The Peonies Are Back

If you know Nat, I don't have to tell you about what she thinks of peonies.

In late 2008, right after we closed on our house, we planted a peony plant that we received from Nat's aunt - which I believe was split from a plant she received from another relative.  Last year, we bought a few other peony plants including a transplant of a big peony plant from my sister's yard in Hinsdale - but the original plant from Nat's Aunt was clearly the prized possession in the yard.

Last summer, the plants bloomed, but were NOT spectacular.  And...if you garden at all, you know that peonies can really be spectacular.  We hosted my niece and nephew last summer for a few months and they gave our backyard a workout - including trampling all over most of everything I've planted.  I bought a few small tomato cages to put the plants in, but that just slowed the kids down, it didn't keep them away from them.

Fast forward to this Spring and as some of our bulbs started to emerge from the mulch, our peony plants laid dormant.  I told Nat that it didn't look good for them to come back.  Both of us were pretty bummed out - especially when we looked at our neighbors peony buds popping out and knowing that our's weren't keeping pace.

Then late last week, I went checking on them and noticed that they had begun to spring up.  And not just one plant.  All of them were back - most notably the plant we were given from Nat's Aunt shown below.
The lady we bought the house from wasn't the nicest person on earth, but she kept good soil in her beds, it turns out.


  1. You're exactly right about *our* peonies Jake! They came from Nat's Great Aunt Sis. After Gram Rostan (Grampy's mom), Aunt Sis pretty much became our family's Grandmother. We all loved our Aunt Sis. Martha even did. She was about 4 months old and wouldn't reach out to go to anyone yet. But when she met Aunt Sis, she did. :)

    Anyway, when Aunt Sis passed away, I really wanted one of her peony plants. I remember them from when I was very small. They lined the walk-way in her back yard. So John and my cousin's husband, Jim, dug up a huge clump. I planted my treasure in my back yard in Nashville. Then when we moved here, I separated them into probably-8 more clumps.

    When you guys got married, I wanted Nat to have a part of them-knowing how much she loved peonies and her Great Aunt.

    I do think that our variety is a little later blooming then others. So, when other peonies are sprouting and yours are not, don't fret. :)

  2. Maybe one day we'll be able to pass along some "clumps" to someone. So far, this Spring, so good. They're popping up and doing much better than last year. The transplant year must have been hard on them, but now they're getting a bit more established.


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