We were all a mess on Weed Street lately! Dearest daughter had the flu (Influenza B is raging still! Doctor still seeing about 5 cases a day!) Only the little beasts were upright and healthy, and actually very content to have their people at home all day in bed!
Peonies pulled me from the sick-bed finally. Have you heard of Peony’s Envy? I’ve met Kathleen Gagan ! Her New Jersey farm of peonies and her web site are extraordinary. She came to lecture, and there was a dinner the night before, during which she regaled us over wine and good food with funny stories and also with good sound horticultural advise. If you havent succumbed to a peony (or three) in your garden, consult her on-line catalog first! I know it isnt the right time to plant a peony, but I broke the bank and purchased one of her tree peonies because I had to have it NOW. No, it won’t bloom this Spring. She had only brought a couple along to the lecture.
Dear husband hates it when I tell him that he has to wait to see flowers or to see a tree grow. I had to tell him that we will be quite old when this tree peony reaches its full 7 feet tall. It could live a century on Weed Street if I have planted it properly.
For a tree peony, you want a two foot DEEP hole. You want to amend your soil with something coarse like sand or wood ash and compost. My other peonies like the soil in this area, so hopefully “Concubine’s Feather” will like her new spot! I’ve not had luck with tree peonies in the past, on our last 4 acre garden. My Mother grew them beautifully and encouraged me but I gave them up. But Kathleen tells me I didnt plant deeply enough. (Not too deep on the herbaceous and not too shallow for the tree peonies.) Also you don’t want to mulch these beauties. No, no, no, no. (Margaret Thatcher fresh in my mind.)
“Concubine’s Feather” doesn’t look like much now, but I will build a bed around her, getting rid of the grass and giving her the space she needs to start a new fascinating and long life (I hope) on Weed Street. I hope she will be worth getting out of the sick-bed…
It’s all beginning again!