How can one not love a drought-resistant, deer-proof, reliable blooming plant?
This one has lived here long enough for me to move babies to other places around the house. It makes itself at home wherever it goes. Does not take over, may make a baby if encouraged, takes pruning at most any time of year.
The bumble bees love these flowers. While I am smart enough not to test them, they are so engrossed in the blossoms they barely notice people around. Bumbles are not the only bees who savor this nectar.
I was surprised when my older neighbor showed up one afternoon with this in the back of his truck. He apparently thought it would have a better home here.
At first there was no fence around this plant, and the deer pruned it back. But then it came back with new growth at the bottom. I am finally ready to cut some branches this year, after it is finished blooming, of course. I know just where I will cut, and I can see buds ready to break out half way down a long branch. I tend to be a very cautious pruner, taking a few years to study the growth of a particular plant I intend to cut back. This is the way of someone who has over-cut some plant and is trying not to make the same mistake again.
Peony petals are large and paper-like. They live only a few days as a cut flower. I found that if I cut a bud as the flower color is there, but before it opens, it can dry and stay that way for a couple of years. As the flower opens up, the petals don’t fade or turn brown, they just fall off.
I chose this photo of these flowers as it gives a view of the size of the plant. The flowers are over my 61″ high head.
I love to see an azalea in full bloom, all you can see is the flowers as they hide all of the leaves.
This particular plant had been heavily pruned by the local marauding deer. It has been maybe 10 years that this shrub has been fenced from the varmits, and I am still thinning the inside to encourage growth on select branches. Perhaps if I had cut more extensively in the beginning, the plant could have grown more evenly. But my cuts are conservative, as I have tried hard to keep this bush thriving. It now has sweet woodruff, bergenia and violets at its base, as I keep amending the surrounding soil.