Peonies forum: Raised beds for peonies

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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Feb 19, 2016 8:33 PM CST
Began a new thread rather than clutter an existing one. This is my favorite raised bed for one peony. The blocks are 4x8x12, if I recall correctly, so it gives a depth of 8 inches which is the minimum for a raised bed. The blocks have a lip on the bottom inside edge so it requires 12 blocks on the bottom row with 11+a small filler on the top row. I alternated the colors for visual effect. Plan upon the soil settling over time so firm it before planting the roots and mound the soil as high as practicable.

This is from 2013 and the bed has been removed for grass planting last fall. The peony is from Lowe's or Walmart so has no true name. I seem to recall it is one of the Crouse cultivars.
Thumb of 2016-02-20/Oldgardenrose/dda169 Changing the count of the blocks to 12 on the bottom and 11 on the top. Memory is not as good as it once was.

[Last edited by Oldgardenrose - Feb 20, 2016 4:42 PM (+)]
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Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Feb 19, 2016 8:44 PM CST
I should have added the inside diameter at the top is about 34 inches which is ample space for most peonies.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Feb 20, 2016 10:54 AM CST
My raised bed, made with blocks just like yours, is in a kidney shape and is also two rows high. It is slightly mounded in the center since I did as you did and filled it extra full. I am thinking of getting more bricks and adding a row in the center to give it a two tier effect. I would only have to dig up what sits in the middle which are pretty much just lilies and Lemon Chiffon peony. Not sure if I would dig LC up. May have to give the bed a inroad divit to go around that plant.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Feb 22, 2016 7:07 PM CST
Your raised beds really show off the peonies so nicely. Thank you for sharing info on your beds. I would like to do one or two of these for my fernleafs.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Feb 22, 2016 7:31 PM CST
The round size is perfect for a single FL plant to grow for several years. This is a pic of 2 singles and 2 doubles together in 2013. I dug, divided, and replanted them in a larger bed.
Thumb of 2016-02-23/Oldgardenrose/bbfd05

Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Mar 3, 2016 12:39 PM CST
they are just gorgeous. I have some fernies on order and think I would like to do a bed like yours.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 3, 2016 3:35 PM CST
I saw in a previous post where you had ordered both the single and double species FL. You were lucky to find them from a major nursery at a good price. I have not tried the concept but they would look good in a raised rock garden with other plants as a border.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Mar 3, 2016 4:08 PM CST
I have a question regarding your fernleaf raised bed, Jerry. When the fernleafs go dormant in the summer, do you plant anything on them or do you just leave as they are?
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 3, 2016 5:17 PM CST
I leave them alone until they die completely then cut the dead stems off about 1 inch from the ground. I try to keep all the weeds pulled and leave the top of the soil bare.

purslanegarden
Mar 9, 2016 10:33 AM CST

Seems like mulching it or growing a ground cover would be OK, but it looks great how it is too!

I'm not sure why the bed uses 12 and then 11 blocks though. When I have set up similar beds that are 2 or 3 layers up, I was able to use the same number of blocks on all layers.

Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
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Oldgardenrose
Mar 9, 2016 10:51 AM CST
These particular blocks have a lip on the small side to act as an interlock for stability. When the lip is hooked over the bottom row it forms a smaller circle. They could be placed with the lip up but the wall would not be slightly inclined inwardly and would not be as stable. The bottom layer has the lip facing down into the soil base.

Thumb of 2016-03-09/Oldgardenrose/4e2120

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