Monday, May 9, 2016

The Peony Experiment and Container Gardening

I imagine that you can tell by the photo how successful the peony experiment was.  The flowers continued turning brown as the buds remained closed up tight.  By Friday evening I was so tired of looking at the whole mess that into the trash they went.  I received an interesting tip in comments from Mary on the subject of peony buds opening once they had been cut.  She said:
I've always read that peonies require the little ants crawling about on the buds to assist in opening the blooms! I'm not sure they will open indoors if you washed off the ants before arranging them! 
Yes, I did wash them off and No they didn't open up.  So, now I know that those pesky little ants serve a useful purpose.  
I'm beginning to think that I may just enjoy the peonies on the plant from this point forward.

Saturday was the day set aside for planting the small vegetable garden and making up a few containers for the porch and patio.
This required visits to a few of the local garden centers.  It was a picture perfect spring day.  Just wonderful to be out there with fellow garden enthusiasts looking at all of the pretty choices.
 I'm curious to know how you go about making your garden containers?  Do you stick with the same plants and colors each year?
I find that I like to change it up a bit from year to year.
I do try to bear in mind the color of the brick on our house and choose colors that are complementary.  I also like to wander around the garden center and check out what they have combined in their containers.  This year I was struck by the colors pictured above.  The garden center had large containers done up with these plants.  In the center they had a tall purple grass.  I loved everything about it except the size.  Way too big for my patio table.  So I looked around and found the same flowers.  The purple grass, however, would have been way too tall.  After looking over all of the grass and spike plant choices, they were all going to be too big.  So, I asked one of the employees for a suggestion.
 She led me to this funky looking grass.
I set it next to the plants and rather liked the look.
The height and light requirements were ideal for my situation and I think it might even be a good conversation piece while dining outdoors.

Once everything was planted, I found a little bird to snuggle into the arrangement.  You have to look closely to find him.  I thought he might spark conversation in that "I Spy" way.  Okay, that may be a stretch... but my grandson might play along.

If you were celebrating Mother's Day yesterday, I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable day.



  1. When I used to make up my own planters I was nerve truly happy with them so now once the 11" mixed pots are ten dollars ( not for another 2 weeks or so) I just choose the ones I like best and make life easy for myself.
    I checked on the internet about Peonies and ants and found that the idea that the ants are in some way necessary is an old wives tale. You learn something new every day.

  2. I do like the funky grass that gives some height. My planters are not yet done for this season and the bulbs that bloomed earlier are looking very, very sad. I like to mix things up a little, but I tend to gravitate to the same colours each year. Your new pots are looking very pretty. Thanks for letting us know about the peony experiment!

  3. I love the Juncus--those squiggly plants just do wonders for a container. I've also seen those in those "head" planters--so that it looks like crazy hair!

    1. Thanks for putting a name to the plant, Sue. I kept the tag, but was too lazy to go look for it in the garage :/. It would look fabulous in a head planter. What a great idea!

  4. Funky grass? Looks great to me. I think you give color more thought than I do. I just try to make it work when all the flowers are gathered in. Your garden and pots always look stunning to me! I think that your grandson would enjoy the game of where is the birdie now.

  5. I have received bouquets of peonies (my absolutely favorite flower) both opened and with buds....some of the buds opened beautifully and some just drooped. I never saw them turn brown, though. And no ants!

  6. I'm glad Mary told us about the ants. I didn't know that! Well, good to keep in mind in a month when our peonies bloom!
    Your flowers look so good. So happy!

  7. I never would have thought that about those little ants!!
    Your garden containers are beautiful.

  8. Wow - such interesting info. about peonies and ants. I never would have guessed. I love your beautiful flowers. Have a nice weekend!

  9. Just call me jealous, Kim! Hydrangeas are so beautiful but our lot is sunny and hot. No reprieve from the heat for hydrangeas so I haven't planted them. I'll just enjoy yours.

    I hope you'll join us for the garden party, Monday May 23rd.


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