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