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Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Case of the Pernicious Peony

Spring is trying to do its thing here- the rose bushes are blooming and budding, as is the yarrow, the deutzia, and much more. After a year of drought that left so many plants gasping, the rains this year have been most welcome. We've had storms, but for the most part, we've had a week of lovely warm weather. All that is about to change, though. The forecast bears an ominous frost warning for the next two nights, with a chance of snow.

I spent the day weeding and tidying up the greenhouse and making room on the benches for the seed flats that would have to come back inside. Then I picked a bouquet of roses, yarrow, deutzia and spiraea so we could enjoy them for a few more days. I noticed that the peony was loaded with buds, so I covered it with reemay in hopes that would give the buds a chance to survive any frost.

While I was washing up, I heard Jack, who had been asleep in the house most of the day, barking and growling. There he was at the living room window, carrying on as though there was an army of squirrels about to invade. When I pulled the curtains aside to see what had him so upset I had to laugh. He was barking at the peony! I must admit that it did look a little threatening. And as the wind blew, billowing out the white cover, it resembled a little ghost hopping about in the flower bed. Jack would not stop yapping, so I put him on his leash and walked him down to the bottom of the yard so he could see for himself that it posed no threat. He approached very cautiously, growling all the while, then, satisfied that we were in no danger of attack, cocked his leg to show his disdain. Quickly yanking him away before he could do more damage than the frost, I took him back inside. He sat and loooked out the window for a while longer just to make sure the peony kept its distance. It's good to know that we can sleep soundly, secure in the knowledge that the ever vigilant Jack is protecting us from pernicious peonies! On the other hand, we may not sleep at all, if Jack starts his growling and barking again in the middle of the night!


Rurality said...

Heh. Jasmine has never barked at anything quite like that sneaky U-haul that was in the driveway once.

roosterhen said...

Jack barks at anything and everything-birds, squirrels,other dogs, trucks, waving branches-he is a JR after all LOL. But sometimes his bark is accompanied by growling, whining- almost crying and running back and forth down the hall to make sure we know he's upset. This time he wouldn't leave the window- a sure sign he felt an imminent threat was lurking :)

FarmWife said...

I'm so relieved to know you are safe from pernicious peonies! My peonies are just now sprouting up out of the ground. If I get blooms this year (after 4 years!!), I'll be over the moon!

roosterhen said...

fw- my peony plant sat for 4 years without blooming- I was ready to give up- a couple of times, I even forgot what it was and nearly yanked it out, thinking it was a weed! It bloomed the fifth year, and had bloomed faithfully ever since.