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Pretty peonies

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Peonies are so beautiful and everyone loves them. Here at Shelburne Museum, they have hundreds of peonies that are in full bloom and some of my favorites. They have Red Charm, which is a deep red, double flower.  It's called a bomb because there are so many petals in it. They have one that you're holding. It is Festiva Maxima, and I like this one, because it's white and it has a great fragrance to it.  

So there are lots of different peonies to grow in your garden and they'll last 40 or 50 years. 

But if they're not blooming for you, it's probably because they're planted a little too deep, or they're not getting enough sun. There are also some problems with peonies. You can get botrytis blight which is when the little bud actually shrivels up before it opens. You can spray Serenade organic fungicide on the peony to prevent that disease from happening. The best way to enjoy peonies is to cut them and bring them indoors. You can cut them and float your peonies in a clear glass bowl on your dining room table. The stems are kind of floppy so that actually solves that problem 

To float your peonies, cut the stems short, maybe an inch or so below the actual flower blossom, and cut them before they are fully open so that they'll open up indoors.

Get a glass bowl; ideally you'd have a crystal bowl, of course! Fill up the bowl with some water, and because you have these short stems, you can just float them right in the bowl itself, right next to each other. They will continue to open up even more and making them even lovelier on your dining room table. They provide fragrance and color so you can enjoy the peonies indoors too.

By Charlie Nardozzi

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