I'm a lazy gardener. I planted two peonies, probably fifteen years ago, one white and one pink. I made a careless oval of earth, removing sod and turning over soil, which through sheer luck was rich with earthworms. I may have mixed some compost in at some point.
My entire back yard has always been shady, really not allowing enough hours of sunlight for any of the various perennials I've optimistically planted back there.* A couple of years ago, a neighbor cut down a tree (it was our tree, in our yard, and it's funny that he cut it down, but we were grateful to have someone else pay for it and he had a stronger opinion than we did). There's slightly more light on one side of the oval flower bed now! The peony on that side has always been more enthusiastic than the one on the shadier side, and now it's even more so.
I always forget that peonies like to be fed (I think). I research these details and promptly forget. And still, that one peony (along with many flowering companions) seem content. The other peony (and what I started to say is, I always forget which is the white and which is pink until they finally, finally bloom) is less satisfied. It's much smaller, and this year I fear there may be almost no flowers on it.
The thing you always forget about peonies is, ants.
*I've failed at lavender, daisies, coneflower, violets, and more. My successes include lupine, black-eyed Susan, Johnson's blue geranium, various columbines, forget-me-nots, lamb's ears, hosta, lily-of-the-valley, bleeding hearts, sweet woodruff, and others I'm forgetting.
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