I was walking past the peony pictured above all yesterday admiring half a dozen of some of the most magnificent flowers I have ever seen, was back this morning with a camera and courtesy of this sudden burst of summery weather (please keep in mind we were all in winter clobber just a week ago) there were only two blooms left.
Peonia X Bartzella is one of the best of the new Itoh Hybrids. The Itohs are crosses between herbaceous and tree peonies and have been causing something of a sensation in the gardening world the past couple of years. These fabulous plants seem to have inherited the best characteristics of both their parents, the ability to flower without requiring winter chill of the 'trees' combined with the compactness and floriferousness of the 'herbaceous'. They are glorious and the Peonia X Bartzella we have tucked under our Physocarpus opulifolius Darts' Golden at the end of our shrub borders is one of the finest.
Well, hooray for the summer because we have just popped the first of our summer events onto the Cloudehill website. And out of sheer perversity, our season commences with The Tempest no less. As the latest of their long-running Shakespeare performances at Cloudehill, Bruce Widdop with his Ozact Company will be putting on The Tempest, one of Shakespeare's best-loved plays, in our theatre on the last weekend in December of this year Friday 29th and Saturday the 30th.
You might even like to run your eye over some of the other events we have lined up for the summer: On the 13th January we have Anatolian gypsy music courtesy of Murat Yucel and Sultan and folk/baroque pieces by The Evergreen Ensemble with "Snow in Summer" (who are also members of the Pinchgut Opera Group) on 10th February.
And finally, though definitely not last.... we have an Opera Victoria recital on the Australia Day weekend of Jan. Opera in the garden is something we have been aiming at for a very long time. I remember a (local) opera singer standing in our theatre and testing the acoustics nearly 20 years ago. Everyone wandering the garden enjoyed two or three minutes I'm sure they will never forget.
"That was very nice (Judy)" I said "What do we need to do to book a show?" the reply was "I suppose you should start off chatting with with my agent" and suddenly it all seemed a bit hard. Still, years down the track it seemed high time to revisit the idea and courtesy of the very generous people at Opera Vic, we are off and away.
So you see, this is by far the most ambitious Summer Twilight Event Series we will have tackled. Especially as there are still one or two more events to add to the list.