Delightful Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’

I’ve seldom had luck with peonies–probably because they didn’t get enough sun in my heavily shaded garden. But after last year’s renovation, for which we removed a couple of trees, I can now enjoy ‘Sarah Bernhardt.’

Paeonia lactiflora 'Sarah Bernhardt.'

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt.’

The blooms have lasted more than a week so far.  The ones I’ve cut for the house perfume the room where they sit. Outside, I’m experimenting with discreet staking techniques. It’s not easy for the stems to hold up such heavy blooms.

Peonies tend to like a decent winter chill, more than we typically get in Zone 7b. There is an upside to the polar vortex after all!

Garden log, 5.28.13

Aside

Today was a day for long-postponed garden chores: cutting back stalks of bearded and Dutch iris, deadheading roses and peonies, pruning back boxwoods. I am halfway through the boxwood hedge, reducing each plant by a third and thinning them to provide better air circulation. Removed some twiggy branches off a hickory and a droopy elm branch that had started to interfere with foot traffic through the garden. Pinched back Viburnum tinus and the camellias in the white garden.

Over the weekend, a neighbor was rumored to have found a copperhead in her garden. This reminded me that they often nest in piles of leaves, of which I have more than one or two lying around. Pulled on the long pants and rubber boots; got to work shredding the pile closest to the kids’ play area; hope to get to them all before the weekend. Sunny, 83 degrees.