The peony that we have in our yard is one of my favorite plants.
It was actually the very first thing that I planted on our property. A friend had given me some cut peonies and they lasted for a very, very long time.
I have heard that there are basically two types of peonies; one that keeps well as a cut flower and the other that is heavily scented. The one I ended up planting is of the heavily scented variety.
With peonies, they need the help of the ants. In the spring when the buds form, they will be covered by ants.
As ants are a bit creepy-crawly, the tendency may be to spray them off. However, these ants are necessary to eat the coverings of the buds.
Without the ants performing this function, the peonies would not be able to bloom. So bless the ants as they aid these gorgeous blossoms.
Fuchsias are also lovely plants. We usually see them in hanging baskets.
They will bloom all summer long with a bit of attention. For one thing, they love water. I always check my fuchsia first if the weather has been dry. These “plants” are actually a combination of many plants put together in one pot. So you have to be careful watering them—make sure that the entire surface of the soil gets wet. Also, the seeds need to be picked off.
For any plant, its purpose is to reproduce itself. So it will grow and flower hoping to attract pollinating insects. Once this has happened, it will set seeds. Then the plant thinks that its job is done. And, it will stop flowering. To keep it flowering all summer long we need to keep removing the seeds. A small price to pay for a season of loveliness.
Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens.
Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer!
Celeste's new book on living lightly on the Earth is due out September 25, 2014.