Saturday, September 15, 2018

2018 Southern Peony Affected by Hurricane Florence

Southern Peony Affected by Hurricane Florence

We've all been hunkered down for the past few days hoping Hurricane Florence will pass us by with as little damage as possible. Even before that we've been prepping for a week or more, buying supplies, washing and drying as much as possible, preparing coolers, freezing bottled water, bringing in everything we could from outside. I would say we've been lucky. Today my little boy and I took a walk outside to survey for damage. We found one tree top down in our back yard. (It honestly looks like a small tree down, which is what I thought it was when I first saw it.) The tree top is right on top of the very first peony garden I planted here. Luckily this was the only damage we found, and it shouldn't be too hard to clean up. Also lucky it is the tree top from a sweet gum ball tree, my least favorite tree of all because of the spiky sweet gum balls it drops every fall/winter.

Tree Branches Smash Peony Garden

Tree Branches Cover Peony Garden

Now I feel a bit ancy to get out there and start cleaning it up. It looks like it knocked a small obelisk I have a little sideways, and I'm worried about what peony flowers it might have damaged as well. There are branches everywhere in that garden, and I want to get them picked up so they're not smashing any peony growth buds for next year. It's not over yet. More rain is coming. We still have a flash flood watch until 8pm tonight. Our power has been off once, but luckily it's been restored. Let's hope the soggy ground doesn't take down any more trees. However in the scheme of things, I'm sure this is really, really small. The damage that is still to come in the days and weeks ahead from flooding all across our state is sure to be devastating. I can only hope that we will overcome all of this together. The sun will shine again.

Sweet Gum Tree Branches Cover Peony Garden

Green Sweet Gum Balls Hand from Fallen Tree Top


  1. I happened upon your blog while researching about peonies that grow well in the south and whether to provide afternoon shade. I'm excited to receive a bartzella peony this fall! I enjoyed your blog. Glad you survived Florence. We are near Raleigh so we we're nervous too! Thank you for posting the photos of the people garden in China. I am inspired to plant more if the voles don't eat the bartzella next year.

    1. Hello,

      I think you will really enjoy your Peony 'Bartzella'. It grows fabulously here every year, is an APS Gold Medal Winner, and is also a Southern Peony Best Performer ( The voles never bother my peonies. I don't think they like the roots.

      Yes, I am so thankful that Hurricane Florence weakened before it got to us. I put away everything on my deck before it was forecast to hit. Oh well, it gave me an excuse to power wash the deck (which it was badly in need of) while everything was still put away!