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8 posts in 2519 days

Location: Hillsburgh
Hardiness Zone: 5a

I'm a city transplant living and gardening on one acre in Hillsburgh, Ontario. We've been here for almost 3 years now and to say I'm overwhelmed by the amount of space I now have to garden is an understatement. At first it didn't seem like that big of a deal but now I'm shaking my head and wondering what the heck I was thinking.

The property was a fairly clean slate when we got here.....several large evergreens, one young oak (who's roots were being suffocated with over 3 feet in depth of screaming red mulch), a small but overgrown garden bed in front dominated by a gigantic green ball (an evergreen shrub of some sort), two very mature willow trees that I absolutely despise and a lot of lawn!

Slowly we have added to and taken away from the landscape but with both of us working and only one of us taking an actual interest in gardening, I can see that it is going to take many years for this garden to evolve. So, in the meantime, I plug away at it and do what I can in the time I have. My long term goal is to get more trees planted to create shade in the years to come. I love shade gardening! My short term plans are to further develop the garden plot for veggies.

I'm not one for much frou-frou in the garden, preferring foliage to flowers but that could change as my tastes change with time. I love Hostas, Heucheras, ferns, smallish evergreen shrubs and groundcovers. For flowers, it has to be simple.....daylilies, echinacea, sedum, daisies, clematis, etc. I do have a few peonies that came with the property but I want them gone this year. One in particular is quite old according to my neighbour....just bloomin' great (insert sarcasm). Have you ever tried to dig out an ancient peony? I'm gonna need a backhoe! :o)


P.S...I'm a bit of night owl and tend to be online when I should be sleeping.

-- Sow on and sow on.....

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View MsDebbieP's profile


14694 posts in 3842 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 02-24-2011 05:28 PM

Hi Welcome to GT!!

your space sounds wonderful and “oh the possibilities”

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bon's profile


7374 posts in 3622 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 02-24-2011 09:24 PM

Hello and welcome to Gardentenders.Sorry to hear you don’t like the peonies.Just dig straight down through the roots and seperate the plants and put them at your curb with a free sign.I’m sure they won’t stay there too long.Lots of people including me just love them.Good luck with your transformations.

-- Bon,Hastings, 5a....Always room for one more

View Iris43's profile


3811 posts in 3471 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 02-24-2011 11:32 PM

Welcome to GardenTenders!

Please don’t get rid of the peonies…..I guarantee, you’ll no sooner have them gone and you’ll wish them back. They are such a dependable plant and, yes, they live forever. While the bloom is gorgeous, I know it is very susceptible to weather and can be soon gone….but the leaves are also so attractive…dark, shiny green and nicely shaped….and they make a wonderful back-drop all summer long for other flowers and plants…..Have I convinced you yet? :)

Your property sounds wonderful. You’ll have years to develop it and re-develop it. A garden is very much like furnishing a room in your house, it is always evolving. No sooner do you think it’s almost done and you think of something else you would like to do….and yes, you chance along with it.

I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing all the things you do with your gardens.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View snowzone's profile


8 posts in 2519 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 03-01-2011 12:15 AM

Thanks Bon! That sounds like a good idea and no doubt the folks around here would rescue the poor unwanted peonies :o) People love free plants right? I have a bunch of asiatic lilies (orange, pink, yellow) that need to go as well but I’m thinking to burn them in the fire pit. My concern is lily beetles and I certainly do not want to attract them to this area. Another “what was I thinking” moment.

Iris, the peony that most irks me is a hot pink bomb type (NOID) and it seems as soon as the blooms burst open, there comes along wild rain storm to makes its heavy heads fall to the ground and I’m left with a sea of pink petals everywhere. Now, I do have another peony that is a bit better behaved and has been identified as ‘Gay Paree’ and I may hang on to this one. And you’re right, peony foliage is quite nice!!!

-- Sow on and sow on.....

View jroot's profile


5121 posts in 3472 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 03-01-2011 07:57 AM

I have my peonies near the back of my property. When you come to see the garden some day, you’ll see that if they fall in a spring storm, it really doesn’t matter, but they do look nice for a short while in the spring. Maybe I’ll have to take a plant off your hands. I have one spot that could use one. I like the foliage they provide even when not in bloom. They can be trimmed to size.

I agree with your about the asiatic lilies. Mine are all gone now. They were pretty while I had them, but now I won’t replace them with more. Daylilies work well, and are not bothered by the red beetles.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

View snowzone's profile


8 posts in 2519 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 03-01-2011 10:45 PM

I’m so glad you agree with me about the asiatics, jroot! Yes, they are quite lovely but it’s just not worth the risk considering the agriculture around these parts. I haven’t actually come across a lily beetle on this property but why tempt fate?
Well if you have an empty spot for a peony, I have a peony to fill that spot,lol.
Here are some photos of the peony that will be needing new home. It is very healthy.
Hot pink bomb peony

peony blooms

-- Sow on and sow on.....

View Bon's profile


7374 posts in 3622 days
hardiness zone 5a

posted 03-04-2011 08:20 AM

Sure wish I lived closer to you.I would take some off your hands too.

-- Bon,Hastings, 5a....Always room for one more

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