Road Trip: Frost Hill Farm

On a road trip into Vermont yesterday, a friend and I had our cameras fully charged, a map in the car and a willingness to brake for anything of interest…shops, flowers, tag sales, and views.

Our destination: Frost Hill Farm in Belmont, a peony nursery that will leave you breathless. The flowers are so delicate, the petals translucent…and they move in the slightest breeze like dancers in fancy, frilly frocks. This farm will enchant you. If you aren’t sure you need peonies in your garden, walking among the rows of pink, burgundy, white, lemon and magenta flowers will convince you otherwise. The fragrance alone is worth the drive.

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piink peony

Frost Hill Farm is only open until the 29th of June. If you’re interested, go this week. There is still plenty to see…note all the buds in the following photo.

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Vermont is just beautiful countryside to drive through. Magnificent vistas. Rolling hills. Even the wildflowers along the roadsides were outstanding. I believe the purple flower is spotted knapweed. Is that correct? The orange flower is Orange Hawkweed.

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While you are meandering the back roads, stop often. We passed a swimming hole in a quarry, talked to an antique shop owner who steered us to great vistas she called “a piece of heaven,” and if we weren’t in heaven…then heaven wasn’t far.

Japanese Woodland Peony

This is a plant with great interest and subtle beauty for the shade garden — the Japanese Woodland Peony (Paeonia obovata). The flowers are delicate, single, pink and last only a short while. I’m glad I took this image before the rains because now they are gone. But this plant has more to offer, the foliage looks wonderful next to woodland companions such as hostas and ferns. And, come fall, the star-shaped, reddish seed pods burst forward with a dramatic display of dark seeds. My husband once called me out of the house to come see what was going on. “You have to see this,” he said. It’s that spectacular.