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Peonies- you can grow that


So many buds about to pop!

So many buds about to pop!

When we moved into this house, like 11 years ago, there were plants here already. Some that I have gotten rid of, like junipers that smelled like cat pee, and russian sage, which was plotting to take over the world, starting with my mailbox.
The plants that have given me the least trouble and the most joy, though, are the peonies in the front of the house along the driveway. I don’t know the variety name- I suspect they are the cheapest, most common type, rather than the rare, special-order-from-a-catalog-with-a-fancy-French-name-variety. They bloom profusely in June, then are simply green the rest of the summer.
The reason I say “you can grow that” is that these are the least troublesome plant in the world. They are old-fashioned, cottage-y looking, but they take very little water (how do I know? because I give them very little water) No fertilizer or compost or any special treatment- for this abuse, they reward me with teacup sized blossoms every June.

If you decide to plant them, prep your soil with some compost, follow the directions on the bareroot package, or if it is in a container, place the root ball so the top is even with the soil. Water well, mulch, and wait.

Our cool spring this year means they have not quite popped yet, but you can see they are about to. I can’t wait.

“You can grow that” is a project started by C.L. Fornari, whose goal is to get people growing. Not a bad goal…

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Bloom Day- Patience


Three years ago (or was it four?), my wonderful Mother-in-law gave me an envelope of seeds from her yellow columbine, which was spilling over the sides of the flowerbed (the flowers, not the envelope). I scratched them into the soil next to my brass headboard, near the dark red lilies, and stella d’oro daylilies…and this week for bloom day….they are about to bloom. Still waiting.

The waiting is the hardest part.

Oh sure, they have pretty ruffly leaves, and a bright green color, but none of us got into this for the foliage! Give us flowers!

Also about to bloom, roses and peonies.

Planted before we moved in- unknown variety.

As big as a dinner plate when it opens…did I say dinner plate? I meant coffee cup. Which is still pretty darn big. For a flower.

Actually in bloom, we have Honeysuckle Blanche Sandman, well-loved by pollinators and in continual bloom from May through August.

Bearded iris is still blooming.

Clover isĀ  in the paths and lawn. Clover fixes nitrogen, and the flowers attract bees and butterflies, so I have it even though it doesn’t make my heart pound.

And, of course, we have strawberries. Blossoms now mean fruit in June- all mine! Mine, I tell you!

In June, I’ll eat strawberries…