Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It's Coming...

The storm is coming. A big one. The news is calling it a Super Cell that has already wreaked havoc in the deep south. It's well west of us, and headed for Jane - hope it misses you! - but we are getting the outer reaches of it and expecting rain in the next couple of hours.
But there are good things about it, too. The fresh breeze smells clean and is driving leaves ahead it it covering the deck. All of the garden scents are concentrated and carried to the house - most of all the lilacs that bloomed yesterday.

I hope that we will get just enough rain to bring a needed drink of water to the garden, but I fear that we will get so much that it beats down all the wonderful iris that also bloomed yesterday.

I cut the blossoms off the first-blooming peony to keep them from being beaten up, and to bring a little something living into the house.

Which brings me to a question; one I want to ask Jane, Marie, Belinda, Denise, and all the rest of you who really know something about arranging flowers. When should I cut the peonies? I usually let them open fully on the plant and then use the "full flower". I have noticed, tho, that you all seem to include tight and nearly tight peony buds in your arrangements. Should I cut them before they really open? What does that do to "vase life"? anything? Will they continue to open, or are you going for the "ball" shape in your arrangements? Thanks!

Stay dry!


  1. I hope you are spared heavy rains. It would be such a shame to see all those gorgeous blooms go to waste. Send a little moisture our way, if you can.

  2. Miss Kim is blooming already?

    I cut them when they're a fat bud, then you can let them open inside and they should last for days.

    Unless it's a billion degrees then they'll blast open and shatter in 2 days.....

    So cut early, enjoy longer.

    God, it's coming here? My poor garden....

    xo Jane

  3. Jane - Lots of damage 20 miles west of here, so maybe it blew itself out. Haven't heard anything else on the news. Am hoping you didn't get much. xo

    Anneke - we would gladly share. My friend in Albuquerque got 1/10th of an inch recently! Can't imagine how dry it must be for you.

  4. Hoping you and Jane missed the full force of the storm?

    Florists talk about harvesting peonies when the buds are at the 'marshmallow' stage, ie not tight, but showing their colour, and soft and slightly,well marshmallowy when pressed.It is difficult one, because in a bouquet to sell they look so impressive fully open but then will only last a few days. If you are picking from your garden for yourself, I would go for the just about to open, soft bud stage and watch them do their whole beautiful thing indoors.

  5. Lets hope it misses you both... your slightly ahead of us here, my peonies and iris are still in bud, love the photo of the pink iris with the backdrop of your house.. and good tip about the peonies will be doing that to enjoy them even longer x

  6. It's pouring rain here in northern NJ but the heavy stuff seems to have missed us. I needed to take a break from gardening anyway this afternoon. I have some early irises in bloom but the real show is in May. My wife is already inspecting the peony buds but she has weeks to wait. I'm glad they're not out on a day like today.

  7. Great question! So glad to hear you escaped the destruction of the tornadoes. I am so hoping this is the end of all this bad weather.

  8. Thanks for the help, Ladies. The "red" peony is full of buds and I don't want to miss a single flower - they are single, but about six inches across with a huge golden center. Too beautiful by far!

    No real damage here, but deaths 20 miles west. Can't remember a spring like this in these parts - at least not in the nearly 30 years I have lived here. Two more storms today... what a mess.