Tag Archives: peony

What’s In My Door County Garden?

As a gardener, one of the fun things about our new cabin in Door County WI is seeing what is going to come up in the gardens this spring and summer.  I love taking a walk around the property to see what’s changed since the last time we were there.  I know the previous owner took pride in her gardens, but since we bought the place in the fall much was already passed its prime.  So this spring has been a wonderful surprise to me!


Much to my delight, there are so many interesting and colorful plants all around the house.  Some in gardens, some hiding the rural necessities and some enhancing the “yard”.

Up front, we’re welcomed by a beautiful display of peonies, irises and ferns.


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Iris reticulata “Springtime”

And all around the front step are these gorgeous, unusually colored columbine.  A favorite of the hummingbirds and bees.

Purple Columbine

There’s hostas nearby as well, but the deer are finding them to be pretty tasty.

deer damage to hostas

Luckily they don’t seem to like the Dragon’s Blood Stonecrop (Spurium Dragon’s Blood) or rug junipers.  These are great ground covers and seem to be flourishing with minimal care.

Dragon's Blood Stonecrop

In a bit of a low area, there’s a rock garden that provides a brilliant splash of purple and green.


It’s a relatively natural property, so I’m taking delight in the daisies in the grass.  Since the grass is rather sparse, I glad something pretty is in its place.

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It’s going to be a little tough to mow around, but we’ll figure something out.

Based on the plant records she left me, I know there’s going to be lots more in bloom next time we’re there!


July Garden Photos

This gallery contains 14 photos.

These beautiful pictures were taken of my garden by Peggy over the last week.             And one brilliant photo of a peony from her garden in Michigan!




I have three peonies in my garden that have thrived in dappled partial shade under a River Birch tree.  Some years the flowers look great, others, they get wiped out in one the frequent thunderstorms that rumble through here in the Midwest.  I used to try to put the little peony “fences” around them to help them stand straighter, but I found that first, you need to get them fenced in before the plant gets very big, and secondly, it really crowds a full grown plant.  Now I just let them grow and they look natural and beautiful.



I’ve also never had much luck having blooms last very long in the house.  I usually cut a pretty bloom and within a day, the petals have dropped.  But, I learned a couple of tricks this year.  First, I cut the stem with a bud almost ready to burst into flower, put it into a vase, and by the next morning I had beautiful blooms that last days.  The second trick I learned was from a Fine Gardening Quick Tip on how to save peonies to bloom later on.  I was skeptical, but it actually worked.

Cut your flower bud and wrap them immediately and place in refrigerator.


When you want to have them bloom, take them out of the refrigerator.  I let mine stay in for four days.  It looked pretty wilted and I had my doubts, but I unwrapped it and put it in the vase.


Within a few hours, the leaves started to perk up and by the next morning I had an absolutely stunning flower that went on to bloom for days!

The refrigerated bud is the bright pink bud in the center of the arrangement.

The stunning flower the next day, no worse for the wear.