Have spent two days going through my Garden notebook and
getting everything updated and ready for this growing season.
It was a revelation into just how many plants I have collected
over the years. Also it was a little sad in seeing all of the plants
that I killed or had died out. Seems I never threw away a bill
or clipping which is very good when organizing a garden notebook
or journal. That is how I discovered how many plants that has
gone to the big garden beyond. :-) I put everything in a 3 ring
binder like other of you great gardeners have mentioned doing,
so now I am all up to date, all but drawing some new diagrams
of the beds and adding the plants to them. In the plant logs I wrote
where they were planted in lead pencil because I move things
around quite a bit and need to erase and update that sometimes.
I remembered while sorting through things that Grandma always
had several Peony plants in her yard. I believe that they were
popular in her day and everyone had them because they were
shared with your neighbors. I also remembered the big black ants
that use to always somehow be on the buds. What was it that the
ants liked so well when they never gathered on other flowers the
same way? So curious minds wants to know and I was off to find
Going to the Heartland Peony Society website I discovered that I
was not alone in questioning this and that they had the answer.
They stated "not to try to get rid of the ants,that it was a natural
and temporary activity. Peonies produce a small amount of nectar
and other ant attractants to encourage the ants to help in opening
the dense double buds that are found on many peonies.
Once the buds open the ants disappear".
That contrary to the 'old wives tale' peonies will not cause
an infestation of ants and that ants are not Required to
open the flowers.
This was all very interesting and new information to me and I wanted
to share it with those who may have not known or may have not
even wondered about ants on their peonies.
So do not spray or try to get rid of the ants because they are
good in this instance and pollinate your peonies.
I only have one Peony plant in all of my flowers. It is old enough
now to be really pretty when it blooms in the early Summer.
paeonia lactiflora Sorbet
It has beautiful pink and white double blooms that are 5-7
inches and is very fragrant. The foliage turns orange in the
Autumn. It grows in any climate and require little care.
It can also reach a height of 4 feet. Sun to part shade.
Zones 3-8. Prune in the Fall after frost.