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Pausing for Peonies

May 29th, 2012

Over the past couple years I’ve added about 15 peonies to my gardens. Some of them came from my mom, some of them I purchased. Most of them are just getting to the point where they’re starting to bloom and they’re stealing the show in the garden!

I simply love peonies. They’re so easy once established. I don’t really have to do much of anything to mine, every spring and fall they get a little chicken manure to keep them blooming beautifully. They’re drought resistant once established, I never have to worry about watering them during dry spells.

Unfortunately, the weather turned HOT as soon as they started blooming so they won’t last long in the garden. That’s OK, I’m taking lots of photos and enjoying them while they’re here.

How’s the weather in your garden?

18 Comments to “Pausing for Peonies”
  1. daisy on May 29, 2012 at 5:48 am

    It’s Florida, it’s hot…and sticky…but we are hoping for rain this week.

    Your peonies are gorgeous! I think it’s too hot and humid here for them to grow. I love the combination of the pink and purple blooms together.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  2. Amy on May 29, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Our weather was pretty mild for the Memorial Day weekend, which was great as it allowed us to finally get our six new raised cedar beds in and partially planted. We still need to decide on and install material for the paths, but so far we’re thrilled to have gotten this far after scheming about it for a couple of years.

    A friend had two tree peonies sent from White Flower Farms last fall after we lost our twins in August, so our next project is to create a new garden bed for them in the backyard off our master bedroom. One of the two – the one my friend chose in honor of or son – had a bloom last week that smelled divine! I can’t wait to watch these grow. I have a feeling I may become a peony collector like you.

    Reply to Amy's comment

  3. Rhonda on May 29, 2012 at 7:56 am

    I LOVE peonies! They’re my absolute favorite flower. I can’t believe have ZERO in my garden. I have no idea how that happened.

    The weather here is stormy — finally! it’s been about 16 days without rain, so I’m very grateful.

    Reply to Rhonda's comment

  4. Mich on May 29, 2012 at 8:01 am

    I love Peonies and have them in the flower border, the veg garden and the cutting garden! lol.
    Weather in the UK has been challenging for gardening, it had been very wet and cold for May and NOW its in the early 20c’s! The combo of sun and wind has dried the ground up and its like rock.

    Reply to Mich's comment

  5. Allison on May 29, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I LOVE peonies! And for some reason, I only have one planted at our farm and it is still growing up to bloooming age!!

    Reply to Allison's comment

  6. Melanie G on May 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Beautiful! The house we rent has a few decently established peonies, and I’m really enjoying them. It got hot here (central Maryland) quickly, too, so they’re about done for the year. The heat-loving things in the vegetable garden are finally starting to pick up, though :-)

    Besides giving your peonies some chicken manure, are there other things you do to care for them? Do they need pruning or cutting back or anything else like that?

    Reply to Melanie G's comment

    • Susy on May 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

      Nope, I cut off the flowers when they’re spent to tidy it up, but nothing else as far as pruning. They’re super easy care plants.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Melanie G on May 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        Awesome :-) Thank you!

        to Melanie G's comment

  7. K.B. on May 29, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    I love peonies, and plan on having a couple in one of the backyard flower beds.. one day!

    As for the weather – too hot and too dry. The grass in the front yard (west facing) has gone dormant already – in May! In Canada!! The brassicas are bolting, the spinach is toast, the chard never got started… but the tomatoes and peppers are doing great!

    I do NOT want to see my water bill this month – and rain barrels won’t help, as they need rain to work.

    As this comes after one of the warmest and driest winters on record, followed by summer weather in March, followed by a cold snap in April… well, the fruit growers in the area are talking about 80 – 100% crop losses this year, and I think a hot, dry summer won’t help any of the other farmers either. As much as I miss eating cool-weather crops, I’m not dependent on them for my income.

    I just hope this year is an anomaly, and not the new normal…

    Reply to K.B.'s comment

    • Susy on May 29, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      Sounds like you’re having the same weather as us, though it’s pretty normal here in NE Ohio for it to get hot/dry early so it’s not too out of the ordinary.

      My rain barrels also coughed a dry cough the other day and I’ve been using the sprinkler to keep everything alive.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Corner Garden Sue on May 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    You have a nice assortment of peonies. They are beauties! I only have 3. They were my mother-in-law’s. We live in the house my husband grew up in, so they were here already. One of them did not bloom this year. I never fertilize them. Thanks for the tip, I’ll put some Coop Poop that I have on them in the fall.

    Reply to Corner Garden Sue's comment

    • Susy on May 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      You can also check and make sure that leaves and mulch haven’t built up too much over the crown. Sometimes peonies won’t bloom if the crown gets over a few inches of dirt on it. I have one that needs dug out a little as this seems to have happened to it (bit comfrey plant nearby is the culprit).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  9. Maybelline on May 29, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Perfection is expected to give way to Hell anytime now. Saturday was beautiful. Maybe 70, blue skies, white clouds, cool breeze. Fabulous.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

  10. June Coady on May 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Above all the beauties I have been privledged to know the peony is my very favorite…and I live in So. Calif where they do not grow :(
    Twenty years ago when my daughter was married we (she, her future mother in law and I ) went down town to the flower market and found among the other things we were looking for… PEONIES! They were ooohed and aaahd over by the other transplanted midwesteners who remembered them from years ago. They one of the most primary bouquets during the wedding and reception and referred to by the bride and groom as “The Mother’s Flowers”….A wonderful memory and renews a longing for these beauties to be in my shady So. Cal garden…in vain. Enjoy all of you who are fortunate to have them and speak of them often to us who always love to hear about them.
    mdl (all my notes are signed mdl…for much dear love. ‘Can’t have too much love in this world.)

    Reply to June Coady's comment

  11. goatpod2 on May 29, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Haven’t been to your blog in awhile! Our peonies started blooming as well and it is HOT here too.


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  12. Kathi Cook on May 29, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Love peonies! I have three. One was my mother’s and the other two I bought from a spectacular peony farm (Cricket Hill) . They are called purple silk. I still would like to try a few tree peonies as mine are herbacious. They are easy. I don’t do anything to them. My husband doesn’t like the way they flop all over (I don’t care for the hoops and never seem to stake them in tiime). Beautiful photos. Peonies are very photogenic I think.

    Reply to Kathi Cook's comment

  13. jules on May 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    So sad…they won’t grow here in the Deep South. They are one of my FAVORITE. Yours are beautiful!

    Reply to jules's comment

  14. Carol on June 17, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Can you tell me please if there are any problems associated with having peonies in the vegetable garden or if there are any vegetables that do not do well planted around the peonies? I have looked all over for an answer as I am planning to put the vegetable garden in an established flower bed that contains peonies, daylilies and clematis. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply to Carol's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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