peonies managed

Managing peony sprawl is worth it, since the blooms are so magnificent. Every year at this time I push three metal step-in posts around each of the fifty or so peonies I have and use twine to prevent the sprawl that happens when the blooms get too heavy. Here is an example:

peony bush staked and wrapped

The early peonies–a single red called “America” and a double called “Red Charm” are already blooming. This is the “America”:

America peony budded

The buds of the “Red Charm” are huge:

bud of “Red Charm” peony

And the blooms even huger. I’ve decided to downsize my peony collection. I’m thinking of trying to find a new home for at least ten of them, maybe even twenty. Thirty peonies is enough! This year I’ve staked most of the peonies, but I removed two thirds of the buds from most of them, and removed ALL the buds from a few that I know I am finding other homes for–because I’m leaving in two days for a two-week road/camping trip. Leaving the garden at the very start of the peony season is bad enough, but coming home to a mess of broken stems and spent blooms is no fun, either. So I’m being proactive.

Peony blossoms are amazing and even the buds are pretty.

peony buds in morning sunshine

I know that when I get back the garden will be a complete jungle. Oh, well, that’s fine. The front yard already is looking pretty chaotic–in a good way.

front yard jumble

I planted a small shady bed with annuals, using, for the first time ever, coleus, impatiens, and begonias. I was inspired by my sister-in-law who uses coleus to excellent effect in her garden. Here is the bed now, with each plant having some room to spread out as it grows.

Here is a quick photographic tour of the garden this morning:

white garden (which isn’t all white)

pine tree bed, upper

pine tree bed, lower

middle of front yard

bottom of front yard

what we call the potting shed bed, not a very imaginative name!

southside walkway

under the apple tree

top of the back yard

viburnum in full bloom in the back yard

The orange poppies are in full bloom and are the brightest flower going. Here are a few of them. I’ll be back in two weeks!

peony with morning sun shining through it

poppy center

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