When the first few plants in my garden started to flower, I couldn't believe my mother suggested I pinch off the buds. That seemed to completely defeat the purpose and rob me of the fruits of my labor. So naturally, I refused. As a result, my garden that first year was so sad. Everything I planted stayed very small and the few flowers I did get only lasted about a week.
Last year, my mother took over. If she saw even the slightest hint of a bud, CHOP! It irritated me to no end. But what was even more irritating was that it worked. All of my plants got noticeably bigger throughout the summer, and by September, we still had flowers.
The real reward, however, arrived this year. In the spring there were so many peonies, I couldn't keep up. The more I cut, the more they bloomed. It's true what they say, sleep, creep, LEAP! Now I just need to learn how to control that growth (and that is a good problem to have).