Peonies have been blooming for a couple of weeks and
I cut some blooms for some Ball Jar Bouquets to
celebrate the short but sweet season!
I always eagerly await peony season which is usually early to mid-May in our zone 7b garden,
in North Carolina. Peonies like the cold winters in USDA zones 3 through 7.
Introduced in 1906, ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is a favorite peony variety, with
big pink fragrant double blooms that resemble old-fashioned roses.
Peonies in bloom seem to be more reliable storm predictor than Doppler Radar. . .
signaling Mother Nature to bring on the heavy rain, reducing them to petal confetti!
When growing peonies, give them some kind of support, like a ring or grid to grow through,
so the big heavy blooms don’t lay on the ground, especially after a rain shower.
I use an obelisk for one of my peonies to support the blooms and some
DIY Flower Supports from a Tomato Cage to support the others.
I’m a fan of these clips that come in two sizes to attach a plant to a stake,
ideal for supporting stems, climbing vines or tomatoes.
I gathered some peonies to enjoy on a widow shelf in the Potting Shed.
In addition to mason jars, I gathered some blue and white transferware . . .
Blue and white pieces collected over time with no special pedigree;
a little shabby and time-worn. . .
Much like how peony blooms appear after 3 days. ;)
Most newly planted peonies take at least 3 years to produce a good show of flowers.
When cutting peonies in the garden, resist the urge to cut them all.
Leave as much foliage as possible on the plant and limit your bouquet to
one-fourth to one-third of the stems in bloom, as peonies rely on their foliage
to replenish food stores for the next season of blooms the following year.
In addition to peonies, I cut some privet that grows wild.
Japanese privet is considered invasive here in the South,
popping up from seeds carried by birds that spread the plant.
Cutting the privet flowers helps eliminate potential reseeding.
I’m frequently asked about what to do about ants on peonies,
as ants are attracted to the nectar on peony buds.
While ants are a nuisance, they serve a purpose, protecting the blooms
from other floral-feeding insects, like thrips, and are harmless to peonies.
To prevent bringing ants inside with your peonies, cut your peonies when they’re in the ‘marshmallow’ bud stage
or give your newly open flowers a gentle dunk and ‘swish’ upside down in a bucket of water
to get rid of any hitchhikers that may be hiding in your petals.
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I so enjoy your site. I first got interested in it because of the decorating you did on your pontoon boat. Is there any chance you will be occasionally doing that again? Thank You….
Your Peonies are so beautiful, they take my breath away. Your yard must be gorgeous in the Spring as everything begins to blossom.
I’ve been reading your posts for quite a while now which means that I do enjoy them but I don’t recall seeing your pontoon boat decorated. I would think that would be a lot of work for such a short time. I also imagine that you put a tremendous amount in each post and I appreiate it. Thank you,
Hi Pamela, Yes, I have ‘decked’ :) the pontoon out before. It is a lot of work so I don’t do it very often. You can see if for fall, HERE, and for Christmas, HERE. Thank you for visits. ♥
One of my favs is Peonies! The smell is heavenly! And they look like cotton candy! I have one red bush that I covet the remainder are white and pink…love your display but I thought I was going to see the pink peonies in the new PINK ball jars!! I have the blue, purple, green, clear and hoping to find the pink soon!! Here in Indiana, peonies typically don’t bloom until Memorial Day and it looks like that’s going to hold true! Mine are in the huge bud stage!! ❤️🌸🌺🌸🌺
Mary, Your peonies are gorgeous! Your potting shed is pretty in pink with the blue and white dishes. Enjoy your day! Clara❤️
Lovely, lovely, lovely. these are the absolute perfect flower. Our peonies are behind the usual schedule but I adore these flowers. I think I learn a new tip or two from you every time you display flowers. Thank you for sharing. This is the first blog I open. Lovely, I enjoy the comments of others too.
You nailed it regarding “rain predictions”…& I might add…WIND this year!! I’ve got my great grandmother’s tubers blooming…right on down the “family history line.” My fav!!! franki
The combination of your marvelous peonies and the Blue and White transfer ware, is so lovely. I so love your gardens, she shed, lake and puppies. Thank you for your Posts….
Your peonies are so beautiful. I can almost smell their lovely scent.
Beautiful! Show–stoppers for sure! Mine have just become tall enough to make it through the sections of the rings. Yes, you are totally correct, about the wobbly rings, — they task my patience until I get them securely in the ground, haha. They are wobbly and do have a mind of their own, but most helpful for the plant as it grows. I check it daily as I am amazed how much it can grow overnight, especially if we get a gentle shower. I like gently placing each stalk in its own section of the ring, if possible, for the most support. Thank you for sharing these beauties and of course the lovely shed!
That Sarah Bernhardt variety is just gorgeous. I inherited four different varieties of peonies with this garden. The last to bloom is a vivid pink (I think it’s a Karl Rosenfeld based on the images and popular varieties the year this garden was planted). I was SO disappointed after a Monday night rain and the entire weight on the ground. There are still so many buds to bloom. I’ve bookmarked your clips on my Amazon shopping list. Can you please show me your obelisk? I don’t want to have to stake individual stems in the ground, but clips on a good structure may be in my future!
Hi Rita, I just emailed you an old photo I had of the obelisk with ribbon tied around it for Christmas. It’s still hard to see but it gives you a better idea of what it looks like than if I were trying to photograph it with the peony foliage growing up through it.
It’s 4 feet tall and 12 inches wide at the base, tapering up to 9 inches at the top. ,
I place it there in the spring when that particular peony starts to emerge as it’s one of my largest and it works pretty well to prop the flowers up and let them grow up through it, using the clips to attach the heavy flowers to the metal bars. I never had much patience for peony rings as they’re too fiddly, getting the legs spaced properly.
It’s so disheartening to see the buds and blooms laying on the ground after a heavy rain or storm. ♥
Mary, this is such a beautiful post and very informative as well. I am in zone 7 and have a couple of places that I could plant peonies. I am thinking of trying my hand at it. Your blooms are gorgeous! Paired with the pretty blue and white pieces, they make my heart sing! Have a most wonderful day!
Thank you for adding pictures to your emails!! Adds more interest and is more inviting!!!!! Thanks again!!!
My peonies are my absolute favorite. I learned a few things from your blog today. Thank you for the tips :)
Your peonies are gorgeous. Thank you for your tips.
Oh my heavens, your peonies are gorgeous! Each one of your photographs is breathtaking! What a great post!
*sigh* … so gorgeous Mary!! Peonies are such an amazing flower, your green thumb is really showing off this year! I love them in all your potting shed pretties, show stopping!
Your peonies are gorgeous! They are such a showy flower. My zone is too warm to grow them, but I buy the cut version at Trader Joe’s when they are available. Spring is a joy of renewal giving us tulips, peonies and ranunculus before the summer heat begins to build.
Beautiful peonies. They really take your breath away. I had some several years ago and then they didn’t return. I think I didn’t water them enough because this year I got my drip functioning and low and behold a peony popped up.
The Peonies are gorgeous. Unique color.
Marilyn,Joan and Marion
Just found your page. I am enchanted
I am soooo envious! It’s too warm here to grow peonies here in Texas. Fortunately Trader Joe’s supplies fresh cut for reasonable amount. They are favorites! Your Ball Jar arrangements are perfection!
So beautiful, I have always loved seeing your peonies! I planted loads last year and very happy with their progress, now you have me eager for year three! love the simplicity of jars to set the tone, beautiful as always!
Mary, the peonies are just gorgeous, they truly are the Queens of the garden. Sarah Bernhardt is one of my favorites. They look so beautiful in your potting shed in the Ball jars with your blue and white collection. Privet is invasive, but has a sweet little bloom. I am in zone 8a, so I was excited my peonies did so well this year.
Enjoy the rest of your week ♥️
I lucked up & found those type of clips @ the Dollar tree. I don’t know if they ‘d still have them but it might be worth a try. These are 2 of my favorite things, blue/white plates, pottery, etc. & Peonies. You are so good at what you do!!
Hi Mary ~
Beautiful , I can’t wait until mine are blooming it will be awhile yet here in northern Indiana! It is amazing how many years Peonies will live !! Thank you for sharing all these years you doing what you do best !!
Hi Mary. The peonies are gorgeous! Unfortunately, they don’t grow in South Texas. I always look forward to and enjoy your posts so very much. Always such beauty and inspiration.
I planted three peony shrubs last year….only one survived…but I think the others got stomped by construction debris….However, the only one that survived yielded three flowers! Yay!…I have since purchased 2 more plants and going to plant them soon. I am in high adoration of your peonies. Your potting shed must smell amazing…love how you showcased them in the blue and white and the blue Ball jars…I am so looking forward to next year an hope that mother nature allows me more blooms!