Floral Harvest

I love harvesting from my yard, and the yard is FULL of flower cutting potential right now.  Some of my favorite flowers to cut and bring inside are peonies, irises, and roses.

Here’s a basket-full of peonies that I wanted so badly to bring in and display on the dining room table, but sadly, I didn’t get to the plant early enough…..  even though the flowers were in FULL beautiful bloom, they were completely infiltrated by ants….

Some things that I’ve learned about peonies the hard way is that the plant may start small with stalks that stand up perfectly straight, but those stalks will grow and amass lots of heavy buds.  Those buds weigh on the stalks and cause them to droop all the way to the ground.  It’s a good idea to surround a peony plant with something for the stalks to rest on, like a little fence, that’s tall enough to keep the lush flower heads afloat.  And, inevitably, the ants just love the peonies, even when they are propped up…  I have found that cutting the flowers, just as the buds are blooming, is the optimum time because ants haven’t gotten into the buds just yet, plus you get to enjoy the “blooming” of the bud indoors!

My only complaints for this flower would be the “after bloom” mess when the hundreds of small petals wilt and fall from the head of the flower all over your table, and the overwhelming floral fragrance that, in my opinion, you either love or hate.  I’ll walk by the arrangement and it’ll take a moment to register what the “smell” is and then it’s all I can smell for the rest of the day, and much like the ants on the peony, the smell has infiltrated my home.

I’m also a big fan of irises, ahhhhhh, sweet smelling irises!  ALL of my irises come in various shades of purple.  I have seen yellow and white in other yards, but all of mine are purple.  Might need to bring in some other varieties in years to come!  What am I saying?  I need less landscaping, not more….

Anyway, the irises grow on such a sturdy stalk which makes them great to put in a vase.  I love the fun, fuzzy, caterpillar-looking center of the flower, and apparently skippers like them too!  Although, I have seen skippers on almost all of my flowering plants at one time or another throughout past summers, the photo above captures the first skipper I’ve seen this season on it’s ambrosia of choice, the iris!

These plants are easy to grow and easy to maintain.  Typically a sun loving plant, I have some that still do really well in partial shade. And, all of the irises that I had divided and transplanted last year came back this year with a vigor!!!!  A plant that I can’t kill?  Bonus!

Roses are classic vase flowers, aren’t they?  I have a love-hate relationship with my knockout roses.  They are gorgeous when blooming, add fragrance and color to the yard for a nice, long season with multiple blooms (the peonies and irises bloom once for the season and are gone until the next year).

Why then, do I sometimes hate the roses?  I guess it has everything to do with the upkeep of the bushes….  I DREAD rose pruning season and wish there was a way to avoid it completely.  Inevitably, my arms get all scratched up and it’s next to impossible to shove the pruned remnants into the garbage.  Thorns, oh how I detest thee….  For the most part however, I am in love with roses and the idea of roses, and I do love the fragrance too!

I have one dark pink knockout rose bush and four of the light pink variety.  This is all inherited landscaping from the pervious owner of the house, so I try to enjoy what has already been planted.  If I had planned the rose bush portion of the yard at it’s genesis, I would’ve preferred more of the dark pink roses, and would’ve likely made the mistake of planting the same number of bushes and/or more because they are SO enticing.   Then, I would’ve pruned all of those bushes for a season and realized my folly….

These are just a few of my favorite spring perennials from the yard.  There are so many other flowers that I enjoy gazing at and photographing too, but alas, my yard is not big enough to host a floral symposium – that’s why I have a membership to the local botanical gardens!  What do you have blooming in your yard right now?

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About cjbolinger

I am a stay-at-home mother of three children (Ben, Alex, and Christian), a wife who is head-over-heels in love with her husband of 13 years (Gregg), a hobbyist photographer, and a lover of everything crafty! Follow my attempts at domesticity as I cook, clean, and craft for my family...
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2 Responses to Floral Harvest

  1. Jessi says:

    Your flowers are absolutely beautiful! I <3<3<3 your peonies! I have 2 bushes that I planted 2 years ago that have yet to bloom but once! I am hoping next year will be the year! Also in regards to the ants… http://www.gardenopus.com/peonies.htm This may shed some light on your issues with the ants! I have heard that if you cut them just as they are starting to open up (the bud almost feels like a marshmallow) and soak the bud in cool water for 5 minutes before placing in a vase that the flowers will last longer and you will rid yourself of the ants! Glad to see you have made your move to a different site! My only complaint is I will miss the RSS feed that immediately alerted me to a new post! But if the whole not being able to reply to posts is fixed than I am ok with this! If my issues with blogger aren't resolved soon, I may just join you on wordpress!

    Happy gardening to you!
    ~Jessi

  2. cjbolinger says:

    Thanks for the link on peonies! Last year, I was able to cut some ant-free buds and bring them inside to enjoy. This year, I was just a bit too late…. plus, we’ve had crazy weather, so the buds seemed to open up much quicker… I hope that yours bud next year because they are amazing! I’m enjoying wordpress so much, except for the fact that not many people have followed me to my new address… LOL 😉

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