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Our company blog, Annie's Gardening Corner, takes a sneak peek at how we balance our own love for everything green + a place to find inspiration, garden ideas and landscape design tips.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Peony Passion

Most plants like to be in the ground before the leaves turn but Peonies is one of the few that like to be submerged in its hole just before the deep frost. It is also one of the few plants that one must wait until the leaves turn before moving or transplanting.

If you don’t have Peonies in your garden, now is the time to place your order for any of the latest and greatest varieties. And let me tell you, the choices are plentiful. Your best bet is to order the root stock from specialty growers and suppliers. This is the least expensive way to acquire a collection of Peonies. Go back to the archives and pull up my August 24, 2009 entry for a couple of great root stock growers.

Whether you purchase in a pot or order the root stock, there is a waiting period for the splash. It is suggested you remove the flower buds for the first two to three years of growth. This helps the plant establish its crown.

The beauty of a Peony is fetching in a vase and absolutely stunning in the garden draped over other plants blossoming in the spring. For those who don’t like the hassles of hoops to support the blossoms, look into the self-supporting intermediate varieties; a cross between tree and garden peonies. For those tight on space, choose one of the dwarf or Alpines that are miniature versions of the standards. Some of the foliage variation on these dwarfs is quite unusual.

This herbaceous perennial lasts for decades so it is worth the initial investment of time and money. For an example, there are Peony crowns in Colonial Williamsburg, VA that date back over two hundred years. So position them wisely and plant them as you would a woody shrub. If you have made any mistakes in this department, your season is coming up for transplanting this stunner of a perennial. One other quick but very important tip – plant your root stock or you potted plant at the correct level in the ground. Too deep, it will not bloom. Reputable suppliers always include planting directions with their orders so follow the rules and your splash will be phenomenal.

The quote of the day by Garson Kanin sums up longevity. “A man ninety years old was asked to what he attributed his longevity. I reckon, he said, with a twinkle in his eye, it because most nights I went to bed and slept when I should have sat up and worried.” So worry less and plant more.

Images of Peonies from the Internet
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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)