Molly the Witch

No, this is not a post about magic. Even though there is a kind of magic going on in the garden…

Paeonia mlokosewitschii

Paeonia mlokosewitschii

I have planted this peony 2 years ago. It’s a species, found in some part of the Eastern Europe by a Polish botanist (ok, maybe it was in Poland then) after whom the plant has been named: Ludwik Mlokosiewicz. The plant has the most beautiful Spring shoots and leaves a peony could bear, large light yellow single flowers that produce star pods (similar to those of irises) with dark blue seeds inside. What more can you ask to a peony? Maybe that it could settle and actually flower.

Paeonia mlokosewitschii

Paeonia mlokosewitschii

The plant is supposed to grow in rocky slopes, in nature, so I planted one plant amongst stipa, in the gravel beds, and the other one in another well drained spot. This second one might be in a too much drained spot, in fact it is a little behind the other. I bought two, in case one of them die. I have wondered about flowers, weeping over its beautiful purple-grey foliage for two long years and finally here they are, bearing a couple of flower buds.

Paeonia mlokosewitschii

Paeonia mlokosewitschii

As most of the times English can’t pronounce anything else than their own language (sorry but this is true!) they named this peony ‘Molly the Witch’ as a mispronunciation of the original Polish name. I find it so funny that I call my peony Molly. I can’t call it ‘the Witch’ though or we can confuse it with my mother-in-law, who is also called so (not only because she is a crone, she owns some real magic too!).

Tulipa praestans 'Shogun'

Tulipa praestans 'Shogun'

Actually a kind of magic happens when this beautiful tulip is hit by the morning sun. It lights up like a lamp!

Tulipa praestans 'Shogun'

Tulipa praestans 'Shogun'

They ended up on the gravel border too, because they’re supposed to grow in very drought conditions and so far I can tell this is true!

Tulipa praestans 'Shogun'

Tulipa praestans 'Shogun'

Not far from there I have some tulips parrot, ‘Apricot Parrot’ to be precise, in a terracotta pot, so I don’t need to dig them up after blooming. I’ve never seen a tulip parrot for real before and I must admit it really is amazing, you look at it and you understand why in the past they have been so famous and pictured. Come on, apricot is not fluo pink though!

Tulip 'Apricot Parrot'

Tulip 'Apricot Parrot'

Do you think I’m done with narcissus? You’re wrong! There are others just coming into bloom and they look so good to me!

Narcissus 'Canary Bird'

Narcissus 'Canary Bird'

Narcissus ‘Canary Bird’ so far is the best one I have in the garden (I still haven’t seen ‘Copper Queen’ though!). It bears 5-7 flowers per stem of a delicate yellow with a compact orange crown and a really good scent. I’ve been weeding around it yesterday and I kept sniffing this beautiful perfume…

Narcissus 'Canary Bird'

Narcissus 'Canary Bird'

Narcissus 'Segovia'

Narcissus 'Segovia'

Another good one is Narcissus ‘Segovia’, with its natural look and delicate fragrance. Narcissus’ petals often look as if they’re made of sugar, or cake icing, especially when backlit, this one in particular really glisten in the sun… I wonder if the petals are sweet like the scent…

Narcissus 'Segovia'

Narcissus 'Segovia'

Narcissus 'Curlew'

Narcissus 'Curlew'

Narcissus ‘Curlew’ is very similar to narcissus ‘Sailboat’, showed on my previous post, it only has bigger flowers and it’s probably a little bit taller but I’d rather prefer ‘Sailboat’ which bears more flowers.

In other fronts:

Amelanchier lamarkii

Amelanchier lamarkii

The amelanchiers have flowered and I forecast a rain of little red fruits soon. Yummy!

Apple tree 'Granny Smith'

Apple tree 'Granny Smith'

We planted a nice apple tree,  ‘Granny Smith’, and it flowered. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to keep the fruits or discard them from the plant for this first year. The flower buds look like cream and strawberry striped candies.

Apple tree 'Granny Smith'

Apple tree 'Granny Smith'

Acer ‘Desojo’, which lives in a big pot under the cherry trees, has set billions of red leaves without I even noticed and it’s blooming now! Incredible! Soon the leaves will turn light green and the pot  will be moved in the loggia, upstairs. I need the walls to be painted there before, then I’ll show you how my little hostas are doing up there.

Acer 'Desojo'

Acer 'Desojo'

Another plant that always impresses me is sorbaria sorbifolia. I don’t even remember which variety I have but they all look the same. This little bush sets sorbus-like leaves with stunning colours, it sets suckers too, so I planted it in the ‘woodland’ and let it grow as large as it wants. In may or june it sets panicles of white flowers that smell a little frisky and this seems to attract a lot of bees and flies.

Sorbaria sorbifolia

Sorbaria sorbifolia 'Sem'

Ah! ‘Sem’. It’s Sem! 🙂

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32 thoughts on “Molly the Witch

    • Temperatures have dropped here as well, I saw snow up the Alps this morning! That doesn’t bother me though, there is no problem of frost at mine. I just hope it’s going to rain a little…

  1. Lots of lovely flowers showing off for you at the moment, your garden must look very pretty. Paeonia mlokosewitschii has settled nicely here and reliably flowers each year now, it took a few years to settle down before it started flowering, I promise I call it by its proper name and never Molly the Witch!!

    • Pauline, I obviously was only joking! I think I’m going to call it Molly the witch forever indeed! 🙂 I hope you are going to post some pics of yours then, I’d like to see a mature specimen. Does your Molly produce seedpods?

  2. You are in the grip of Spring, Alberto. Be careful, it makes everyone crazy but especially gardeners. I’ve never seen a species peony and I’m CERTAIN you will post images of those buds when they open. I had a parrot once and he didn’t look anything like that pink tulip but he was able to talk and probably the tulip can’t. Sorry the English have trouble with foreign words; Americans do just fine although that M and L together is a bit of a trick. But I think of course that Molly the Witch is an adorable plant name and really I want to meet your mother-in-law and hear all about her magic. ps:The Shogun tulips are awesome.

    • Linnie, mind what you say, you might change your mind after you met her! I will for sure post pictures of Molly’s flowers, I just hope the flower buds are not going to abort, like sometimes happens with peonies…
      Are you trying to tell me I should have said parrot tulip instead of tulip parrot? I thought it was correct as it indicates a type. Anyway I promise I’d go and see a doctor if one of those tulips started to talk to me!
      PS: I am a 4 season crazy, so I’m kind of immune to spring.
      PPS: I love those tulips too!

      • No I wasn’t suggesting you had the words switched– what do I know about tulips anyway? I only know a tiny bit about parrot parrots. And I expect it’s best if your tulips aren’t chatty. Your mother-in-law must not read your blog or else she is very tolerant in addition to being versed in magic.

  3. Mmmm, paeonia mlokosewitschii has been on my wish list for a number of years, soooo look forward to seeing your blooms. And that tulip, what an amazing glowy orange, gorgeous, I will add that to the wish list too!

    • Yo better buy this plant asap, I haven’t seen the flowers yet but the plant worths just for the leaves colour and texture! And then as Pauline confirmed it takes a few to settle down and flower so the sooner you plant it the earlier you’ll see flowers!

  4. Interesting information about that paeonia. I look forward to seeing its blooms. Love the canary bird daffodils. Such a sweet buttery yellow. And those tulips are magnificent! I hope your mother-in-law doesn’t read your blog!

  5. Congrats on your first Peony bloom! That foliage is wonderful, especially the purple-tinged new foliage. I love that red-flushed Sorbaria foliage…so stunning!

    • I love the sorbaria too. Leaves are turning acid green in a while but the texture is beautiful anyway.
      I actually haven’t any blooms yet, only a couple of flower buds and I’m kind of worried because peonies sometimes drop their buds for no reasons… fingers crossed!

  6. Alberto, your garden has now more than caught up with ours in Scotland. I am going to get that Peony for the name alone, molly the witch, molly the witch.

    • Yes: molly the witch! You got it? 🙂
      Molly the witch as most of the species peonies is a rather early flowerer, I guess it flowers in about a month, maybe less. I’ll let you know. The plant itself is really weird somehow but I love it and then showing off a peony with that name to friends and relatives… Incomparable! 😉

    • I’ve never thought of it like a sumac but you’re right they are similar. The name itself recall the resemblance with Sorbus’ (Rowans) leaves, so I always think of sorbus when I see a sorbaria.

  7. Alberto, you got me! I was thinking, what a beautiful peony but I’ll never be able to pronounce it! Molly the Witch would be welcome to perform a little magic in my garden. I am glad to see yours has some buds this year! I love all your spring flowers, and your sorbaria really appeals to me because of its great foliage.

  8. Ciao Alberto , anche io ho la peonia mlokose…… l’ho comprata l’anno scorso
    ed ora è alta circa 10 cm. da terra. Sono affascinata dalle peonie.
    Belli i tuoi tulipani ed i narcisi. Nessuna foto panoramica?
    Serena Pasqua.

    • Ciao Loretta! Anche le mie sono rimaste molto piccole per i primi due anni, ma quest’anno sembra sia proprio la volta buona ed è strano perchè una primavera così secca non l’avevo mai vista! L’anno scorso le ho concimate, lo farò anche quest’anno, ma credo che come ogni peonia abbia solo bisogno di ambientarsi un po’ prima di fiorire…

  9. I am very envious of your Narcissus, it is too warm during the winter for them to do well for me. Never mind I can share yours, they are beautiful. Christina. PS I’m with you in the hope for some rain!

    • That’s odd with all the snow you’ve had… We finally had some rain, if I knew I would have taken earlier a couple of days off! Nevermind, I had a lot to do inside the house too!

    • Ah ok sure! I already follow her blog and you’re right: it worths it!
      Thanks for your comment. I am not sure if throwing the first fruit is ‘normal practice’ or not. However flowers and fruits take away a considerable amount of energy from the plant so I think that if I take the little apples away from the plant, it’s going to have more energy to root and to produce new branches and leaves. And to be honest I’m not fond of the green Granny Smith, so I don’t mind loosing the first crop.

  10. Hi Alperta, your garden is looking belliffimo but I don’t agree with your view that the English can’t pronounce foreign languages. Your Molly the Witch discourse is very funny – I hope your Mum in Law agrees. One of the delights of blogging is discovering new plants and I am taken with Molly. Siao. Dave

    • Alright Dave, I am officially sorry! your italian sounds so good I won’t think again that English are linguistically stubborn. I still remember the first time I landed in UK and I asked for a bus that get me to Hove. OK I mispronounced ‘Hooooove’ with something like ‘Huv’ and nobody understood me! I had to look on the time table by myself as soon as I found it. Then I sat on my luggage and I tried to have a cry. But I love England.

  11. What a sad story, Alberto. When I first read it I thought, “How on Earth can you mispronounce Hove – it is one of the more straightforward English place-names?” But then, of course, I thought of the the word ‘love’ and it is obvious how you would come up with ‘Huv’. Seems the experience didn’t deter you though as your English is remarkable. D

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