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Bow Down Mister Peony

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All plants bow down to the rain – it is their life-giver and maker, their source of sustenance and survival, their path to beauty and fulfillment. Only with a steady supply can they realize their destiny. Thus, they depend on it above all else. That’s how I look at the storms we’ve had of late, and it’s how I keep my own head high when they take down the iris and the peonies and the early bloomers with the heaviness of water and the weight of the wind.

Some choose not to grow certain plants because of it. Iris especially are prone to a quick felling by a late spring storm. Peonies stand a better chance, with stems that bend and sway, and the mass-support of other stems around them. An iris is a solitary flower for the most part, a skyscraper with only a single stem of support, and nothing else around them to break the onslaught of rain and wind.

Peonies, even with their heavier blooms, are slightly better equipped at withstanding the spring-to-summer onslaught. Ours have a better chance, as I stake them from the beginning. These are such long-lived and reliable plants that I simply leave the support system in place year-round, and the plants grow right up through them.

As always, preventative maintenance saves a lot of heartache down the line. Healthier plants are stronger and better at standing up through the storms. A little extra work and care in the beginning makes for a happier ending. These blooms, still standing in the spring rain, are the pretty proof of that.

A bed of peonies is the second-best kind of bed in which to be on a rainy day.

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