Thursday, April 28, 2011

Peony Assistance

By SKEETER At times, I need a bit of help in my Georgia Gardens. This help is coming to my peonies with support from these neat items I found at Rural King. I have seen these on other blogs and it was a happy day when I spotted them last fall. The price was right and I picked up 4 for my peonies as an experiment.
The Peony grew up through the grid just like they were supposed to do.
Ah, the joy of seeing the first buds pop out!
My peony are young so they are not very large or strong. The ones I remember as a child in my front and back yards were very stable and did not need help in standing tall.
I just love the large blooms of peony and cannot get enough of them!
The largest of the peony always shoots to the sky and the weight has the blooms on the ground. I was interested to see how the frames would assist the heavy blooms. I see about 14 buds here.
As expected, some of the taller blooms are falling to the ground. I am happy to see some are staying upward though.
The pink ones remind me of cotton candy and they smell Divine!
My experiment with the PEONY ASSISTANCE is paying off, In the Garden...


I was out last night giving my beauties a sip of water (rain is skipping us) and I was distracted by chattering above my head. I turned to see the bluebirds going crazy. I thought that maybe they mistook the garden hose for a snake (I saw two snakes today) but not so. They were trying to get their baby's to fly to them. Here it was night fall and their baby's decided it was time to leave the nest. Geesh, I had to drop the hose and call The Saint and grab the camera. I fear that OJ kitty may see them on the ground with his nightly stroll around my gardens. We collected the baby birds off the ground and tried to put them into the Cypress tree but they would flop to the ground while trying to fly. The parent birds kept fluttering around the entire time chatting away. We ended up putting two of the fledglings on top of the wishing well and in the darkness, we lost track of the third one we saw. Off went the water with hose on ground for the night and in we went. Nature shall take its course during the night...

Note: I will be in and out with blogging due to a major home renovation. If I leave you a "one word" Comment, it is because I had time to read or look at pictures but not to reply. The Saint and I are renovating our Bathroom and Closet. We are doing all the work our self and a lot of this is learn as you go so it will be at least a month of work if not longer. I hope I do not find myself neglecting my gardens during this process. I do plan to post something on my normal days of Tuesday and Thursday but who knows.... Wish us Luck!
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. Glad those supports worked for you. I see them advertised in magazines and I always wondered if they really work. Your peonies are really pretty! Hope the baby bluebirds are OK this morning. Good luck on your home renovation. Hope you will post pictures when it is all complete!

  2. the peonies are so pretty. Can I grow them here? I saw a baby cardinal at Ms. Doris' yesterday. Two snakes! Good gravy, I saw a very long garter snake the other evening in my big garden, sigh. Looking forward to seeing photos of your re-do in your home..

  3. I bought some of those supports but I always forget to put them out in time...your reminder will help this year..have fun with the renovation...

  4. thanks for the reminder on the peony supports! I, too, always forget them.

    I think I'm going to make my own out of hog fencing. :)

  5. After having just built an entire house from the ground up, and playing the role of general contractor, I feel for you and the bathroom/closet renovation. Truly rewarding, but there may be days when you think an outhouse is a good idea. Hang tough, I wish I would have had gardens to visit while we were doing our thing.

    Peonies.... I am so resistant to planting them because the cages look so unsightly, but this one you've used seems to get lost in the plant once it's leafed out. Like you, I remember as a kid mammoth peonies with no supports.

  6. I am stunned by the peonies growing in your garden. They sure are pretty. I think the first one is 'Festiva Maxima' and the pink one is 'Sarah Bernhardt. Old favorites that are so reliable. The supports are a great idea. Maybe some extenders for the tall peonies. Good luck to the baby birds. Those bluebird parents have a difficult job-more so than other bird parents from what I can see.

    Good luck with that renovation! Better you than me. Can't wait to see the results. Can you post before and after pics?

  7. Great!I just saw an ad about those supporters and was wondering if they work...Think I'm going to buy some for my peonies too!Yours look so lovely,there's nothing quite like peonies...Good luck with your renovation.And hope the baby birds will make it.

  8. Those peonies are gorgeous, look as beautiful as roses! Do they do well in humid climates too?
    That was nice of you to take care of the fledglings. Of course, we can't care for them forever but at least at times like this...

  9. Wow, what a night! A storm rolled through about 3:30am and lasted about 2 hours. I am happy for the rain fall but not the stress of thunder and lightening. Of course the rain came after I had dragged the hose around, grrrrrrr. Internet has been down until just now!

    I have a follow up to the baby birds so stay tuned and yes, I will show pics of the renovation…

    Karin, I only wish the supports were a bit taller. I am thinking of some how attaching longer legs on them for next year for more support. I have an update on the birds but want to wait to report in a post…

    Darla, I have no idea if you can grow peony in Florida or not. I live on the edge of Zone’s 7-8 and they do fine here in my gardens. But I would not spend a lot of money on established ones in a pot as they are pricey and may fail for you. I planted these from Wal-Mart purchased packages of roots…

    Donna, Get those supports out now…

    Nancy, home made supports is the way to go! More rewarding to see them working for you…

    Wendy, I do not believe we are purchasing the same peony as our grandmothers had in the past. I planted them for the childhood memories. So far the most difficult part of the renovation is loosing the only downstairs toilet. We must climb the stairs to potty. I joked with the Saint to take the porta-potty off the boat and put it in the house until renovations are completed. LOL… Of course I would never do that but I can sure think about it…

    Tina, I love my peony but wish I had not planted them in a row. I should have scattered them about a bit. I may try to divide the larger one at some point. Any Suggestions on that process? I will talk about the baby birds a bit more as I have more to share. And you know I will talk about the renovations girl. It seems to be our life at the moment. LOL…

    Tiina, When shopping for the supports, look for some with the longest legs. I do not think these are quite long enough for the taller blooms. I will make adjustments for next year though. But over all, I am happy with them…

    Chandramouli, We live in a humid climate here in Georgia. The humidity is with us from June until mid-September. Right now we are dealing with humidity due to the storms we are having. We do not like to interfere with nature but at times such as this, we do assist in keeping cats at bay. The birds are now on their own…

  10. I use tomato cages with my peonies and they are a bit unsightly but they do prevent damage for the beloved peonies. I have seen the grided ones and wondered how they worked. Tina, I thought you had several of the gridded ones.

    The pictures I have seen already show what a big project you guys have undertaken and my hat is off to you both. I would never attempt it but then again, I have a hubby that can barley pound in a nail. LOL

  11. Darn it, I meant to say that I do hope all you great folks down south are safe along with all your loved ones. The news with all the storms and deaths are terribe and making me worry so STAY SAFE TO ALL. The weather sure has been crazy.

  12. Jean, Yes the weather has been crazy for a second spring. I just saw where the road by my parents house flooded. Not at the end where my parents live but still that is too dang close after last years flooded mess. I dont know what is going on with the strange weather the past few years. Makes one wonder....

    I used tomato cages last year but this year I need them for the maters...

  13. I wish you lots of luck and an easy time with your renovation. Did you have fun chopping at the drywall? The pic makes me think of the movie Fried Green Tomatoes where Kathy Bates' character starts hacking away with an ax to make room for her friend.

    The peonies are just wonderful! I had an old-fashioned clump back in Illinois that never failed to bring a lot of joy in the spring. They were held in place by other perennials I had in one bed. I wish I could have taken part of the plant with me when we moved.

  14. I love peonies too! My day made me some frames out of chicken wire to hold up mine. They work great. I only wish the beautiful blooms lasted longer. Carla

  15. Hello All.
    First I hope all are ok & safe. The weather has been very bad. Prayers for those that did not make it & for those that must rebuild.
    I love those peonies. I must see if they will survive here. At one point I had brought a couple back from N.C. but sadly they did not make it. I heard that they don't like to be moved.
    I also had seen the supports & wondered if they worked. Seems as tho they work wonderfully. Good for you Skeeter.

  16. Mom, I do use the concrete wire reinforcing cages for my peonies. Some of them are a bit too short though and I've had to use the mesh Skeeter shows on top of my cages. Even then I still need to make them taller than the 15" or so I have. I need like 36" cages with the mesh. Peonies are just now starting to bloom so we'll see how we do this year.

  17. I just planted my first peony last week, and I've been thinking I should add one of these hoops to protect it--the winds have been pretty fierce here lately. I've tried to put little fledgings back in their nests, too, but it's not always successful. Let's hope yours managed to get back to its home safely.

    Sorry you've missed the rain, but I'm glad to know you also missed the horrible storms in the South. Good luck with your remodeling!

  18. W2W, Yes, I was hacking away at the wall just like Kathy Bates in Fried Green Tomatoes! LOL Only difference with me; I was not mad at my hubby :-) We hacked together. I am always excited with every move we make in our life but also sad to leave behind beloved plants…

    Carla, Yes, I too wish the blooms would last longer. All spring bloomers seem to leave us way too soon. I almost brought in a bouquet but with the house in disarray, I decided to leave them in the garden to shine…

    Lola, Such horror in Alabama and other parts of the south. We are concerned with some acquaintances we have yet to hear from. I can only pray they made it safely through this mess. I don’t know about moving them. I was thinking of relocating a few as I do not like the way I planted them in a row. Now I may rethink that and just take some of the roots leaving others. Remind me this fall and I shall dig some out for you and we will experiment and see if they will make it to Florida! I have noticed several people saying they don’t do well in FL. We can do our own experiment and see…

    Tina, YES! My only complaint is they are too short! I am going to make them longer next year. I think I can just extend the legs some how. I will work something out but they must be taller…

    Rose, Hurray for your first peony! You will love it’s large blooms and yes, place a cage around it for support. Those little birds could not have chosen a worse time to fledge with the storm on the way. And with that storm, my gardens received 2 inches of needed rain! I am a happy camper but need to pull weeds today…

  19. I love those grow-thru supports for my Peonies and other perennials (like Phlox) that get a bit floppy when in full bloom. :)

  20. Those baby birds. They're so helpless when they leave the nest. I hope they made it through the night OK..

    We have a homemade peony support for the one that's big enough to need it. It looks homemade too. lol

  21. Skeeter, a thought for your peony holder. Have you thought about taking an old or new tomato cage that you stick into the ground & put wire or some kind of mesh on top?
    Those kind of tomato cages are so versatile.

  22. Hi,

    The poenies are beautiful, please tell me how to grow them in the south, I'm in 7B


  23. Sue, This is Skeeter's post but I'll try to help you out-this is Tina. In the south you might consider how deep you plant the peonies. In Zone 7B you must be a bit warmer than my garden and along the lines of Skeeter's garden in Georgia. Plant the crown so it is maybe 1/2 inch under the ground. Do not plant them deep. The peony needs a cooling even freezing period and since winters in the south don't normally freeze the ground past the first 1 or 2 inches planting shallowly should do the trick. Cut back all foliage after the first frost to prevent diseases and your peonies should come back beautifully. A part sun location is also not a bad thing as here in Tennessee mine grow in part sun and I've seen many get a bit of shading which helps to keep them cooler. Enjoy!