Tag Archives: fall clean up

The Peony – kicks the bucket in November

Peony in autumn
photo by SVSeekins

They make spring exciting: jumping out of the ground like cheerleaders & producing huge pom-pom flowers.  They even stand up to deer all summer.  Then it starts in September as soon as the fog & cooler temperatures arrive in Victoria  It’s not as exciting as their extravagant blooms, but Peonies add great fall interest with their changing leaf color.

Peony fall tidy up
photo by SVSeekins

By mid November they’re looking pretty shabby & the foliage starts to go a little slimy.  I’ve read that it’s better to cut these perennials back and not let the leafs rot on the ground.  Apparently the old material can hold & spread disease or bad bugs.  Either way, it’s the slimy foliage that convinces me to clean up.

crocosmia roots & all
photo by SVSeekins

There’s also something satisfying about rescuing the tomato cages that worked so hard to support the monster blooms last summer.  They stack up & fit nicely in the dry garden shed for the rainy season.

It’s been a full year since the crocosmia were welcome in this bed.  I carefully migrated the colony elsewhere to give the day lilies a fighting chance.  With the Peonies cut back, and the soil nicely soft, it’s an excellent opportunity to pull out any rogue crocosmia.  How many years will it take before the crocosmia is truly gone?

I’m leaving the day lilies alone until they die back completely this year.  Hopefully that’ll send as much energy as possible down into the roots so they’re healthier & ready to grow & form a bigger clump next year.  With all the spring crocus & daffodils in this bed, the lily leafs come out in time to hide the bulbs once their show wraps up.

I’m getting closer to being satisfied with this as a 4 season bed.

spring – action extravaganza – bulbs, peonies & Rhodos bloom
summer – solid border + day lily bloom
fall – fall foliage color
winter – hmm…  A little barren.    Any ideas?

-30-

© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.