Aren't garden successes wonderful? You feel so good when one happens. And today I have two of them to report!
The first involves a peony plant which has gotten large and bushy over the years, but has never bloomed. It is one of the fern-leaved ones and it was a gift so I don't know it's name or ancestry, but I have been waiting impatiently for it to bloom and it hasn't. Last fall I remembered having read something about peonies not liking more than an inch or two of soil over the resting buds and I carefully brushed away some of the soil around it's stems.
And today I saw that it has many fat red buds! Ah, success!
The other success I discovered today is even more exciting. I've been trying for a long time to get a patch of Fringed Polygala, Polygala paucifolia, established in my woodland garden. I've had seeds which did not germinate.... I've had seeds which germinated and did not become seedlings..... I've had seedlings that did not become plants..... in other words, I was failing with them all along the line. And yet they grow in masses only a mile or two away. Last summer I got some cuttings from a neighbour. I put them in sand and kept them moist and cool (as much as I could in that awful drought summer) and by fall there did seem to be roots on one of them. I planted it in my mini-bog near the marsh, figuring it wouldn't grow anyway and what would I do with it all winter.
Imagine my delight this morning to see a nice tidy plant, with two flower buds! Here it is, on the left. The picture on the right, just to show you what the flower looks like when it is open, was taken near the White Lake Fen, another place where it grows in its numbers.
Is one small plant too soon to claim success? No, I'm feeling optimistic today!