When I was young I spent a lot of time at my Grandparents. Their house was the center of our family. Every Sunday after church, just about everyone in the family would stop over for a visit. It was a time full of laughter and great memories.
My cousins and I spent a lot of time outside playing in the yard, even as a child I knew how beautiful my grandmother’s peonies were. Unfortunately, my grandparents both died young from cancer. The house and the property were full of too many memories for my Dad. He didn’t want to sell it but he couldn’t live there. For years he rented the house until he was ready to move. Finally the time came and my parents moved to their “new house” a month before I got married, talk about a lot of change!
After a few years of marriage my husband and I moved out of our apartment and bought our first home. I couldn’t wait to start a garden! My mother dug up one of my grandmothers peony plants and gave it to me. I was so excited!!! I couldn’t wait for it to start blooming! Two years went by and nothing! Ugh….
I started reading up about how to get the darn thing to flower. Often people plant them too deep and it takes a few years for the plant to lift and get closer to the surface. Peonies don’t like to be moved and can be a bit stubborn with blooming. I didn’t want to move it and wait longer for it to bloom so I scraped some dirt away from the base of the plant to allow the crown to be closer to the surface. I also read that they LOVE potash ( ashes from a fire place/ wood stove).I saved some of my potash from our wood stove. In the spring I dug a trench all around the peony about six inches from the crown and filled it with the potash. To my amazement the following year I got my first bloom!
It felt like a gift from heaven.