Thank you for your replies. I live in zone 7 in California at 4100 feet on the
southern tip of the Sierra Nevadas. We usually get one or two more snow storms
before or on Mother's day. The weather was warmer today, so I took the risk and
planted all the bare roots and plants. They did not come with instructions, so
I had to read up on them in my gardening books. Our local nurseryman told me to
wait until the middle of May to plant, but I decided not to heed his warnings!
The peonies already have buds on them; however, the roots (which are big),
seemed to have been trimmed off. As a result, I cannot figure out which way is
up. I planted with the buds closest to the surface pointing up, making sure the
buds are about an inch underground. I hope this is right. All the other roots
are also of good quality. I was clueless about planting the clematis roots, but
treated it the same way as the peonies. Ditto the echinacea root.
I made a mistake in my first post; the buddleja and monarda are actually whole
plants, and so I just stuck them in the ground in amended well-drained soil. I
hope the bare roots and plants will survive the next two winter storms. Will
mulching help to protect them from freezing?