You've probably taken note that the peonies are in full and glorious bloom right now.
Every garden should have at least one peony plant for the mere ease of the plant, not to mention its blossoms, says Mary Lou Humphrey, member of the Lawrence Peony Society.
"Peonies are such an easy plant to grow, and the results are so satisfactory that even a first-time gardener should have success," she says. "Peony plants sometimes bloom the first spring after a fall planting. The second year will surely show some blooms, and by the third and ever after, they are gorgeous."
Their only requirements are at least six hours of sun a day, she says, advising to plant the crown 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep and allow for good drainage.
Peonies make a fantastic cut flower and border shrub. Society member Marie Willis has some words of wisdom about the hardy plant.
"Purchase early-, mid- and late-blooming peonies, and the color will last a long time. You can also cut the flower in the bud stage, refrigerate it and bring it out to bloom long after the season has passed," she says. "An interesting side note about the peony: A man named Myron Bigger, who lived in Topeka, was a famous breeder of peonies. One of his best, in fact an American Peony Society Gold Medal-winner, is a large red peony called 'Kansas.'"
Peonies have such a following that some members of the Vinland community are banking on them. To raise funds to help restore the Vinland Presbyterian Church, 697 E. 1725 Road, they're having a peony sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Peonies will be sold for $1.50 a stem or $12 for a dozen, and all the proceeds go to the church.
The Late Gothic Revival style church was completed in 1879, and Dr. James Naismith gave sermons there for two years from 1919 to 1920. He spent every other weekend at the church and was paid $5 for the sermon and traveling expenses to drive his surrey the 12 miles from Lawrence to Vinland.
If you go
To raise funds to help restore the Vinland Presbyterian Church, 697 E. 1725 Road, there will be a a peony sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Peonies will be sold for $1.50 a stem or $12 for a dozen.