Help!  I’ve Made an Impluse Buy (again).

Generally my life is organized and I am a planner, however for some strange reason this doesn’t happen with my garden.  I am an impulse buyer, frequently left madly Googling information on how to look after my latest purchase and then standing looking at the garden wondering where to plant it.   This leads to rather haphazard, rumble tumble effect that I like to call an English Country garden! 

Highdown Gardens March 2011

No don’t get excited, this is not my garden, the two photographs above are of some of the splendid tree peonies growing in  Highdown Gardens, I have always admired them and wrote a post about Highdown in March 2011 saying then I wanted one in my garden.   There is a big difference, as we all know, about wanting something in the garden and actually doing something about it, and most sensible people will do a little investigation first.   What has this got to do with my impulse buying?  

Meet my latest purchase… Paeonia Suffruticosa my very own tree peony.  Whilst wandering around the garden center at Stansted Park Hampshire last week I came across a stand packed with tree peony plants of various colours. After a short deliberation I opted for a pale pink.  With no thought as to the soil conditions or where to plant it, I bought one. 

I suspect a lot of you will look at the above pot in horror.  It has been home for at least 10 years to a red rose, the name of which I have no idea.  As well as the rose, at the moment it is also full of weeds.   Looking at it today I am beginning to wonder if it is about time to give the rose a new lease of life, take it out of the pot and give it a lovely new home in a flowerbed.  

It will then free up the large 35cms stone pot for the new addition to the garden. My problem now is  I read that tree peonies do best in a sunny spot with rich, well-drained soil that is neither strongly acidic (above pH 5.5) nor prone to getting waterlogged.   I also read that they grow quite large and planting in a container is not recommended.   I don’t know what to do for the best.  My thinking is that if I move in the next year to two, I can take it with me and my soil is heavy clay so it may be happier in a pot. 

My plea for help is if anyone has any advice they can give me to care for this plant I have wanted for many years, please help me – thank you! 

6 thoughts on “Help!  I’ve Made an Impluse Buy (again).

  1. As others have said, you won’t encounter “pot rejection” for a long time. Indeed, you’ll get away with a smaller pot if you’re only thinking of confining your new friend to it for a few years. Given that it won’t like root disturbance, you might want to think about getting a cheap plastic pot that will fit inside your stone one. It’ll be a lot lighter to move when the time comes plus you’ll have the option of cutting it open to remove the root ball intact; far better than the possibility of having to smash a lovely pot.

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  2. First time I’d heard of tree peonies so I’m no help on how to grow them but I know your are going to please you when they bloom. Look forward to seeing them progress.

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  3. I nave grown 3 of these beauties from seed, one turned out pink, one magenta and the third has buds for the first time this year. I love them they are superb.
    I don’ t think they will be happy long term in a pot but if you are planning on moving perhaps it would be best, they certainly don’ t like being moved. Good luck with it.

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