This week’s sunshine has really brought about a quick change to the garden, and dormant beds are suddenly bursting forth with shoots. The first of course are the early performers including dicentra (bleeding hearts) and peonies.

My peonies look set to put on their best show yet. I planted them three seasons ago and have been happy with their performance, but looking at the emerging shoots I can already see around 10 immature flower buds emerging from just one plant crown.

To make sure the plants are shown to their best potential I want to ensure they don’t flop under their own weight once at full height and in full bloom. So before growth gets too big, I’ve added wire supports that the shoots can grow in to, for flowers and foliage to be held upright.

It doesn’t take long to walk around the garden and insert a few stakes and supports to plants before they get too tall. When inserting canes, poles wires etc, feel your way and don’t force them. The last thing I wanted to do was kill off potential flowering parts by piercing them below ground level. Tentatively test the ground as you go, if there is resistance move the stake to one side and try again until there is no risk of damage and it slips effortlessly into the ground.

Can’t wait for the cherry tree they are growing under to burst into bloom – should be any day now!