Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Luscious Pinks from the Garden

The tulips are gone and for a few brief weeks in central NC the peonies are in bloom. I have several different kinds and they are all blooming now. Depending on the variety, peonies bloom from late April until mid May. Like my tulips, they seem to be blooming earlier this year. The light pink blooms are from Sarah Bernhardt, the dark pinks I believe are Karl Rosenfield and maybe Felix Crousse, (I didn't keep up with the plant tags as I should have). Most peonies offer locally do well in our area. Be sure to plant them high- by this I mean that the top of the rhizome with the eyes (these will be the growth sprouts) should be only an inch deep in the soil, much deeper and your plants will not bloom much. Peonies prefer full sun, but can take some afternoon shade, and like lots of organic matter. Fertilize after flowering and again in the fall.
One other thing I recommend to friends who grow peonies- PICK THEM! These flowers get big and just fall over. They also blow out when the temps are in the 80's. If you cut them as they are starting to open and bring them inside, you will be rewarded for 5 to 6 days with their beauty and fragrance! And if you leave the some smaller buds on your bushes you may still have a lovely show in the garden as well.
Peonies and roses make a wonderful combination in this very luscious spring time bouquet. These roses are the David Austin English roses called Heritage. They have the full petals of an old fashioned rose and the RICH fragrance as well. One or two blooms can fill up a room with their fragrance!!!I have had this variety for about seven years, and I love its spring blooms and the repeat show in the autumn.
These flowers will be here for such a short time- I guess that's what makes them extra special!!!

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