Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2014 Intersectional Peony Fungal Diseases

Intersectional Peony 'Misaka'
with Phytophthora? Fungal Disease

This year I noticed the same three intersectional peonies had the same fungal diseases they did last year. I was wondering if there was anything I could do to prevent it next year or if I need to get rid of the entire plant. None of my other intersectional peonies have any diseases to speak of. However these 3 specimens were apparently sold to me with the diseases, unfortunately. The intersectional peony pictured above, Peony 'Misaka', I purchased as a potted plant from a local nursery, and it did seem a little suspect when I bought it. I'm wondering if it has Phytophthora blight because of the curled, deformed leaves. Plus I've seen plenty of Botrytis blight on my herbaceous peonies before, and this seems to be a little different. I guess I know better now than to buy anything that seems a little iffy. However the two intersectional peonies pictured below were both purchased as roots from two different reputable growers. I had never seen any incidence of Peony Blotch in my garden until I got these two intersectional peonies with the disease, Peony 'Layfayette Escadrille' and Peony 'Scarlet Heaven'. That is interesting because both of those 2 intersectionals are red in color. I wonder if they are somehow related and more susceptible to the Peony Blotch fungus.

Intersectional Peony 'Scarlet Heaven'
with Peony Blotch Fungal Disease

Intersectional Peony 'Lafayette Escadrille'
with Peony Blotch Fungal Disease

When researching these diseases on Google, I found this awesome page on Peony Problems on the Missouri Botanical Garden web site. It seems like the only thing I can try to get rid of these fungal diseases is to make sure to cut these peonies all the way back to the ground in the fall. I will try that and hope it works, since I usually don't cut my intersectional peonies all the way back. I try to cut them back only to their lowest surviving bud, which usually keeps a bit of the stem there. I hope it does work, since the MOBOT web page seems to suggest removing and discarding the plant and its soil entirely as the only other alternative. I hope it doesn't come to that... :-(

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2014 Peony Bloom Color Classifications

Wow, I have collected a lot more information on peony blooms this year. I've added 8 new RHS colors including Purple Brown 183A, Light Violet 69C, Purple Pink N74C, Light Pink 54D, Orange Red 39B, Dark Pink Red 51B, Light Yellow Orange 23C, and Light Yellow 4D. The range of peony bloom colors just continues to amaze me. I have also added 43 new peony variety color classifications to my Peony Bloom Colors page! This color information can be a handy reference if you are looking for a peony of a certain color to help you coordinate or contrast bloom colors in your garden. So if you haven't seen it yet, check out our Colors page.

Peony Bloom Color RHS Classifications

Monday, May 26, 2014

2014 Peony 'Myra MacRae' Best Performer - Week 6

When I look out in my garden, almost all of the peonies have faded by this time in the season. However one stellar bloomer stands out in an otherwise almost empty peony garden, Peony 'Myra MacRae'. This peony has increased steadily each year, and the blooms have become larger and more gorgeous with each spring season. The flowers on this peony are so large and heavy that support is a must. Without support I couldn't have selected this peony as a Best Performer, since all of the blooms would be on the ground otherwise. This is the first year I put a peony support on any peony, and Peony 'Myra MacRae' was my first choice. The blooms are such a lovely pink violet Color. Peony 'Myra MacRae' is also an American Peony Society Gold Medal winner from 1998. So if you are willing to add some support for a peony and are looking for a great late season bloomer, Peony 'Myra MacRae' will definitely give you some late season smiles.

Peony 'Myra MacRae'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Peony 'Myra MacRae'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Sunday, May 25, 2014

2014 Peony Blooms - Late - Week 6

As the peony season winds down, the color range and peony types certainly decrease. As you can see there are mostly pink and white, double and bomb type peonies blooming now. Peony 'Candy Stripe' bloomed for the first time for me this year and was a welcome addition to the otherwise similar late season blooms. Its bright markings give it a distinct appearance in the garden. Peony 'Eden's Perfume' and Peony 'Doris Cooper' are both very full bomb type peonies, and Peony 'Eden's Perfume' does have a nice scent. Peony 'Moonstone', Peony 'Kelway's Glorious', and Peony 'Elsa Sass' are all nice double peonies, with Peony 'Elsa Sass' being an American Peony Society Gold Medal winner from 1943. So if you are looking for a late season, award winning peony to add to your collection, Peony 'Elsa Sass' may be the peony you're looking for.
Peony 'Candy Stripe'
Peony 'Eden's Perfume'
Peony 'Moonstone'
Peony 'Doris Cooper'
Peony 'Kelway's Glorious'
Peony 'Elsa Sass'

Saturday, May 24, 2014

2014 American Peony Society Convention in Ohio

It's only 2 weeks away, and I wish I could attend! If you're going to be in the Ohio area the weekend of June 6-8th, you should definitely plan a stop at the Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio. The 2014 American Peony Society Convention will be held there, and if you've never been before, what a sight to behold! There are endless tables of peonies, the likes of which you'll only see once a year in the United States. If you want to see more peony varieties in one room than you'll ever see blooming at once in any garden, you should definitely make a plan to be at an APS convention. Peony growers and home gardeners from all over the country bring peony blooms they've either freshly cut or held in cold storage for weeks to the convention. So there are 7 weeks of peony blooms in bloom all at once at the annual APS convention. The information for the 2014 APS Convention is also listed on the American Peony Society Facebook page under Events.

American Peony Society Facebook Page

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2014 Intersectional Peony Blooms - Late Mid - Week 5

Well, it seems the late season intersectional peonies were dominated by yellow this year. Peony 'Cora Louise' was the only non-yellow intersectional peony blooming this week, and those lovely pink purple flares in the center of her blossom really stood out. Yes, that photo of Peony 'Yellow Crown' that looks like it is upside down is really not. That's how most of the flowers bloom. The blossoms on Peony 'Yellow Crown' are just so loaded with petals that the heavy bloom is just too much for the stems to bear! Peony 'Garden Treasure' is actually a bit floppy too. However I was still able to get a few good pictures of its blooms. Peony 'Bartzella' is definitely the most upward facing full petalled yellow intersectional in my garden. What a beauty!
Intersectional Peony
'Cora Louise'
Intersectional Peony
'Garden Treasure'
Intersectional Peony
Intersectional Peony
'Yellow Crown'

Monday, May 19, 2014

2014 Southern Peony Best Performers By Week

Southern Peony Best Performer
In case you were hoping to expand your blooms season, and were wondering what varieties would do best in a southern climate, I've added a table to my Southern Peony Best Performers page to help you find what you're looking for. This table is a handy reference of the peonies that do well for me here in my climate and whose individual flowers look good alone and together on the bush. I select the most impressive bush each week of my growing season (if there is one), and give them this designation to help all of you select the best varieties for your growing climate. I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any Questions, please send them in!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

2014 Peony Blooms - Late Mid - Week 5

The weather was quite harsh for peonies this week. We had our first 90 degree day since September. So the peony blooms really started to suffer. It had been a couple weeks since it had last rained, and before that it had been raining about every week. So we really needed the rain. We finally got 2.5 inches on Thursday night. However the rain came all at once pouring down and pushing the heavy double peony blooms to the ground. The storm also came with lots of wind to blow around those heavy, rain-laden peony blooms, further damaging their appearance. So it was challenging to get some good peony photos this week. However I did manage to get a few before the rain and a couple that opened after the rain was finished. Peony 'Topeka Garnet' first bloomed for me this year, and it was also selected as the APS Gold Medal winner in 2012.
Peony 'Topeka Garnet'
Peony 'Kansas'
Peony 'Pink Derby'
Peony 'Raspberry Sundae'
Peony 'Myra MacRae'
Peony 'Old Faithful'

Saturday, May 17, 2014

2014 Chinese Tree Peonies from Ali Express

Chinese Tree Peonies 1 & 2 from Ali Express - April 2014

Chinese Tree Peonies 3 & 4 from Ali Express - April 2014
Chinese Tree Peonies 5 & 6 from Ali Express - April 2014

The photos above are of the Ali Express Chinese Tree Peonies $5.52 for 3! as they were just beginning to leaf out in April. The photos below are of the same Chinese tree peonies about a month later. As you can see from the photos, all 6 of the tree peonies that arrived did leaf out, which is great 100% viability. However if you look closely at the photos a month later, you will see that, sadly, one of the peonies (tree peony #4) did not make it. Not long after leafing out, the foliage of tree peony #4 just seemed to wither and shrink, and sadly it has not re-sprouted. Some other good news about these tree peonies is that each of the foliage and stem coloring appears to be different. So it seems they all may be different varieties (as requested). I'm excited to see how fast these tree peonies grow, how long it takes to get the first bloom, and what the blooms will look like on these peonies. Even though these peonies did not turn out to be $5.52 for 3 (they were actually $5.52 each), that is still an awesome deal, considering all of them were viable. Anyway it seems Ali Express may be the place to buy tree peonies (if you can find the right vendor - I did end up getting only peony seeds from some vendors that advertised an actual tree peony). LOL

Chinese Tree Peonies 1, 2, & 3 from Ali Express - May 2014

Chinese Tree Peonies 4, 5, & 6 from Ali Express - May 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 Favorite Peony Seedling - Semi-Double Pink Violet

Oh! I love it! My favorite peony seedling to bloom this year. It is a child of Peony 'Lavender Princess', and it was planted it 2008, and it first bloomed this year. The bloom is 6 inches in size, and the color of its blooms is RHS 75C Pink Violet. I will definitely have to keep watch over this one to see if it has potential. I haven't seen one on the market quite like this, and I love its multitude of lavender petals. We'll see how well it increases and how disease resistant it is. I'm also curious to see if the bloom form changes next year on a more mature plant. This year there are over 35 petals with a very tight center of yellow stamens. If it is fertile and produces seed well, then it may be a good breeding plant as well.

Favorite Peony Seedling Bloom
Pink Violet Semi-Double Peony

2008 Seedling of Peony 'Lavender Princess'

Peony Seedling Bed

Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 Peony Bouquets Yellow Itoh & Pink Herbaceous

It is past Mother's Day, but these are the first two bouquets I've cut for myself this year. I did give my mother a bouquet of mixed pink herbaceous peonies for Mother's Day. When I brought them to the restaurant with me, everyone I passed that was waiting for their tables commented on how lovely and beautiful they were. I'm sure my Mom was the envy of several other mothers that day. I realized that my peony season is almost half over, and I hadn't even brought a bouquet inside for myself. Since it hasn't rained in quite some time, and there was a storm coming, I decided to cut a few before the rain ruined them anyway.

Yellow Intersectional Peony Bouquet

I decided to cut one yellow bouquet and one pink bouquet. The yellow bouquet is a mixed intersectional (or Itoh) peony bouquet comprised of Peony 'Bartzella', Peony 'Garden Treasure', and Peony 'Yellow Crown'. The mixed pink herbaceous peony bouquet is made up of Peony 'Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt', Peony 'Pink Derby', Peony 'Queen of the Dawn', and two other unknown pink double peonies. If you've still got some peonies blooming outside, now might be the time to cut a few while they are still in season. Bring them in and enjoy their beauty and fragrance!

Mixed Pink Herbaceous Peony Bouquet

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2014 Intersectional Peony Blooms - Mid - Week 4

There was lots more color this week in the intersectional peony garden compared to last week's 2014 Intersectional Peony Blooms - Early Mid - Week 3 which was mostly pinks and purples. This week there were reds, yellows, whites, and pinks. Peony 'Keiko' and Peony 'Yellow Emperor' were both new to my garden last fall, and both of them bloomed for the first time for me this year. Peony 'Scarlet Heaven' and Peony 'White Emperor' both bloomed last year for the first time and both returned even stronger with more blooms this year. It was nice to have two 'Emperor's in the garden this year!
Intersectional Peony
'Scarlet Heaven'
Intersectional Peony
'Yellow Emperor'
Intersectional Peony
'Keiko' 愛幕 (Adored)
Pink Double Dandy
Intersectional Peony
'White Emperor'

Intersectional peonies are great growers and seem to increase much faster than the traditional herbaceous peonies most commonly grown here in the US. So if you're looking for a peony that won't disappoint, then you should definitely give one of the intersectional peonies available a try. If you're not sure where to start, you can check out the handy price list I compiled this year, 2014 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List. Happy Gardening!

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 Peony 'Morning Lilac' Best Performer - Week 4

Just the purple color would be enough, but that's not all. Peony 'Morning Lilac' was loaded with blooms this year that just kept coming. The flowers are huge, up to 7" in size. The foliage is strong and green, and makes a nice bush on which the up facing flowers sit atop. Peony 'Morning Lilac' is an intersectional peony (a cross between a tree peony and an herbaceous peony) with the best characteristics from both worlds - a strong grower and a wider range of flower color. The blooms are beautiful to look at with dark purple flares emanating from a golden ring of stamens at the center. For unbeatable purple color, reliable blooms, and a strong growing peony that you'll soon be able to divide and share, Peony 'Morning Lilac' is a great choice for Southern gardens.

Peony 'Morning Lilac'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Peony 'Morning Lilac'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Peony Blooms - Mid - Week 4

Lots of double and bomb type peonies started opening this week. If you take a look at last week's 2014 Peony Blooms - Early Mid - Week 3 peony pictures, you'll notice lots of variation in color, but the majority of the flowers were the single type peonies. Now this week we've got big fluffy doubles like Peony 'Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt', some anemone type flowers like Peony 'Top Hat' and Peony 'Gay Paree', and bomb type peonies like Peony 'Ann Berry Cousins' and Peony 'Etched Salmon'. There are also some single peonies still opening like Peony 'America'. Enjoy!
Peony 'Top Hat'
Peony 'America'
Peony 'Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt'
Peony 'Ann Berry Cousins'
Peony 'Etched Salmon'
Peony 'Gay Paree'

Saturday, May 10, 2014

2014 Chinese Tree Peony Seeds from Ebay Sprouted

As I said in my last post about peony seedlings, Peony Seedlings from Cricket Hill - P. Rockii, Ebay seems to be the place to buy peony seeds. This is a photo of the Chinese tree peony seedlings that sprouted from the peony seeds I bought on Ebay in the fall. Here is what they looked like when the Chinese Tree Peony Seeds Started to Sprout in March. So as you can see they have grown quite a bit since then. Also there are several more varieties growing now. In March only two of the varieties had sprouted, the blue (P3) and the green (P4). Now 5 out of the 6 colors have sprouted - black (P2), blue (P3), green (P4), pink (P5), and red (P6). The only seeds that haven't sprouted from this group are the white (P1). Aside from the white seeds which didn't germinate, the germination rates ranged from 10% (2 out of 20) for the red to 40% (8 out of 20) for the blue. The overall germination rate was 20% (24 out of 120). However considering the price I paid for these Chinese Tree Peony Seeds from Ebay ($2.50, shipping included), I think that's an awesome deal for 24 baby tree peonies. :-)

Friday, May 9, 2014

2014 First Unique Herbaceous Peony Seedling Blooms

Peony Seedling of
Peony 'Pink Princess'
Peony Seedling of
Peony 'Lady Alexandra Duff'

Well, my First Peony Seedlings bloomed for the first time this year. How exciting to see unique peony blooms that no one else has seen before. I can't say they are the best blooms I've ever seen, but they definitely are colorful. They are also certainly fun to watch open. The first peony seedling to bloom is a seedling of Peony 'Pink Princess', and the second peony seedling to bloom is a seedling of Peony 'Lady Alexandra Duff'. As you can see there are still lots more buds that have yet to open. So I am still very excited to see all of the new peony faces that have yet to greet me. If nothing else, it makes me want to grow more peonies from seed! Even if the majority of these peonies do not turn out to be registration worthy peonies, at least I will have lots of peonies to share at the fall garden swap, just another way to share my love of peonies. :-)

Peony Seedling Bed Blooms on the First Day

Peony Seedling Bed Blooms on the Second Day