One of my biggest passions has always been gardening. I wander my gardens daily while drinking tea or talking to my son on the phone, occasionally pulling some unwanted grass or a weed. My gardens consist of over 50 roses, now 50 types of day Lilies, numerous spring bulbs and lots of perennials and annuals as well. My mom gave me my first garden spot to tend and nurture when I was 7 years old. Gardening flows through my veins in my heritage and will continue on until the end of time for me.
A couple of years ago upon first seeing the amazing new Japanese peonies, I just had to have some. I now have amidst all my flowers 7 types of peonies. Most of them are Sarah Bernhart's, the beautiful pale pink blush traditional peonies, but the rest are unique varieties of the fancier peonies, mostly planted within the past two years and I anxiously await their arrival. They are up way too early this year though thanks to our unseasonably warmer weather on the Colorado Front Range this year. I've talked to them, telling them to go back into the ground, but they won't listen.
The Coral Sunset peony, one of my favorites, will be the first to bloom. This picture is from last year, but the plant is already 24 inches tall with just a large single bud on it (had to shelter it from the freeze the other night). It blooms early, then dies down early as well, in August, which is just as well as it is surrounded by Delphinium and Day Lilies that will bloom later. This photo shows the Colorado state flower, the Blue Columbine, in the background with the leaves of the taller Delphenium plant behind it as well.
Peonies are so hearty, require little care, grow in sun or part shade, generally grow into small bushes about 24 to 36" in height an 2 to 3 feet in diameter, but it takes years for them to get that large. Be patient, they are worth it. Cut them down in the fall after they are done showing off their fall leaf colors. Mulch them and plant in well drained soil. They do often require wired support systems white blooming as their blossoms are quite heavy at 5 to 7 inches in diameter. ou can obtain peony supports at your local garden store. Fragrances vary, but they do have fragrance, and are all just precious, stunning, showy flowers to add to your gardens.
I noticed this year that the new Japanese Peonies are now coming out in silk flowers. So if you see that silk flower for your spring decorating, and don't quite know what is is, it may well be one of the new Japanese peonies. You can see peonies in some of my creations here. You can also find some great photos of Japanese peonies here.
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Happy Spring everyone!
Barb Z - Odyssey Creations (www.OdysseyCreations.net)
Making the world a more beautiful place one creation at a time.