That's funny, graycrna4u, we probably will retire somewhere further south but not for another 10 years or so. My husband is pushing for Florida but I've told him no because my peonies won't bloom there! Trying for zone 7 at the warmest.
Karen, those are really cool looking! I might just have to try a few, see what works best!
I took some pictures today to document why I'm willing to go through this work. I was going to take pics of all of the damage as well as the newer growth but they just looked too sad, so here's the worst hit of the bunch:
Battleflag-this was one I got from Fina 2 years ago, had huge roots, and put out several flowers last spring. Was just budding when we had the Mother's Day from H@ll and the crazy below freezing week afterward.
Bride's Dream-Doesn't look too bad unless you know it was 18 inches tall before MD, only around 6" now.
Mackinac Grand-this one was 2' tall with 2 big buds pre-MD, now maybe 6". Sad, just sad....
Maestro--another that was growing nicely with a bud pre-MD.
There were 17 that were severely damaged by weather. I'll probably add another 3 or so to the experiment, just whichever foliage looks worst from our hail. Here's hoping next year these look better!