Monday, May 18, 2015

The Peony Bed

Welcome to Tiger Way Gardens! The peonies are one of the first things you'll see upon your drive to our home. When I come home I want to stop right here and just sit all day and look at these beauties.
Leaving you'll get a great view of the peonies as well.
These plants are so awesome and my apologies to my Facebook friends as I keep posting pictures of them. I guess I just did not realize how much I'd like this bed once it got going. The effect of massing peonies is quite the sight and I wished to share it immediately. It seemed as each hour passed the bed got prettier.
Moving most of peonies out here to the land in the Fall of 2013 I was in a predicament because I had to have a spot for them to go. The spot had to not be in the way of the house build, be permanent, and the conditions had to work for the peonies. As it was, this bed was a bit in the way of an electrical ditch but the backhoe operator did an awesome job of keeping damage to a minimum. 
There are five crepe myrtles in this bed. They are the main framework. I moved them here about two years ago. They have constantly been damaged by the winters but come summer when they bloom I really enjoy them so for now the crepe myrtles stay here. It was an easy decision to make a full bed and add the peonies as well. Between each crepe myrtle there are baptisias and daffodil bulbs. Eventually I'll have about a dozen or two of baptisias here but right now there are only about nine. To see them showcased check this post.
The bed is about sixty feet long. I was able to fit in about 40 something peony plants. I laid the plants out according to colors in a manner I thought I'd find pleasing. The color blocks really work well. I don't think I would've been as happy if I just randomly scattered the colors in this bed.
The yellow of the 'Carolina Moonlight' baptisias plays well off from the pinks, whites, reds, and maroons of the peonies. The bonus is the flower form of the baptisias is most complementary to the rounded and full bloom of the peonies. Those peonies look like cupcakes to me! That might be why I like them so much because I love cupcakes.
To show you where this bed started we go back to October 2013. I was surprised to learn I had actually turned over the soil in this bed. Despite this the weeds such as lespedeza have been an issue. Lespedeza had long roots that are wiry and difficult to pull and I would've thought turning the bed would solve that issue. Starting new gardens in a former field is really a big pain. All of the peonies are dejectedly hanging out waiting for planting. The best time to move peonies is in the fall. All but a few of the transplants survived. You must leave a couple of eyes for the plant to grow. On some of the divisions I barely had one eye but that's okay. Dividing plants is free and I have plenty so I have replaced the few that have died.
Here is another shot of the bed. It is so interesting to me to see how beds transform over the years. Fortunately for gardeners we have that kind of time and before you know it you have full mature gardens. This peony bed will continue to mature and get better as the years pass. One caveat, you might not wish to plant all of one kind of plant in a bed because if a disease or pest does strike it might take out the whole bed. That is an individual decision tho and as for me I chose to garden my way. The peonies have not been bothered by animals, they are in a prominent position and are doing well.....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. What a beautiful success! 60' of digging. OMG that makes me ache just hearing about it. You deserve this grand eye pleasing reward after all of that work. I too can't wait to see how the bed matures. Peonies are a plant I don't have in my garden. This time of year I wish I did have them. After seeing your gorgeous collection I want to make a bed of peonies. Surely I can find a sunny place for them. Happy Gardening.

  2. What a wonderful welcome. Those peonies are doing great for just being there a few years.

  3. Hi Tina, your peonies are lovely. One of my favorites. I love them in the garden and in a vase on the kitchen table. They scent the whole room. Yours make a big impact grouped together.

  4. Gorgeous peonies! We just planted our first in our garden so I appreciate your advice.

  5. What a beautiful mass of peonies! This brings back one of my first gardening memories--my grandma's peonies. I only have a few, but I've been surprised how quickly they have matured, especially divisions I've gotten from other gardeners. The combo of peonies and baptisias really looks striking. I'm curious what you will have here that blooms in the summer besides your crepe myrtles.

  6. So beautiful and a pleasing sight to the eye upon the drive to the house...

  7. You used the right adjective. They are majestic indeed! :-)

    Greetings from London.