Report From PIA – May 26
The first peonies opened at Poison Ivy Acres today, and I picked a bouquet for my bedroom. As I cut these flowers and the side buds that were on the same stem, I remembered the time a fellow master gardener was at my house in early May. He walked up to where I was working and said, “I pinched off the side buds on your peonies.”
He was clearly proud that he’d snipped off these future blossoms, and although I was gracious and didn’t lay into him, I was pissed off. Clearly he’d heard that if you cut off the side buds as they form, the terminal bud will develop into a large flower.
My response to this information has always been, “So what?” I don’t want larger peonies, I want more peonies. Those side buds go onto bloom later, extending the season and the number of fragrant bouquets that I can bring into the house.
I remember another guy I knew who’d pinch off the dahlia buds in order to get larger flowers, and come to think of it, the only people I know who cut off the “suckers” on tomatoes, in order to grow fewer but larger fruit, are men. Do we see a pattern here?
Please weigh in, girl & guy type gardeners: What do you grow in your garden: more or bigger?