Friday, June 3, 2016

2016 APS Peony Convention Tour of Solaris Farms

Nate Bremer Giving us an Introduction to Solaris Farms

Okay, I think the tour of Solaris Farms can be summed up in two words: PEONY HEAVEN. If you missed the tour of Nate Bremer's farm today, you missed a rare chance at a peek inside of not only a great peony farm, but a spectacular display garden, and a working hybridizers's garden too. There are treats everywhere for every kind of peony lover there is - from novice collector to connoisseur, from scholar to hybridizer to even peony grower. Every person I talked to said it was hard to find a peony they didn't want, and I wasn't the only one proclaiming his garden "peony heaven". The phrase passed many lips, and the garden sparked the imagination of so many - with ideas of from Nate's garden that they wanted to incorporate into their own, whether it be the immaculately kept weed-free beds, to the gently shaded peony rows.

Tree Peony 'Shiamine Chojuraku' at Solaris Farms

The design and layout of the garden is ultra organized with matching hand lettered, wood burned signs giving you directions around the garden and a peek inside the ideals of his hybridizing program. I like that his goals were right there in the garden spelled out on a huge natural, wooden sign - with him every day - reminding him of the qualities he most desires from his hybrids. His ideologies are evident not only on the sign, but in the beauty surrounding you in his gardens. Healthy, floriferous plants smile at you at every turn, begging a closer look and perhaps a photo or two or three!

Solaris Farms Seedling Field Sign with Hybridizing Goals

If you need a break from visiting the flower fields, there are many shaded and quiet spots in the garden where you could find a nice place to relax. There are picnic tables, benches tucked under flowering trees, arbors covered with vines to provide a bit of extra shade, and even a hammock hanging underneath a row of trees overlooking the peony fields. All of the planting beds are nicely edged with grass or rocks. The mulched beds contain paths of slate and stepping stones, leading you on a garden adventure through beds of peonies, daylilies, and lilium. A big, fluffy brown and white collie dog was happy to see the visitors as well and toured the garden with us. A bit of whimsy and an element of delight is added to the garden by the 'Tornado Chimes' - large musical instruments to be played by the wind with cast iron pots and old metal farm tools and equipment hung from ropes. (Of course I had to play them too!) There are so many unique plants to see and garden nooks to enjoy here, I wished we could have stayed and explored Solaris Farms all day.

Nate Bremer and Me at Solaris Farms

No comments:

Post a Comment