In this picture you can see the older beds did not get covered with the straw. The roots will be fine. The straw is only around the new bed to protect the roots. This winter the snow did a great job of keeping the roots covered and protected from the cold, but we do not want to plan for lots of snow!
Here you can see the straw of one of the sides just a little closer to protect the roots and I am hoping to protect some of the Dusty Millers too. I have, the odd time, been able to over winter Dusty Millers and have them for the second year. Be careful removing the straw so that the new buds do not get damaged.
Some of the peonies are starting to come up. This is an early cultivar called Lemon Chiffon. Some of the later types could wait little longer to remove the straw. The grass here is just starting to turn green. The areas across Canada vary so only remove the straw in your area when the snow is gone and the grass is starting to green up. As I walk around I can see the red buds of peonies starting to come up is several locations. There is so much to do in the spring. The first flowers to bloom for me are a member of the Iris family.
The Iris make an excellent companion to peonies. It is time for me to go weeding. Happy gardening and if you have a minute stop by www.peoniesworld.com and enjoy the pictures of the peonies.