tired of flimsy peony rings?

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)May 13, 2011

I am thoroughly tired of flimsy wire peony rings. So I decided this year to make sturdier ones from copper pipes and flexible copper tubing. I'm quite pleased with how they turned out.

(That's not me; she's a friend who was helping me...)

This is me, changing the rings to a larger size for the two big peony clumps in the driveway border:

What one looks like installed:

From a distance, the rings are pretty much invisible; in a couple of months they will have tarnished to brown.

What do you use to support peonies if you don't use the wire rings? Most of the peonies I've added to the garden in the last couple of years are all singles so they don't need any support at all.

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Most ingenious idea - thanks! I've too many projects right now so it won't be this year but I'll file it away.

I've used the heavier tomato cages cut apart or wooden stakes and heavy twine. One year I used a round of chicken wire placed on the ground and when the peony grew up it lifted it and was supported by it. None are perfect solutions and I usually forget about the chicken wire until it's too late.

Most of my peonies are still fairly young, only one is mature to need support.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 7:35PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Can't grow peonies here, but that's a great idea!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 8:18PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

So neat woodyoak! I've often thought about using that copper tubing to make an obelisk, but have never worked up the courage ;-) How did you connect the ends of the ring? Weld or something else?

I don't do anything much. My 'Sorbet' has been fairly upright so far and hasn't needed any supporting. For a very tall lactiflora type peony I use sticks as stakes and sort of weave twine inbetween to contain the plant. A third peony has very heavy double flowers- I have wire fencing (like on the roll) cut down to encircle the plant. It grows up and when the blooms get weighed down by the rain they can just rest their heads on the fence, lol.

Thanks for sharing your great idea!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 8:39PM
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I don't support my peonies, just let them flop if they choose to. They are very old plants. But - those copper rings look like expensive ones you'd buy in a fine gardening catalog. Very nice.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 8:40PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

All I did to connect the ring is insert a ~1.5" long wooden peg/dowel in one end and crimp the tube tight to it using vise-grips. Then I put the other end of the peg in the other end of the tube ring and crimped that closed too (that's what I'm doing in the picture above...) I made sure that one of the T connectors that the legs are inserted in is over the joint in the ring to protect it a bit. I used a rubber mallet to pound the legs into the ground about 2" to give it all good support. No welding required. The pipes/tubing is easy to cut with one of these cheapo pipe-cutter tools.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 9:06PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I use the regular cross hatched wire supports which have worked well for me.

Thanks for the info on how you made your connections as I always collecting information on making things.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 11:03PM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

I love these...beautiful and sturdy! Thanks for posting your idea.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 3:46AM
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kiskin (5/6 in EU)(5/6 in EU)

Very nice idea! Looks good! I must try this on one of my 40-year-old big and floppy peony bushes. I must start dividing them, but since it is such a huge undertaking, I postpone it every autumn. Maybe this year... :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 4:26AM
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memo(Zone 4B Nebraska)

Those are really pretty, even if they would show in the garden. Your post also gives me ideas for some trellis and arbors, I never thought of using the tubing along with the pipes. Thanks for sharing your pictures and the instructions, could be very useful to many of us. I have always used the 18" loop wire border fencing to put around my floppy plants. As long as I get it in place before things really start coming up in the Spring, the stems and leaves grow right through it and the fencing barely shows.


    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 12:08PM
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