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 »
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.