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I have a number of peonies coming in the weeks ahead and was trying to design a bed with them in it. I know I need to leave room for peony expansion, but can any of you successful peony planters give me a hand at what would go well together? How to arrange?
Thanks to any advice you're willing to share.
I find it really helpful to put in plants that will bloom at a somewhat different time than peonies, since nothing can compete with them when they are in bloom. I installed Madonna lilies (lilium candidum), fall blooming anemones (either pink or white is nice), verbena bonariensis grown from seed (purple), and cynoglossum grown from seed (bright blue). The plants grown from seed are very easy Ė they self sow such that you do not have to add more, just pull out the excess in future years, and that way your bed always has color, and is always interesting.
Be careful of plants with big or spreading root systems, which can dislodge your peonies. Nicotiana alata (the tall white version) is lovely but you need to keep the large root systems away from the base of peonies. And a company mistakenly sent me saponaria Bouncing Bet instead of what I ordered. Itís gorgeous, in that it reblooms spectacularly, but I have to tear out sections of it to keep it from spreading into my peonies.
DonnaMack- Thanks for jumping right in. I have 15 peonies now, but I am not always happy with how the beds look, post-peony blossoms. I'm not 100% familiar with the plants you've named. I have Madonna lilies that I could transplant to that location & am a huge fan of those very tall pink anemonies. I have them in another location, perhaps taking a new start from there will be good. The others you mentioned sound neat. Do you have any photographs? Oh, I could look in plant files too :0)
Please keep the ideas rolling...
Someone asked this question on another thread so I'll answer the same. :) I have tall white phlox and tall bearded iris next to peonies. The phlox is next to two that tend to get the black spots a lot so it's nice to kinda draw attention away from them.
I have bearded iris with the peonies. Also iris sibirica and white camassia and white ornithalolum majus (from bulbs).
All cultivars were picked to bloom at or near peony bloom time, but in the two years I've had them together that plan hasn't always worked. When it does it's very eye catching.
Aren't roses and clematis classic combinations with peonies? I would love to try them together, but roses are so difficult to maintain well here because of humidity and clamatis are too sensitive (at least I haven't had any luck yet with them.) I want to try the phlox too.
Tabasco, Clematis like their roots shaded and cool and their heads in the sun. So, plant them, mulch them, and then plant something near them that will shade the roots.
I plant my peony in my mixed perennial beds. Just remember to leave some space around them. (I'm not good at that.) I just took my dear husband out today and showed him where I wanted to kill off some grass for a new peony/mixed perennial bed. He groaned.
Diann, I too have trouble leaving room. I like that" full garden" look. But today I just started working and trying to figure out where these peonies and lilies are going to go. I think the peonies are scheduled to come this week. If only my mind were a little bit more organized and orderly . Alas...
Funny, I went walking around the yard w/ my husband and he groaned about my "where shall I put the new peonies?" question. Maybe our husbands could start a support group lol!
Oh wow, yeah, they need one! :) I have 10 different peony that I need to move this fall and I need garden space to put them in. It wouldn't hurt if I moved some iris, but that will have to wait.. I planted most everything I had sitting around in pots today. That panic mode is beginning to settle down a bit. ;) I gave my sweetie the option of renting a sod cutter, or round-up. I think he wants the sod. :) I see a lot of mulch in my future.
Thanks everybody, for your suggestions. You've given me a lot to ponder.
Ticker, good going, making him think he has choices, sod cutter or Round Up. Seems like Round Up is easier, isn't it?
Mulch it is. The next best thing to blooming time is planting time, won't you all agree?
I kind of like break time... I planted things from 11:00 am yesterday till 7:00 pm last night. I was one tired Ticker when I got done. One of the nice things about using a sod cutter is that you have a nicely defined edge. :)
Ticker, you did have a big day yesterday. Wow. I started splitting lilies at 4 pm & came inside at dusk, 7 pm. Couldn't believe what the OTs had done in 2 years.
The nicely defined edge sounds great. My problem is, I am always "redefining" what the edge is. Adding a lily here & a lily there. Maybe a "defined" edge would stop me from moving outwards. LOL.
Trust me, it doesn't. Then you just start taking the spade and taking a spade width from the edge... :) Yes, yesterday was a long day. I was walking like a 90 year old man when I got done.. It's amazing what a hot shower will do for one..
Okay, now I don't need that sod cutter after. Here I thought it may be the cure :0) Perhaps there is no cure. I guess there are plenty worse "diseases" to have.
I bet that shower felt great after all that work. You really had a productive day.