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'Early Scout'

Peony

Why I love this plant:

• The short mounding plant is full of flowers.

• It never needs supports or staking.

• The flowers are dainty. This silky crimson has bright golden stamens inside.

• It has finely cut leaves, which are green and reddish tones.

• It's fabulous in the front of a border because it's 'vertically challenged.'

• The flowers open in mid-April.

• It's great in a rock garden.

• Once established, the plant can handle drought.

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How to grow a peony:

• Plant during cooler months.

• Choose a garden spot where the peony can get at least six hours of sunshine.

• Loosen the plant from the pot; try not to disturb the roots.

• Mix some compost and a handful of bone meal in the planting hole.

• Plant at the same depth as the plant came in the pot.

• Apply 10-20-20 fertilizer in early March, if you want, but it's not mandatory.