Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2009 Fall Peony Foliage

Peony 'Coral Fay'

Peony 'Prairie Moon'

Fall is just around the corner. So I decided to take some pictures of the fall foliage today. Some of my peonies have already gone dormant for the season like 'Coral Fay'. Others are still going strong with very few signs of wear, like 'Prairie Moon'. Still others are showing signs that the season is very near to the end with powdery mildew and botrytis blight. After growing peonies for 6 years in this location, this is the first year I've ever had powdery mildew. We did have plenty of rain this year. So maybe that had something to do with it. Botrytis blight, however, is a constant.

Powdery Mildew

Botrytis Blight

Sunday, September 6, 2009

2009 Peony Seed Planting

I got the seeds planted in the peony test bed today. Some of them had shriveled quite a bit even though it has only been four days since I collected them. I know some instructions say you have to put them in a bag with moistened peat moss in the fridge, etc. to get them to germinate, but I've had really good luck just planting them in the ground and letting Mother Nature handle things. I finally got around to making the signs to label the peony seedlings. I have planted peony seeds since 2007. So I should have my first flower by 2012! You can see the 2008 peony seedlings in the upper left of this picture. So the seedlings are actually quite small their first year. Peonies are a practice in patience, which I need to learn more of anyway...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

2009 Peony Seeds

Today I gathered the peony seeds from their pods. It was a dismal year for seed production. With all of the rain we had during the peony bloom season this year, open pollination was greatly reduced. The rain caused many of the blooms to rot. I was about a month late collecting the seed this year. So a couple of varieties of seed may have been lost because of my delay. From over 50 blooming varieties, I ended up with seed from 8 of them. The most notable was seed from 'Coral Charm'. I will be curious to see if the seed is viable. Only spring will tell..

Southern Peony Welcome

Welcome to the Southern Peony blog. This should be a good place to learn more about peonies as I learn about peonies and how they perform in southern climates. I have always loved peonies ever since I was a small girl admiring them in my grandmother's garden. This is my journey growing, evaluating, dividing, and hybridizing my favorite flower.