When the snow on the garden finally melted this spring, my uncaged tree peony received another pruning from the deer. This year they cut it back hard! The plant was ugly, misshapen and dead looking. I have always been conflicted about pruning this plant since I have read that they should not be cut back. This year I snapped off the dead wood and cut it back hard. It was starting to look great and then on May 22 we got a hard freeze. Fortunately we covered the plant with a sleeping bag and a plastic tarp. When we got frost again the next night I had my doubts, but once the sun came out, the weather warmed and the tree peony exploded with growth!
I have had this plant in the same spot for years. It has never shown me anything like this. I count eleven big beautiful blossoms in this picture and there are a couple on the back side of the bush that don't show. This plant could stop a bus on the highway driving by at 60, but of course no one drives by this garden.
I did not measure this intriguing flower, but it is much bigger than the picture, at least 5 inches across. These flowers do not appear to have any scent. I suppose if you can dazzle with that kind of flamboyance, who needs perfume. Now I'm wondering if I should uncover the plant for the winter and let the deer do the pruning for me. Perhaps the plant thrives on adversity. Like Scarlet I'll think about that tomorrow. In the meantime, "Oh WOW!!! Check out my tree peony!"