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I planted this "Giant Double" Peony from DirectGardening.Com in the fall of 2005. (Picture taken on May 27, 2009.) Now, almost 4 years later, it has finally grown big and happy enough to bloom. Granted, I didn't do a great job of selecting a site and planting it, but four years until the first flower is absolutely nuts! (Amazingly, it looks like the two peonies from Walmart that I planted just last year will start blooming in a few days, as well.)

Also surviving from that Direct Gardening order are four Sand Cherries (Dwarf Flowering Cherries, as they are known at Direct Gardening), a Manchurian Apricot, a Rose-of-Sharon and a Russian Mulberry. (Actually Chinese, but everybody calls it Russian, so who am I to say any different?) That's a total of 8 items surviving from an order that included 53 (not counting the free bonuses). To Direct Gardening's credit they did ship me a replacement order the following year. A Black Walnut, a Pecan and another Rose-of-Sharon are still struggling to survive from that 2006 batch - hope they make it.

Blooming Giant Double Peony from Direct Gardening

Wal-Mart Peonies are now blooming and they look absolutely gorgeous, but they do not smell nearly as nice as the peony I got from Direct Gardening. Perhaps it was worth the wait after all!

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Are you currently bullish or bearish on the economy and the stock market?:

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