Tuesday, July 17, 2012

~An Old-Fashioned Flower~

A while back, I discovered peonies.  Though I had heard of them, I never really paid any attention to them until now.  Oh my.  I am in love!

Be still my heart!  The soft pink color of this one gets me every time.
 Peonies are considered an old-fashioned flower having been around for hundreds of years originating in Asia.  Over the years, several varieties have been developed.  Single flower, semi-double and double-flower producing blooms that can be anywhere from 4 to 6 inches to 10 inches wide!  Can you imagine??

 Peonies are a very low maintenance flower requiring little care.  It''s not uncommon for plants to live for over a hundred years!  Definitely well worth the investment, don't you think?  Fragrances vary from one flower variety to another...none whatsoever to slight to very fragrant.

 The one thing that drew me to these magnificent flowers...well, actually, two...is that they fit the definition ~ to a T ~ of being a cottage style flower.  Which is what most people consider them to be.  They are often seen in fields and in many a farmhouse garden.  The other is the blossom itself.  The soft, billowy petals.  I don't know, but there's just something about them that beckons me.

 One problem with these flowers is that they bloom only once during the season.  Drats!  Wouldn't it be lovely to have blossoms like these all summer long?  Oh goodness.  Thankfully, each variety is categorized with a bloom date rating that can spread out over a period of six weeks.  If one plans wisely, you could have several varieties that bloom at different times giving you a longer season of enjoying the beautiful blossoms.

The other problem is that it takes several years for the plant to mature before it actually starts producing the type of flowers like you see above.  So one has to be patient.  Waaahh!!  I did find out that peonies can be dried and will last for years.  Yay!  Can you imagine the beautiful bouquets?

 Well, I've decided I just HAD to have some of these babies and I've been looking in several of the local nurseries in the big city and even in the home/garden centers, but couldn't find them anywhere.  So I started searching online to order some.  It's a good thing I decided to do it now as I found out that fall is the best time to plant bare root peonies (the best way to go).  Gardeners are taking orders now with delivery to take place mid-September to mid-October.

"Sarah Bernhardt"....very late bloomer, large blossoms and fragrant.
 After going back and forth, and forth and back, I finally decided on these three.  These babies aren't cheap.  They can range in price from about $18 to $100!  I cannot imagine paying that much for one plant!!  I did manage to get plants for an average of about $22 a piece, so I was pleased overall.

"Red Charm"...blooms early and very fragrant.
I have alot of purples and pinks in my flower beds.  I don't know why but it seems that's what colors are most prominent in the garden centers around here.  I wanted a soft, faded pink but the few I picked were already sold out with this particular nursery.

"Coral Charm"....blooms mid season and has a mild fragrance.
I have only one red flower in my gardens so the beautiful red one is really going to add some pop!  And I don't have any coral at all so I thought it was a nice contrast.  I am so excited to add these to my flower gardens!!   Now, lots of waiting is in store but I pray that it will all be worthwhile.

What's new in your flower beds this year?

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vintage grey said...

Peonies are my favorite!! They are such a beautiful flower!! Can't wait to see your red and coral ones!! They will be beautiful! xo Heather

My Vintage Mending said...

Velma we didn't know about Peonies until we moved to Kansas and they are every where. I love to drive through the older neighborhoods and see them thick as thieves. When we moved into our new house 11 years ago I brought 4 of the old ones with me and sadly I have one left. They started dying two years ago. I suspect a chipmunk is digging their roots? YOu will love them...they are my favorite too...smiles...Renee

Lori Stokes Wright said...

Oh, Velma, it will be worth the wait!!! Mine are old and very fragrant. I keep saying I want to get more, thanks for letting me know about getting them now. Hugs~Lori

Leslie said...

What in wonderful and interesting post! I agree, peonies are dreamy! I would just LOVE to have some, but haven't lived in one place long enough to invest and see the results. :/ My mother-in-love has two beautiful bushes, and I enjoy them over there!!
Have a blessed day,

Melinda said...

Don't mean to be the negative here--yes they are beautiful but they do attract ANTS! So be aware.
Those that I know who have them-have had the ant issue.

Just to let you know.

M :)

Kerin said...

Peonies are wonderful flowers!!
I've always had them, and loved them.
This year a friend of mine showed me a new variety (new to me)... it is fern leaf peony. Gorgeous!

We're planting Holly. It is new for us ... as we've never planted it before.
I'm looking forward to having the sprigs of green and red for Christmas decorating.

Smiles :)

Bluebell Woods said...

I do so love the pale pink ones. Yes they need ants to bloom. This year I have noticed that I have loads of ants eating my plants. Can you but peonies already mature? My dad had them in his garden in England but I have never tried them myself.

Sam I Am...... said...

I love peonies too! I planted one several years back and get one bloom each year but this year none. I'm not sure if it survived this heat and weeds have taken over where I had it planted. Good luck with yours...they're gorgeous!

Betty@SouthernGrace said...

I have just recently learned of peonies too. I have been looking at all the nurseries too and no one has any. One place even told me they wouldn't grow in FL. Thanks for the info. I will look on line for some.

Betty Sneeringer said...

I remember Peonies from my childhood. Unfortunately they don't do well here and I haven't seen any in a long time. I remember seeing big ants all over the round buds. I believe that is a natural occurence (didn't check it out though) and will be interested in your peony progress. They are beautiful and I wish you success!



The Polka Dot Closet said...

Oh Velma, I want some!!! I am going to check them out now, I will have to see how they grow here in Florida, I kept trying hydrangeas and then found out they just won't grow here. Thanks for sharing, they are gorgeous!!


Cindy said...

Hello dear Velma,
I also LOVE Peonies, I have about eight different plants, and they are all over my garden, in the light pink variety. I had no idea they could live so long.
Have a wonderful day.
I am finally back to blogging.
Hugs, Cindy

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Velma, I just stopped in to see and smell your fabulous flowers again!


Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch said...

I adore peonies, but they do not do well in our hot, hot climate, at least I never see them here or hear about anyone having them, or see them in the store. I am guessing the reason is the Texas heat. Hope yours do well for you.

Kerin said...

Hi Sweet Velma.
Just checking in with you.
Hope all is well.



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