A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: The Symphony of Spring; The Peony, The Iris Then the Rose

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12 June 2015

The Symphony of Spring; The Peony, The Iris Then the Rose

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When I first started gardening, I made the rookie mistake of thinking perennials bloomed all summer long.  I made choices based on bloom color and became a little bummed when the colors I paired so carefully never bloomed at the same time.  I then realized one of the grandest bits about gardening -- that it is so much more difficult than decorating because the items in your space are ever moving, changing and evolving with a mind of their own.  It is much more akin to parenting than designing a static space.

Once I grew up a bit and realized that this frustration in the garden is actually a challenging, engaging puzzle, I started to enjoy the working out of the various symphonies that play each week, each month, each season.  One of my very favorites is a solid garden classic:

The Peony, The Iris and The Rose.  

They bloom in that order, but hold on just long enough so that there is some overlap of blooming color.  
The peony starts the show, gradually opening from hard little ant-covered buds to glorious, giant bastions of color.

Then the Irises take over, with their strong green blades offering contrast to all the curvy girls in the garden. 
Late in May, a few start to bud up and pop open with frilly, curly petals in every shade of the rainbow.  
For this reason, color decisions start with the peonies and then branch out to the Iris and Rose.

While my favorites are definitely the peonies, and while I know some gardeners prefer the stalwart Iris, the ROSE really takes the trophy of popularity for classic spring bloomers.  In fact, the rose really gives a bit more of a long-lasting  show compared to its bedfellows.  The rose will put out many, many little buds and if you let them be, they will keep blooming and blooming and blooming.  If you want bigger blooms, you will have to sacrifice a few of the buds for a larger, singular show, but I prefer to just let them go wild.

Of course, by pruning roses, you encourage them to bloom more and more and longer and longer, so I do so, but only after they bloom. 
 In fact, I basically just pick pretty cut flowers all season long, enjoying them in bouquets and by proxy, prune them for future growth.

So whether you are sitting in your garden, enjoying your symphony or are planning to create a new one for next year, 
remember the order of the grand spring trio and savor them for their time is short.

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