Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Today, if you drive through an older neighborhood, the original homeowners might be long gone, but one flower would still remain blooming. Which one? The peony of course.
For years, gardeners only grew a couple of different types of peonies:
• Herbaceous Paeonia spp. hybrids which came up fresh every year from the ground and are classified by the type of bloom they have, and
•Paeonia suffruticosa, tree peonies, woody branching shrubs that bloom earlier than the herbaceous ones. That all changed when Itoh or intersectional peonies came on the scene. A cross between tree peonies and herbaceous species, they were developed byToichi Itoh of Japan. Itohs are the current celebrities of the peony world with larger flowers resembling the tree peony, but dying back to the ground each winter. Many prized Itoh peonies sport yellow or coppery peach blossoms like Paeonia (Itoh) 'Kopper Kettle’ below.
They also have strong stems to support their nodding heads. I want an Itoh, but I’m waiting a bit longer for prices to come down. Although I love tree peonies’ papery soft blooms, and I grow ‘Guardian of the Monastery’ and ‘Brocaded Gown’, in my part of the middle south, they either look like wet blankets in the rain, or the heat causes them to last only a day or two which is highly disappointing.
On the other hand, herbaceous peonies, easily found at most nurseries and box stores, are simple to grow. To keep leaf diseases from destroying the foliage, employ good garden maintenance by removing foliage after frost and keeping the ground beneath the plant clean. I also feed my peonies in spring before bloom and occasionally spray them with compost tea to ward off disease. Remove spent blooms too. Any diseases my peonies had over the years didn’t stop them from blooming well, although late freezes sometimes kill blossoms before they open.
I’ve often wondered why peonies fell out of favor. I know they have a short bloom time of one to two weeks, but their time on the garden stage is magical. Like bulbs, you can also stagger bloom by growing early, middle and late-blooming varieties. I’m happy to report peonies do seem to be making a comeback perhaps due to the excitement over the Itoh types.
If you buy bare-root plants, herbaceous peonies will be shipped to you in the fall, and you should plant them with the eyes just below the surface of the soil. Most peonies like a bit of cold weather to bloom well although there are a few cultivars which don’t need as much chilling. All peonies in containers can be planted in spring or fall. Position container plants at the level of the soil in the pot, and you should be fine.
Support the heavy heads of herbaceous peonies with some kind of round plant support. I use peony supports like the one in the photo below, but wire tomato cages cut down to size will also work.
It takes about three years for peonies to reach their full potential so don’t worry if they don’t bloom the year after planting. They will grow and get stronger every year, and your patience will be rewarded.
Peonies can live to be 100 years old or more, and many cultivars are very fragrant. Some even smell of roses. If you plant them, they will become part of your garden as long as you live and even beyond which is pretty amazing for a flower that only blooms for a couple of weeks in spring.