Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... 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 »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... 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 »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... 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 »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
The fragrant, silky-petal, peony, has always been one of my favorite flowers. I didn’t get to know them well until I moved from the South to the Midwest; where winters are cold, peonies have long held a place of honor in gardens of every description. They are among the most treasured cottage-garden flowers of long ago, but they’re not just granny blooms: brides love peonies for bouquets, florists find their voluptuous flowers stylish and sophisticated, and gardeners and garden designers rely on peony plants for their handsome foliage, prolific blooms, and amazing hardiness.
Peonies are often known as Memorial Day flowers, because many peony varieties bloom in late May, around Memorial Day. I grow dozens of different varieties, so I can rely on their flowers throughout May, from start to finish. They’re all scene-stealers in the garden, and a great luxury in a vase.
The first to bloom are the single, very early varieties. Each flower has about a dozen petals surrounding a pool of shimmering golden stamens. The big buds are held up on sturdy stems, and they are never so heavy that they droop.
As the season progresses, double and bomb-type peonies, with more petals than you can count, come into bloom. Each plant may produce a dozen or more flowers, and in the cool spring weather, each flower lasts for a week. If a late frost or a hard rain is predicted, it’s my excuse to cut really generous bouquets for the house.
Most modern garden peonies are hybrids; the names of more than 3,000 cultivars have been registered, and about 1,300 are commercially available. Popular varieties can be found for less than $20, but the price goes up to $40 or $50 for new or rare varieties. The widest selection is to be had from mail-order specialists.
Peonies are normally grown from bare roots sold in the fall, but peonies in containers are sometimes available at garden shops in the spring, too. They are hardy and adaptable plants, and can be planted at almost any time of year. They take two or three years to reach their mature size large and bloom profusely after being divided and transplanted. Since they seem to live as long as oak trees, it is important to choose a suitable site for them.
Peonies prefer a bright location, which is why people plant them in big beds out in the middle of their yards. Where summers are hot, morning sun is best. The soil should be loose and loamy: peony experts recommend preparing the soil for a peony bed by digging deeply and adding leafmold. The roots should be planted with their pointy pink growth eyes only 2 inches deep — no deeper. Pay attention to watering the first year they’re in the ground, but, once established, peonies tolerate drought well.
Good air circulation and tidy gardening habits help keep peonies healthy. At the end of the gardening season, most gardeners simply clip the foliage off at ground level. Cutting last year’s leaves off in early spring, just as the new shoots emerge from the soil, is fine, too. Use sharp pruners, such as Fiskars Quantum pruners, to cut the old leaf stalks cleanly. Then keep those pruners handy: the flowers will come along before you know it, and you’ll be ready for the most luxurious bouquets in the world, straight from your own back yard.