Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Peony Project

Who knew digging up peony plants 
would be such a chore?  
I certainly didn't!

At first glance it was apparent I would need to saturate the soil.  
We haven't had much rain, so there was no way I was going to be able to dig up anything.

  Water, water, water.

Hershey, the ultimate family cat, watched over the whole process.

Thirty minutes later I started loosening the dirt around the smaller of the two plants hoping not to disturb the delicate roots.  It didn't take me long to see that those roots were by no means delicate and I had to dig deep, rock hard on the shovel, and practically broke it in the process!

Plant number one was out!  On to the second.

The second peony was twice as big as the first and required more watering.  
Water, water, water.

Thirty minutes later I started in on this one which proved to have an even more 
substantial root system than the first.  It was huge and I was covered in mud.

All told I ended up with five smaller versions of the first plant, a light pink, and eight of the second one, a dark pink.  They both have a unique fragrance and have scented my house in the Springtime for years.

I called my mom, who just so happens to be a Master Gardener, in the middle of my digging to make sure I was doing it right and asked her about the plants.  The peonies were already mature and living on the property her parents bought in the early 1940's.  There were several plants and Grandma turned them into a cash crop by selling bouquets to townspeople for Memorial Day.  Apparently it was a rather lucrative, albeit very seasonal, endeavor.

Grandma sold peonies for about 15 years.

Grandma shared the plants with my mom.  My mom shared them with me.  I have shared them with my daughter.

Instead of two monstrous plants, I have starts for thirteen and the makings of a very fine peony border.  Two of those went to my daughter, Steph, for her yard.  Here is where I planted them in my yard.

One on either side of the front porch stairs.
Here's the proof it was really me that got down in the dirt.  :-)

There are four along the front fence between those trees, one more on the other side of the tree on the right, and four along the fence just south of the front of the driveway.  I should have a lovely, leafy L-shaped border at the entrance of our property.

The last step.  I tucked them all into bed for the winter with leaves from the yard.
Sleep well, Pretty Peonies....see you in the Spring.
If you visit me next Spring, 
be sure and get a bouquet before you head home!

1 comment:

  1. love it today I planted a bed of flowers that a lady gave me from my church, work but fun. Your flowers will be beautiful next year!


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