Is it just me or is this year speeding to a halt?
Another year! Another December! And we’re all still around to enjoy it.
Now that’s something to be grateful for.
Another thing to be thankful for is our gardens. They are just the best little pieces of peace we could ever have. Sanctuaries. Places to experiment and learn more about life and ourselves.
This time of year is a good opportunity to think about how we can show our gratitude.
Here are some ideas:
Give to the Earth
One way you can do this is by thinking of ways we can look after the environment.
For instance, cutting down on unnecessary waste at this time by reusing old Christmas decorations. Or making your own out of natural/recycled materials.
Give to Your Peonies
While your peonies are not flowering they’re having a long, rejuvenating slumber underground.
So here are some ways you can show your peonies some gratitude for all the hard work they’ve done and are still doing:
Herbaceous and Itoh
- With the stems and leaves having died back, trim the stems without cutting any exposed peony ‘eyes’
- Make sure to clear the ground around each peony plant and dispose of the stems and leaves in the bin. It can be tempting to compost them but this may attract botrytis, especially if it is a wet winter.
- If your peony is mature (5+years) it’s likely that the crown will push through the soil in winter and show some ‘eyes’. You won’t need to worry about protecting them as peonies love the cold of winter and will be just fine.
- While the leaves are also dead and require removing, there is no need to trim back the branches. They’ll be fine out there in the cold. If you’ve trimmed them already, that’s ok. As long as the roots are well established the branches will grow back.
- Unlike Herbaceous peonies, Tree peonies like to be buried more deeply. So if it looks like it needs a bit of a boost, experiment with adding a few inches of soil around the base of the trunk.
Give a Peony
As mentioned, peonies aren’t flowering now. But they will be next year and the year after that and the year after that!
Peonies are the most wonderful, long lasting gift to give as they really do just keep on giving. They grow on for decades.
And although the receiver may find it a bit strange getting a pot of soil with some dormant roots in it, they will not be disappointed.
You can think of it like gifting a savings account to a relative for future gifts. Such as being able to go to university or buying a piece of property. They may not be able to enjoy it right now but when they do, it will be the best gift ever!
And that’s peonies – the best forever gift.