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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