|Springtime bouquet, past tense|
What do you think of my springtime bouquet of peonies?
My bucket of floral trash was overflowing, but when I glanced at it, I thought, “Wow, that’s almost attractive. It reminds me of a classical springtime bouquet—a springtime bouquet past tense to say the least.
My bouquet, as you can see, contained the peony blossoms that I had deadheaded and stuffed into one of my garden work buckets. A week ago, the fragrant blooms were glorious—red and pink backed by deep-green leaves.
But wind, rain, and time turned our peony blooms into brownish masses of falling petals. The beautiful had become ugly. So I took my hand pruners and cut off the dried-up flowers, letting them fall into the bucket.
|Peonies before deadheading|
I deadheaded most of the peony stems about 10 inches from their spent flowers, usually just above a leaf on each stem, so afterwards the plants looked like round and bushy mounds of dark-green leaves. I did do more drastic cutting back of several stems that were flopping into nearby Shasta daisies and a mini-crape myrtle.
|Peonies after deadheading|
My deadheading isn’t done for the season. As the Handbook says, deadheading may promote longer bloom periods. I need to remember to deadhead other plants that I know will re-bloom—such as our Knockout rose, our Tiger Eyes marigolds, and our hardy garden phlox (Phlox paniculata).
I want to encourage the beautiful.