Before I crack on with my “Peony Project” I thought it best to discover a bit more about them to ensure I got the best out of the plant once re-potted. So, for anyone who is interested, here is a fab link to the RHS website which is full of useful information to help you get the best out of your much-loved Peonies.
It was only when I attempted to lift the potted Peony onto a table that I remembered the circumstances that this Peony ended up in a pot in the first place. It had lived quite happily in my old garden for approximately 18 months when we decided to put the house on the market. As I was not prepared to leave one of my most prized plants for the new owners to enjoy, I decided to leave it to one morning where we had a deep frost (nothing like planning!) to lift the plant.
Once I had cut off all the dead branches, I decided to have a good look at the plant before I turned it out of the pot.
The first thing that struck me were the weeds – and not for the sheer volume of them – GRR!, but the species. Since moving into my bungalow, I had forgotten the different weeds that had been in my old garden and it was only by looking into this pot, that I remembered my old nemesis’s.
Hairy Bitter Cress and Goosegrass were the weeds of choice in my old garden. I don’t even have a sniff of these at my new place. Chickweed is the new kid in town here 😦
Anyway, back to the current task in hand. With some trepidation, I tipped the potted Peony onto the table to see what I was up against. Trust me, clay soil is not my favourite thing in the world!
The plant and soil came out pretty whole (as expected with clay soil) and was a mass of weed roots.
I decided on the ‘gently, gently’ approach so after teasing out some of the clay soil with my hands, the root system looked like this.
I had forgotten just how unforgiving clay soil can be and so armed with my trusty hand fork, I managed to get it looking like this.
Once I was able to see all of the new growth buds and the pattern they were forming around the root system, I decided not to split the plant into two as I had originally planned. To be honest, I got a bit nervous and knowing that I was planning to put it into a 10 litre pot, and there being ample growth room, it seemed a little premature to split it at this stage.
So, I I re-potted into a new 10 litre pot, gave it a good watering and now I just need to wait and see what the next growing season has in store for it 🙂