Peonies!!!

Lisa_H OK(7)April 19, 2012

So I don't keep tying up the other thread, I'll start my own :) Here is my favorite peony bouquet of all time.

I've also moved some of my peony pics into their own album. I'll try to get some fresh ones from this year too.

Lisa

Here is a link that might be useful: Peony Album

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Lisa, I'm just drooling over these photos (and the ones on the other thread too). Your flowers always look so good!

Dawn

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 12:22PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Dawn, we need to live next door to each other....I could grow the flowers, you grow the food :)

Lisa

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 12:32PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

I'm uploading fresh pics tonight, so there are more peony pics. These are the first wave of peonies, there will be more in a few weeks.

Fresh bouquets from tonight:

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:28PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

more shots from tonight :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2012 at 10:54PM
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pattyokie

Lisa, these are just gorgeous! Do you have a trick to deal with the ants when you make bouquets? I finally just decided to enjoy mine thru the window because I couldn't ever get rid of the ants in them if I brought them inside.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 12:29AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Lisa, That would be a great partnership.

I do grow some flowers, but only tough ones that can take the abuse of growing in improved red clay so nothing that looks as nice as your peonies.

My poppies and larkspur look great this year, and the roses and Laura Bush petunias are putting on a great show too. Lots of tough reseeding annuals may not have reseeded much last year because some plants that usually are popping up out of the ground by now seem slow to show up this year. I did sow wildflower seed all over the pastures so they are especially lovely this year, but that mix contained the highly invasive pink evening primrose, so I guess I'll be pulling up pink evening primrose plants from all my beds for the next 5 years because it reseeds like mad.

In the pastures, the bluebonnets have faded but the Indian paintbrush, blue star grass, yarrow and penstemon are putting on a big show, along with a lot of other wildflowers that are present in smaller numbers.

I never would have expected the roses would so good this year after struggling so much in last year's heat, but they look the best they've looked in 4 or 5 years.

Dawn

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Dawn, I honestly don't amend my ground. I compost for the fun of it, but I don't normally apply it. The only amendment my ground might get is some kind of mulch. Peonies are incredibly hardy flowers. They grow on abandoned homesteads! However, I would almost suspect you are too warm to grow them. I know they have trouble in Dallas trying to grow them.

Patty, I try to cut them the night before and USUALLY the ants crawl off. Of course that generally means they crawl off into my house. :) I should put them in the garage, but I always forget.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 10:23AM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

Dawn, I am surprised at how good EVERYTHING looks this spring. I expected everything to look pretty ratty after last year. It's amazing what adequate rain does!

Lisa

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 12:06PM
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chickencoupe

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Thanks for posting the pictures and sharing the beauty. It's so worth it.

@Dawn My neighbors roses are just chock full of blooms this year, too. The local sonic has a nice well kept landscape and their rose bushes is remarkable, too. It's so pretty everywhere right now!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 3:41PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Lisa,

I'm surprised how good everything looks as well. All that rain that fell from September through now sure has been wonderful for the plants. There's not even as many dead plants as I expected after last summer's drought.

We lived next door to a green-thumb lady when I was a kid who grew everything. She had peonies in morning sun/afternoon shade in improved black gumbo clay. Many years later, her grandson offered some divisions of his grandmother's (she was long deceased) peonies to my mom, and they grew for my mom in full sun. I found this hysterically funny because my mom cannot grow anything. After a few years, though, they did die.

I didn't have to amend my clay in Fort Worth much and could grow anything in it. Here, I amend like crazy, and it still is very difficult to keep perennials alive. Oddly, it normally isn't the heat and drought that gets them, it is the rainfall days where you get 8 or 12" or more of rain in one day or the perpetually wet winters (when we have a perpetually wet one). I love peonies, but they don't like my soil. Maybe it is that it drains too slowly no matter how much I amend it.

Patty and Lisa, I scatter an organic fire ant killer whose active ingredient is spinosad on the ground around ant mounds when the ant mounds pop up in my veggie garden and those ants hightail it out of there. The one I have in the garage is called Concern Fire Ant Killer, but I've also used a similar product from EcoSense. I suspect if you scattered it on the ground around your peonies, the ants might move on to somebody else's peonies.

Bon, It is so pretty everywhere I've been right now and I hope it lasts a while. In April and October, Oklahoma is so gorgeous that is it easy to forget what winter snowstorms, spring hail/wind/tornadoes/flashflooding, and summer heat and drought do to us the rest of the time. I wish every month could be as mild weatherwise, and as beautiful, as April and October.

Dawn

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:37PM
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soonergrandmom

There is a lady in Tulsa that grows a huge number of peonies. I haven't been there, but I think it is somewhere on Lewis. I saw her on TV once and she claimed that the ants were a necessary part of growing peonies. Do you know if that is true?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 4:49PM
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Lisa_H OK(7)

I think that's an old wives tale. I think they have some sort of sugary sap that the ants like.

http://www.growingformarket.com/articles/ants-peonies

I think the truth is, there's really no way to stop them :)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 10:01PM
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chickencoupe

Dawn, I was thinking of you today. A week ago I planted a gifted rose cutting in a pot to finish rooting out while I decided where to plant. Now it is beginning to die. As a result I planted it today and when I emptied the pot I found red ants tunneling, building a home and eating the roots. I'll need to scrape up some pennies and get some of that stuff you use. First time I've seen fire ants here. This will not do with the kids in the yard!

In fact, I thought of you a lot today. (close your eyes!) I planted the willow trees today. =D

bon

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 2:16AM
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chickencoupe

Being practical-minded I had not planned on including a flower garden with exception to a few butterfly plots and some sunflowers for the birds. Little Miss changed all that. Bill cut down the old nasty crab apple tree today. There, underneath the unkempt new growth, lie countless bearded Irises. Their four inch wide blades now free and awaiting to be dug, cleaned, divided, and replanted. I thought of you with gratitude knowing I can ask for help as I do so and I mentioned to bill "June. She said I can start in June." I secretly wished I could fast forward time. :D

Today little Miss was able to gather her own flowers using the scissors for the first time. I sat inside the house and watched her from the window as she giggled and screeched while cutting sweet peas and lovingly set each piece in its vase. Occasionally, she'd snip the buds off with impatience but insure the stems were in water. I could hear her tiny little voice. "Is OK. It'll owen up oon!." She accidentally snipped some foliate with one cutting and seemed dismayed. I reassured her that occasional foliage helped and showed her how to include them in the arrangement. She soaked it all up with excitement. Heavens to Murgatroyd that girl loves flowers and I'm grateful for those wild invasive sweet pea vines right now. I don't think i'll be able to grow to an old age. In a few years my heart will stop. It will be too soft and mushy to beat properly.

I hope the bulbs (or are they zhomes?) are in good shape.

bon

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 1:51AM
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