Herbaceous Peony -cu- new blooms, garden Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC,

Another Vote for Peony

One of the coolest things in springtime is watching the Peony blast from the quiet earth like Jack’s beanstalk.

Peony - ws - blooming in spring
photo by SVSeekins

It’s truly amazing how Peony can put all that energy into massive growth, and still have enough left for those voluptuous blooms.

Granted, I’m not super keen on the fluffy pink flowers in May.  They’re lovely, but age poorly.  In a very short time they’re fading & reminding me of scrunched up Kleenex.

It feels cold hearted, but usually I dead head blooms early, to avoid the mess.

Peony - ms2- fading blooms
photo by SVSeekins

Then I just enjoy the Peony’s foliage for the summer.  It adds texture to the borders.  I don’t give it much attention, and neither do the deer.  So that’s a good thing, too.

Peony captures my attention again in autumn.  The fall campaign has wonderful color.

I figure that good interest in 2 seasons, spring & fall, is enough reason to keep Peony on my team.

Now I realize Peony is on the ballot for summer interest too.  I stumbled on this discovery by pure chance, or laziness (take your pick).

Peony -ms- fresh blooms
photo by SVSeekins

When we moved into Richmond House a few years ago, I had to clear all the foundation beds for drain tile work.

The dark green Peony recovered well from the transplanting & bloomed the following spring.

The Peony with lighter colored leaves grew, but didn’t bloom.

Peony are known for being particular about transplant depth.  I crossed my fingers & hoped they’d adjust themselves as plants often do.

Peony - ms - red bloom
photo by SVSeekins

This year they bloomed!  Yeah baby!

The flowers are a beautiful, rich red.  Fabulous!  Even better – –  the blooms didn’t fade & remind me of scrunched Kleenex!

Believe it or not, the petals were still the wonderful red color when they dropped off the plant.  Magic.

Peony -cu- summer seed pod
photo by SVSeekins

But wait – there’s more!  I had enjoyed the red Peony so much that I didn’t get around to dead heading, so the plant was able to set seed.

What cool seed pods!  Pods ROCK!

And get this, the other day Jill introduced me to her Tree Peony.  It had also gone to seed.  Wow!

The growth was well over my head – and pods, as big as my hand.  Can it get any cooler than that?

Tree Peony -cu- summer seed pod
photo by SVSeekins

A 3rd season of interest.  🙂

Now there’s more reason to pull out the garden hose even as flowers fade.  It’s fun to wander the garden checking for interesting seed pods.

Note to self.  Let more plants set seed.

© copyright 2012 SVSeekins

8 thoughts on “Another Vote for Peony”

  1. Have never been a fan of Peony as they are usually covered in ants – at least if you bring the flowers inside. While showy they do turn ugly to soona dn faster if there is rain. After your blog I may have to reconsider as I know my man likes them!!! Jane

    1. Yeah, the ant thing! That was another reason why I was happy to move the Peony away from the house foundations.

      I’ve heard there’s an equally beneficial relation ship between ants & peonies, but also that the ants leave soon after the bud opens. http://www.peonies.org/faq0.html

      Maybe the blooms last longer out of the elements as a cut flower… but a gentle shake before bringing them inside is probably a good idea 🙂


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