Sunday, June 29, 2008

Persistent Peonies

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A breezy morning here on the hill. It has rained on and off all night and this morning's 59 degrees is supposed to climb until the next front arrives with thunderstorms and bad times. The gardens look lush but the sales have been down due to weather and gas prices. Just the same we have met a lot of new customers and our loyal following continues to appear, carrying rain gear and umbrellas and wearing warm greetings and encouragement for a successful new nursery. We'll take all the good thoughts we can get!

The peonies have been great this year. Part of it is that I watered them well last August when they were setting buds for this year. That's a mid-August thing here and something I really recommend because the pay off is so great. Gail has been picking peonies to sell in bunches of 6 or 7 for $9.50 and they have been moving well. Some days there are some left and the last customer gets quite a deal but mostly it has been consistent sales with the preponderance made as people scoot home after work.

Our supply of potted peonies is now down to under a dozen and the selection is slim. Mrs Margaret Truman, a nice double pink prevails, but there are a couple Festiva Maxima and a couple Adolphe Rousseau. They have been potted since last year and well cared for so they are a buy at $25. Most are six or more stems so folks should be happy with what they receive.

As is typical in peony season, we receive many inquiries about why the foliage is nice but the flowers never bloom in home gardens. The answer is in the planting as these are a plant which must be planted shallow and not more than 2" deep. Over time the lawnmower or falling leaves sometimes packs around the stems and the flowers just don't develop. Bend down there and clean out around the stem and water well for this year and you'll be back on target for next year. Oh yes, ...sun. They need sun and that too will make a difference.

Well I have to get going here. I have a couple loads of Hosta 'June' to take down as that has been selling very well. Amber Tiara and Golden Scepter, small, luminescent springtime beauties are about gone so I have to do some repotting so they will be set in well in a week. I hear Gail clinking the coffee pot so that means the day is under way and we'll be back into the flower business by 9 AM on Route 2. If you have some time, please stop by.

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where I hear the ravens in the distant red pines as a lone hen turkey struts slowly through the lower daylily garden, looking for food in the fresh dugs holes left from our daylily relocation program.

George Africa
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joey said...

I'm delighted everything is coming together for you, George. Funny ... the hosta nut that I am, 'June' was my only purchase this year! I can't wait to see how happy she will be in my garden :)

George Africa said...

Hello Joey;

You will enjoy that hosta but be prepared for it to change over time. Many like the pale springtime yellow of an immature plant but wonder what has happened in a few years. It is forever a terrific hosta. I have one that is reverting to Halcyon and that is something I did not expect. This is a plant with origins from the earliest of earlies when Neo-Plants worked its magic.

Best wishes for a happy 4th!