In the Garden: Path to perfect peonies

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) The peonies are gorgeous! My favorite time of year! Because of all of the rain we've had, we've got big bushes, big flowers and it's a big show!

If you have a big bush, you have to keep it upright, because as you know. They like to flop! We put peony rings on this one but we've missed a couple of branches, so some of them are already flopping over a little bit. Those are the ones that end up in the vase in your house.

And there are lots of different colors of peonies, the one that's a new one for me, and it's been around for a little while but it's really unique, are the Itoh hybrids. This is one that's a yellow-colored one, which is unusual for a herbaceous peonies. Most of the peonies that die back to the ground are usually reds, pinks or whites, this is more like a tree peony color. But they crossed them a number of years ago and now they have one that is like a herbaceous one and this one is just gorgeous. And it's got just a tiny bit of pink inside, too.

It's called "Bartzella." I love that. It's a nice Italian one!

So, it's a beautiful one to have in the landscape. You can enjoy them out here and that's always really nice, or you can enjoy them in the house. There's a couple of ways of doing that. You can cut them as a cut flower. The time to do that is when they are kind of like marshmallows, you just squish them a little bit, and they are a little hard. That would be the time to cut that as a cut flower indoors. Or if they have already opened, you can float them in a bowl of water which is a beautiful way to display them.

What about the ants? Oh the ants are fine. Don't worry about them, they aren't opening any flowers, they are just doing their thing. Just pluck them off.