Time to plant peonies

Beckie Fox


When planting new peonies, choose your site wisely because these are perennials that prefer to settle in and not be disturbed. However, sometimes moving established peonies can’t be helped: encroaching shade from maturing trees or upcoming garden renovations may necessitate moving them or losing them.

Now is the best time to plant new or move old peonies, and “How and when to plant peonies” by Dugald Cameron will help you proceed.

'Edulis Superba' peony
‘Edulis Superba’, a fluffy pink, fragrant herbaceous peony.

Too much shade was the reason we moved three of our older peonies last week. They hadn’t bloomed for several years, which was a waste of potential. 

Fall is the best time to plant tree peonies and Itoh peonies (crosses between herbaceous and tree peonies), too. Unfortunately, an Itoh we relocated to a sunnier spot three years ago has yet to bloom. Maybe next year. (A gardener’s common refrain about tasks not done, perennials not divided and non-blooming plants.)

Extraordinary Welsh vegetable gardener

Enjoy this interview with the charming and opinionated champion vegetable grower Medwyn Williams, 78. He describes the highs and lows of exhibiting at shows like the Chelsea Flower Show (where he’s won 12 gold medals) and throws in a few lessons on how to pronounce tongue-twisting Welsh place names, too. Medwyn’s can-do attitude is contagious and his pristine leeks, onions and cauliflowers works of art.

Why wasps are so annoying

Generally, wasps are welcome in the garden — they consume aphids and other pests — and keep to themselves. But come late summer, they start to go after our sweet drinks and food while we’re enjoying the last summer days, definitely unwelcome behaviour. Find out why wasps go from benign to bothersome here.

Thyme growing tips

Thyme is one of my favourite herbs and I have a small patch of it growing near chives and French sorrel in a raised bed. These tips on growing, propagating, choosing culinary varieties and preserving your harvest are helpful.

Lost Horizons clarification

A message on the Lost Horizons Nursery website says the Acton, Ontario, nursery will remain open from Wednesdays to Sundays, 10 a.m.to 5 p.m., “for as long as the weather holds” and suggests calling ahead to make sure they’re open. However, the 20% off sale ends Oct. 4.

“We hope the nursery will sell (glass quarter full) but if not, we will be opening in the spring to sell off our large amount of remaining stock,” owner Larry Davidson writes.

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