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Peonies 2012, part 2

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Please join us. We came from here:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1244998/

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

Thanks Donna. Faster even for us DSL people.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Wish everybody changed chapters after 200 posts.

This is going to be an interesting spring. Half of the peonies are 2 feet high, which is pretty cool for the northeast. Dying to see if they truly bloom earlier. The tree peonies have large buds, so I'm sure they bloom early.

Donna, when you move a peony, does it usually rest and bloom the following year? Half of the peonies I moved last year seem to have buds (pea sized). (I did not move them to a new home as you did, just around the corner where they'd get more sun and probably more fertile soil.)

Mary, did you have any mice problems this winter?

Marcia

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

No, thank heavens. The bushes and plants that are out from snow look in very good shape. Well, as good a shape as they usually look after being buried for several months. lol. I guess the mice infestation was simply God's way of reinforcing 'pride goeth before a fall.' I was so very proud of my tree peonies. If the new ones do well, mums the word. :)

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Cathy,

No the peonies did not rest. Almost all of them have buds! Probably the most amazing is Lady Alexandra Duff. I planted it in 2005, pulled it out in September 2010 (damaging its roots) did not even pot it until October (the root was in the trunk of my car for several days!), and which is now still in its pot. I didn't expect it to even break dormancy, but look at her in picture 1! I have to plant her. She is larger than last year.

The second picture is Burma Joy, which doubled in height since I pulled it from the pot I put it in in April of last year, and put in the ground this last December.

The third is Lois. Also a much larger plant than before.

So no, most of them did not rest when put in pots. And all of them are bigger than the year before, even with torn roots. Some that did not bloom very well, because of originally being planted poorly (Moonstone) are bigger than they have ever been.

I think that the "rules" we are given are for perfect circumstances. I did not have a choice - I had to move them or lose them. I thought it was probably foolish to move Duff - I did it anyway. Now I have learned just how much abuse peonies can really take. I expected her to be dormant this spring. Now I have to get her into the ground.

As you can imagine, I'm thrilled.

This message was edited Apr 18, 2012 6:42 AM

This message was edited Apr 18, 2012 6:47 AM

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Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

I stopped by the Linda Hall Library today, hoping to see their tree peony collection in bloom. Unfortunately, most of the peonies had already bloomed, but there were a few specimen plants still bearing blooms.

Read about it here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1252926/

Photo: Sinfuso

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Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I am really surprised that the tree peonies have finished blooming so soon. Your spring must be a lot warmer than the spring here in my zone 9a in California. Hope you are able to see them next year! Maybe the Library can set up a facebook page and send out a Tree Peony Bloom alert LoL.

Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Donna, thanks for starting the new thread. I've got a few pictures I need to post this week, but I've been so busy at work I haven't had the chance. I'm glad your transplanted peonies are doing well.

Nice picture LG, sorry you missed the peony blooms at the library.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Looking forward to it, Cem. I've got some major budding going on, so that I can see the color of my peonies (and figure out if they are what I think they are!)

Lexington, MA(Zone 6a)

Subject of moving peonies-- I've been able to move peonies after the first year with no apparant problems to the buds or blooms. Peony books have mentioned "heeling in" which is giving a temporary location while the plant gets started, usually over winter. One of the catalog websites also mention it this year. Maybe Hidden Gardens? I'm not sure. They say to keep the plant happy, do not rotate its position any relative to the sun when replanting it, and that they mark a leaf when replanting a lot of them. Otherwise the prevailing wisdom probably holds-- better but not impossible to wait a few years so the roots can be divided when replanting.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Well, I understand your point, but I really believe that the catalogs and books (some written by peony hybridizers) are aimed at minimizing their losses, which I understand, but which my experience tells me has nothing to do with reality. Moving them was easy. And every one of them is bigger after the two moves, which took place within one year.

It seems a shame to me that people are leaving peonies behind because they believe this very conservative advice. I moved three year old peonies, as well as a peony that I planted in 2005. I didn't heel them in. I put them in pots, put the pots in an unheated garage, and then into the ground. Again, it was easy. Especially replanting them, because the entire root system is in a pot. If you heel them in you have to dig them up, which creates more root disturbance even if done carefully. They all started sprouting in the pots! And now they are covered in buds - far more than the last time they bloomed in the ground.

Of course, if you accept the conventional wisdom, you have to start over and buy new peonies every time you move. Which creates more sales. And prices go up every year. I did not have to buy eight new peonies. And go through the early years of will it bloom? Wondering if it is what I ordered?

The best thing about having to move is discovering how many things written by experts and authorities have nothing to do with reality. I'm going back to the things I have read in supposedly authoritative books, and it's amazing how many things that I have discovered that they insist upon are just not true. If they were right, 75% of my plants would be dead.

I'm really happy that I was forced to do this. I learned at lot. Especially from Lady Alexandra Duff, which was dug up after 7 years, had torn roots, was thrown into the trunk of my car for two days, and then put in a pot. It's bigger than ever. If I had listened to the experts, she would still be in the ground at my old house.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

I moved mine simply because they were not thriving as they should, which I attributed to not enough sun, so the sunlight orientation doesn't work for me. And they are thriving.

Donna, I think love and attitude have a lot to do with it. My yard and gardens are far from decorators' dreams, but people come by and say "I wish I could grow that." Maybe I should not talk to the plants so much....

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

The only problem I had was trying to move a tree peony - that was not successful. Given that experience, I would always recommend that when planting a tree peony, be careful that you choose an appropriate site for it at the very beginning.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Oh my goodness, I am ONLY speaking of lactifloras. I have never grown a tree peony, and my expertise there is 0.

Cathy, I agree about the love and attitude. People love different things, and most of the people around me are satisfied to use landscapers, but they have been stopping by to chat when I'm in the yard, and many people stop in their tracks to look at something (a great way to meet new neighbors!)

And, scientifically speaking, talking to a plant is great. This is from Ask Yahoo:

"It turns out that there may be some truth to the belief that talking to plants helps them grow, but not for the reasons you may think. According to ScienceNet, plants need carbon dioxide to grow, and when you talk to a plant, you breath on it, giving it an extra infusion of CO2."

There you go! I'm out for a chat with them now.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Donna - I knew you were referring to lactifloras. :).

I wanted to toss out that comment on tree peonies just so others won't assume that they will be the same.

I inadvertently give my plants extra carbon dioxide since I tend to mumble and talk to myself when I garden.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Mumble and talk to myself! LOL!

The neighbor's dog tends to go nuts when I'm gardening anywhere near him - barking and barking and barking - until I started a running dialog with her. I put roses, peonies and small shrubs near the fence, so I have to care for them. I just start talking to the dog about gardening.

Do you like this rose? It's my favorite.
Aren't the daffodils nice?
Where should I put the second rose? Here? There? What do you think? There? OK.
Gonna get those weeds now.

She lies down next to the fence and just gazes at me. I can be as little as a foot away. Right next to her territory.

Funny!

(Mary) Anchorage, AK(Zone 4b)

that is so funny. Our neighbor's dog can't see me because we have a wooden fence but I can sure hear him. I mutter also, but none that bears repeating here. Oh, and then the other neighbor's dogs start in. So pleasant at 6am on a sunny cool morning with your coffee.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

I used to yell at her when she carried on, and then I found out that she lost her companion of many years. Which makes them territorial. With my new house I inherited a 16 year old cat who had lost his lifelong companion, and then his owners left. He stopped eating and seemed very stressed. I started brushing him and adding a little more food and flax oil to his diet. He was aloof before they left, but now he follows me everywhere and wants to either sit on my lap or be within about three feet. And he seems more relaxed. And he is back to a normal weight.

I also found that some schoolgirls were routinely teasing the dog next door and revving her up. So I waited one day until they were doing it and used calm voice to tell them that I would appreciate it if they didn't tease the dog because it disturbed me and my neighbors. It never happened again. I find more and more that I have to "discipline" other peoples' children. They respond to a calm, authoritative voice - undoubtedly different from the ones they hear at home.

Yes, the dog chorus. I get that too. At least it's a little further away.

Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Hey everyone, I chuckling about the conversation with the neighbor's dog. Too funny. I have no time to talk to the neighbor's dogs, I was too busy running inside from them as they chased me into my house. The owner seemed to think they just wanted to play, but those large sharp teeth that were showing as they ran towards me barking told a different tale. A few years ago one of them went after my 2 yr old god-daughter, and it certainly didn't look playful. Needless to say, I'm the proud owner of a very nice, expensive fence that I had no intentions of having to put up, but fear for my safety and that of my family spurred me towards that decision. They had also urinated and soiled and destroyed hundreds of dollars of my plants over time, and I figure replacing the plants repeatedly vs a fence was about an even cost.

Any old hoooo, back to the peonies. Here's Raspberry Sundae, it's still in it's pot and will get planted this fall.

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Buckeye Belle. This was planted last fall, from the co-op.

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Wladlislawa, I can't even pronounce it, LOL!!!!

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Red Charm as it's opening, then the bloom. I unfortunately stepped on the plant as it was emerging, so who knows if I would have had more than one bloom this year.

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Fabulous. Keep 'em coming. We're getting close. Amazing. First bloom is normally May 31 - EVERY YEAR!

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

We crossposted. Your unpronounceable peony is gorgeous. I've never heard of it, and it's stunning.

Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Sea Shell. I love, love, love this plant. A totally unexpected surprise about how large the blooms are.

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks Donna, you will have blooms soon too ;~).

Bowl of Beauty is still blooming, but got beaten up by the rain the last few days.

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Sea Shell, Kansas and Keiko, one happy family.

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Bowl of Cream, the blooms are also huge.

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Peony Gardenia, I like the streaks of color, and these blooms are fragrant.

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Itoh Yumi. It has an interesting yellow color, and a lot of buds yet to open.

So the bloom season continues here in GA, and the nice thing is that we've cooled off, so the blooms are lasting longer, and we finally have gotten some rain in the last few days. Who was it that predicted when the peonies started blooming, that the rain was guaranteed to come, so true, oh so true.

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Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Cem...On the post of 4/18 @ 8:04pm, what is that iris a sib and what var???? Absolutely stunning!!! Oh yes, I do love the peonies also, tee hee hee.

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Good morning Kathy, it is Siberian iris Caesar's Brother, however it appears more blue in the photo that it should be. I gathered a ton of seeds that were bee pollinated last year, dmail me if you want some of the seeds. I did winter sow some last year and they germinated well and have been planted in other parts of the garden. Annette

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

This is one of the peonies I got at Lowes last year, unfortunately no tag. I'm hoping it's Festiva Maxima. Donna, how big are the blooms on FM?

The first pic is before I staked it this morning, drooping because the bloom is being weighted down by the rain drops.

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

My noid continues to bloom, and now the yellow cabbage rose as well. This is the best this rose has done since I planted it years ago. I hope that next year the weather cooperates and doesn't get too hot too early. I wanted to see both the peonies planted in front of this rose blooming with it at the same time, however, because of the early heat, one of the peonies finished blooming weeks ago, and the other is just about done as the rose is taking off.

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Kinkaku with it's bud.

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Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Everything is beautifful, but that noid cabbage rose is one of the most gorgeous flowers I have ever seen.

Stamford, CT(Zone 6b)

Cem, for the unpronounceable, drop the first and last letters, and that should work.

Soils, replanted tree peonies tend to look dead for a while. I thought I lost the one we put in last year, but it was just late in starting. The one put in the year before (amazingly) was dug up when my prince turned over the garden, so it probably looked dead. Amazing, because he was the one who planted it for me.

If the new one blooms this year, I'll post. It will be our only yellow peony.

Marcia

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

Cem -very nice stand of irises.

Marcia - the one I tried to transplant is definitely a goner. Right after transplanting, it valiantly put out a couple of tiny buds, but died soon thereafter. I left the "stick" in place, but it has been 3 years now so it is safe to say it bit the dust. Glad yours survived.

Like clockwork, as soon as the pink tree peony fades into the dusk, the white one opens up. This one is in the backyard so it is only seen by a few. But, everyone who visits me this week gets dragged into the backyard. LoL


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Leawood, KS(Zone 5b)

What a gorgeous white variety, Soilsandup! Do you know the name? I have several white peonies, but I love the dark foliage and it would make a nice addition.

My 'Coral Charm' opened the first bloom today. We're supposed to get rain and possibly hail today - I hope everything in the garden survives. It all needs a good drink, but not hail!

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Duluth, GA(Zone 7b)

Nice blooms soilsandip and LG. I totally missed the one bloom on my Coral Charm, the rain took care of that. I'm not complaining, just glad we finally got some rain.

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