So what was stopping me? Not enough space and too much work. In my garden I can't just plant things. First I have to make room. Add to that the recommendation (for very good reason) to avoid planting peony roots in spots where other peonies have grown, and another level of difficulty is thrown into the mix. 'Elsa Sass' was planted in fall of 2007. It didn't start blooming until 2009. By 2011 I knew it should be moved in order to perform better, but I put it off because finding a new spot for it would take some serious maneuvering. Digging. Moving. Finding an empty space was easier to do when I had a brand new plant. I told myself Elsa was doing okay for now.
|During the height of peony bloom season, looking south toward the woods.|
|Peony season begins; facing the "girls' yard," fenced off for the dogs.|
Because I purchased two new peonies and divided another, I'm once again yanking plants to make room. This year it's the Baptisia.
I planted the hybrid 'Purple Smoke' in spring 2008. If I had any truly sunny spots in my garden and the Baptisia were planted in one of them, it would by now be just over three feet in diameter. But since my garden has no such space, this Baptisia sprawls over a diameter of six feet, even though I've given it support.
Don't get me wrong, I really like this plant. It's a great peony companion, as shown in the photo with peonies and Allium. It's just that it is taking up some really valuable real estate and lounging over its neighbors, which are definitely failing to thrive in response.
|Baptisia 'Purple Smoke' makes a great backdrop for any color of peonies.|
I think I will probably leave it until spring. For now, I'll attempt to sever its roots, which I've found several feet away from the plant, evidence of its ability to thrive just about anywhere. I've read that it can be successfully divided, but with a root system like this, I'm not certain I can. For now, I'll be resting up and lifting extra weight at the gym to prepare.