From the moment the first young shoots push their way up through the earth in early spring, I am watching its growth daily, and waiting for the buds on this captivating plant to form. The anticipation is part of the pleasure of P. mlokosewitschii (also known as ‘Molly the Witch’) … the primrose yellow, bowl-shaped flowers have a central mass of golden yellow stamens which are a magnet for bees, and the flowers themselves are set off to perfection by the glaucous blue-green foliage.
This beautiful species is one of the first to flower, and sadly the flowers are very fleeting indeed … barely a week … but when I first saw it in my mother’s garden I was spellbound. After she died, her bungalow was sold and as I walked round her garden for the last time (early spring eight years ago), I spotted the large clump of emerging foliage and grabbed a spade.
Time and time again you read that autumn is the best time for dividing paeonies but I had no choice and my spade was sharp; what’s more I wasn’t dividing, I was lifting a piece! One swift downward strike and the job was done. Within a couple of hours I had it safely ensconced in its new home … it hardly realised what had happened!
Eventual height is 80-90 cms and it grows happily in sun or partial shade.
NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.
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