We Moved and Staked the Peonies... {The Outdoors}

...and we're crossing our fingers that it works.

It's all apart of our 'family friendly backyard plan.' In which we purchased a shed (you can read about that here and here) in order to house our yard paraphernalia, but also to meet the needs of our growing family (ie. storing bikes, outdoor toys, camping equipment). We also assembled a large play set for our two kids, 3- and 5-years-old, that has already been well used.

One neighbor said we've got a new backyard.. (just imagine along with us that the old shed is gone).

When we closed on our home in April 2010, the former owner had created a gardener's paradise with seven gardens (and lots of privacy bush to maintain). It was overwhelming for us brand new home-owners who could hardly tell a weed from a plant. We've come a long way since then. But we've also scaled back our gardens. We now have three, two in the front and one in the back.. with future plans to add a small vegetable garden down the road.

Don't get me wrong... we love a well maintained, sweet smelling, flowering, colorful garden. And as we've scaled back the gardens we've zeroed in on what we really like, and there's some beautiful plants on this property (we've hardly spent a dime on purchasing new plants, other than a few annuals). We've come to love the peonies, poppies, hydrangea bush, Japanese maples, and oriental grasses.. to name a few. But we noticed the really beautiful flowers, like the peonies and poppies, were hidden in the backyard. And with two kids on the go back there, I became a bit overprotective of those gorgeous blooms.

So we dug them up and moved them.

The peony bush lived in this garden in the backyard (the west facing part of our yard). Which I have since scaled back to make room for our active little ones. You can see that it was hidden by our deck (and other former plants which have since been relocated) and mostly our neighbour got to enjoy the blooms since it was planted so close to the fence by their driveway. Not an ideal location.  

So we relocated here a few weeks ago.. front and centre.

I've read that peonies can be quite temperamental and they should be moved in the Fall. But we're crossing our fingers that it will bloom this summer, even though we moved it in early Spring. We did everything we could to make a smooth transition.. digging a large hole for the roots to spread out and sprinkling in a few handfuls of manure (from Home Depot) to create a well fertilized spot. I watered it over the next few days, given that we weren't seeing much Spring rain.

They seem to be taking off..

This will be our first summer where we've staked the peonies, and we'll see how it goes. I picked up this plant support in the Home Depot garden centre for around $3. 

And it was easy to set up. It's on the smaller side for our large peony bush, but we don't mind that some blooms will go rogue and disguise the stake, while most will be well supported. 

Our front gardens will look quite different this year. In years past they were overcrowded and so we did some serious clean up which involved removing plants, relocating others, and doing lots of pruning. Although this isn't a fair comparison below, because it's showing a garden that has grown in vs. a garden that is just springing to life.. it still gives an idea of how they've changed. 

And skipping over to the other side of the porch.. (don't mind the pre-winter trimming)

The plants certainly have more room to breathe and I'm really intrigued this year to see everything fill in because I've had a hand in the arrangement.

Can you tell I've caught the gardening fever? It's been a long winter...