom Falls

Though we have enjoyed the past 2 weeks of unusually sunny weather, it is way too soon to begin the summer drought.  Our garden welcomed the rain.

Unusual colored Pacific iris

Unusual colored Pacific iris


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Species Peonies


Fernleaf Peony, Paeonia tenuifolia

May is the month that peonies really make a statement in the garden.  But before the named hybrids begin to bloom, we welcome the diminutive species peonies.  The first in our garden is Paeonia tenuifolia, the Fernleaf Peony.

This European native would be worth growing just for its ferny foliage, but the early red flowers are pretty showy, too.  It likes limey soil, so we do need to add lime on occasion to keep it happy in our acidic soil.


Caucasian Peony, Paeonia mlokosewitschii,

Next to bloom is Paeonia mlokosewitschii, the Caucasian Peony.  Another peony of short stature, this peony has lovely foliage and cheerful single yellow flowers.

This one is happy with our heavy, acidic soil, and every year the clump gets bigger.


Chinese woodland peony, Paeonia veitchii

Our third (or maybe first, since it was the first species peony we got) is Paeonia veitchii, Chinese Woodland Peony.  This one likes partial shade, and is so happy in the garden that it self seeds.  It is fun to have a peony that will bloom in less than full sun.

In another few weeks, the hybrid and tree peonies will bloom, with their enormous flowers.  For now, we’re enjoying the smaller ancestors and their smaller blooms.