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Back in the Garden

July 6th, 2017

This past weekend we were off camping up in northern Maine, then we were back for the fourth and a boat parade and afternoon of sailing. Now it’s back to the office, housework, and garden work. It’s amazing how quickly things can grow, even when you’re only gone a few days. When I left the peonies were in full bloom.

When I came back they were all gone. That’s OK though, peony season is glorious, even if it is very short. We now move on to hydrangeas, peony poppies, and a flush of other blooms. Even though perennials offer a short season of bloom, they can be staggered to provide color and interest throughout the summer. As I drive around I’m always noticing things blooming in other gardens that I might be able to incorporate into my own.

What’s blooming in your garden this week?

Must Get More Peonies

July 1st, 2015

I love peonies, simply love them. In my Ohio garden I have 15-20 different varieties of peonies and they produced quite a show in the early summer. Last year I purchased two new peonies for my garden here, but I’m definitely in need of a few more.
peony 4
peonies 4
peony 2 (1)
peony 1 (1)
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peony_blooms 3
pink_peony 1
I brought a couple of these beauties with me and I still need to get a start of my grandma’s heirloom peony from my mom. I’m slowly adding peonies to my garden once again, I can’t wait to have them dotting the flowerbeds. ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is definitely one of my favorites, I got one for this garden last year.

Do you have any peonies in your garden?

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?

Fleeting Beauty

June 25th, 2011

Last year I added 6 new peonies to the garden. They didn’t bloom last year, but this year they all provided me with at least one blossom each, some with many. Peonies are lovely flowers, you’d never know how tough the plants were by looking at the flowers. They’re wonderfully hardy plants, taking just about anything you throw at them after they’re established. The blooms on the other hand are delicate. They don’t last long in the garden, especially if the weather turns hot.

Right about the time the peonies started to bloom here in NE Ohio the the temperature climbed into the 90’s. As a result the peonies lasted only a few days. I was hoping to take a photo of the first bloom on the heirloom peony I got from my grandma’s house. I spotted it late one afternoon and by the next morning it was already past prime so I missed it. At least I got a few photos of the many of the other peonies in the garden, save a white one. Here are a few of the fleeting beauties in my garden from this spring.

A few weeks ago I added four more peonies to the garden. They were growing in an area of my mom’s garden that became shady because of the growth of other plants so she gave them to me. I can’t remember what the blooms will look like, but they’ll be beautiful whatever they turn out to be. It’s always nice to get peonies for free!

Do you grow peonies in your garden?

My Favorite Peony

May 29th, 2010

I must admit that I love peonies. I have a two that were growing here when me moved in. They’re planted in a terrible spot, practically in the gravel driveway. They don’t seem to mind much, they bloom beautifully every year. I plan on moving them this fall, a little farther back into some better soil. I’m hoping they’ll spread and fill out, they haven’t gotten much bigger in the 9 years we’ve lived here despite my mulching & fertilizing.

Don’t let the beauty of peonies fool you. They’re tough as nails once they’re established, as proven by the ones I have growing in the driveway. They can take drought and they’re true perennials blooming for years. My mom has some peonies that she got from my grandma that were growing at the home she grew up in which are more than 50 years old. I have a start from one of these as well, I can’t wait for it to bloom.

Last year I added 6 new peonies to the gardens here at Chiot’s Run and I’ll be adding a few more this year (my mom’s giving me a few from her gardens that need moved). Most of the ones I planted last year won’t bloom this year, but one has one small bloom. It can take a few years for peonies to get established. I have one that I waited 6 years for it to bloom. If only I had added these new peonies 8 years ago when we moved in the gardens would filled with them now.

Once you start collecting them it’s hard to keep track of the ones you have, I must find a good plant labeling system so I can mark them permanently. I know a few of the varieties I have growing; ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, ‘Dr Alexander Flemming’, ‘Bowl of Beauty’, ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ as well as ‘Felix Crousse’ and a few unknown varieties. All of my peonies are the pink family with my favorites being this light pink of the ‘Sarah Bernhardt’.

Do you have a favorite peony?

Reading & Watching

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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.