Tuesday, April 30, 2019

2019 White Peonies En Masse in Front of the House

White Peonies, Dianthus, Lamb's Ear in Front of House

Well, I must say that my project 4 years ago, 2015 Move Single White Peonies to Front of House, has been quite successful. I don't quite yet have the solid mass of flowers that Don Smith had amassed, but I do think my peonies are getting larger each year, and I'm sure I'll have another update with even more blooms in future years. The first year I planted these peony divisions, not all of them even bloomed the next spring. So we are steadily seeing growth and progress in these peony plants each year with more and more blooms. I can say that I really enjoy coming home and seeing my house at the end of each day. It is so nice to appreciate being home, and these bright white single peonies are quite the welcoming sight! Welcome home!

White Single Peonies and Lamb's Ear

White Peonies, Dianthus, Lamb's Ear Beside Front Walk

Dianthus and White Peonies

White Peonies, Dianthus, Lamb's Ear on Front Sidewalk

Monday, April 29, 2019

2019 Children in the Peony Garden

Maddox in Peony Seedling Bed

They are just too cute and young and innocent. It makes me so happy to see little ones in the garden, especially when the peonies are blooming. I just can't help but snap photos of them when the flowers are out and open. They are happy to oblige me when I ask them to pose with the peonies, sometimes even asking me to take their picture with the flowers. I can remember when Isabella was shorter than a peony plant, now she's almost taller than me! Maddox found one peony that was taller than him in the peony seedling bed, but this will probably be the last year that he is that small. They grow up so fast! I am trying to enjoy them as much as I can. I know they will only be young once, and I am always thinking about how I will miss them when they are small.

Isabella with Intersectional Peony 'Smith Family Yellow'

It was also nice to have so many kids in the garden this year at Easter. It reminded me of the Easter I used to have when I was a child at my Granny's (great grandmother's) house. All of my cousins would be there along with my brother and me. Granny loved to grow flowers too, and we would always hide some of the brightly colored Easter eggs in her colorful flowers every year (even though she told us not to every year). What better hiding spot for a colorful Easter egg than in a flower bed? :-) We hid the Easter eggs in my flowers this year as well. I usually find the missing Easter eggs that were too well hidden in my garden throughout the year. I've found 3 already this the past week! Oh, to be a child again and hunt Easter eggs in the garden!

Children Hunting Easter Eggs in the Peony Garden

I Found One!

Children Hunting Easter Eggs in the Peony Garden

Children Hunting Easter Eggs in the Peony Garden

Sunday, April 28, 2019

2019 Intersectional Peony Blooms Week 4 Mid

The intersectional peonies really came out in force this week. The quick rise in temperatures created quite the show, with many different colors opening this week. Most of these are peonies that have bloomed for me in the past, but it is always nice to see them reliably each year. Intersectional Peony 'Sonoma Blessing' is one of the intersectional peonies that bloomed for me for the first time this year, and it was a blessing to meet such a unique flower. Intersectional Peony 'Magical Mystery Tour' is another peony that bloomed for me for the first time, and it was quite a surprise to see how rich the color is upon opening. The blooms fade over time leaving multi-colored blossoms on the plant over time. Peony 'Berry Garcia' actually bloomed for me for the first time last year while I was gone to China. So seeing it for the first time this year, I really fell in love. Something about the complementary pastel color scheme just really excites me. The blooms are like a lovely shade of yellow cream with pink picotee edges, really charming!

Intersectional Peony 'First Arrival'

Intersectional Peony 'Takara' 慈悲 (Treasure) -
'Smith Opus 2'

Intersectional Peony 'Sonoma Blessing'

Intersectional Peony 'Sonoma by the Bay'

Intersectional Peony 'Yumi' 由美 (Possess Beauty) -
'Yellow Doodle Dandy'

Intersectional Peony 'Kopper Kettle'

Intersectional Peony 'Callie's Memory'

Intersectional Peony 'Morning Lilac'

Intersectional Peony 'Magical Mystery Tour'

Intersectional Peony 'Berry Garcia'

Saturday, April 27, 2019

2019 Peony Blooms Week 4 Mid

It was a really nice week for peony blooms this week, and I finally got some sunny time on the weekend to take some gorgeous pics!!! We had several days in the 80s. So our spring weather is disappearing quickly. Let's hope we get a few cool temps back so the peonies don't all melt/wilt on opening! There were several new peonies that opened for me for the first time ever this week. Well, Peony 'Pastelorama' technically bloomed last year, but I was on my China peony trip at the time. So this was the first year I actually got to see it bloom. Peony 'America' is a dependable stand by, and Peony 'Faithful Dream' actually did bloom for the first time ever this year. Peony 'Many Happy Returns' had a hard time with all of the rain this year, making its stems even more wavy/diseased than usual, but it was still able to open a few nice flowers. Peony 'Red Red Rose' bloomed for the first time ever as well, and I was very happy to see how much substance these bright red flowers have. The vivid colors of Peony 'Skylark' and Peony 'Lustrous' are just attention grabbing. Both Peony 'Coral Sunset' and 'Coral 'N Gold' each have their own enchanting shade of coral. Peony 'Zuzu' has been quite floriferous for me so far, and it is interesting to look at some of the shorter pointy petals on the interior of the bloom.

Peony 'Pastelorama'

Peony 'America'

Peony 'Faithful Dream'

Peony 'Many Happy Returns'

Peony 'Red Red Rose'

Peony 'Skylark'

Peony 'Lustrous'

Peony 'Coral Sunset'

Peony 'Coral 'N Gold'

Peony 'Zuzu'

Friday, April 26, 2019

2019 Herbaceous Peony 'Lake o' Silver' Achieves Explosive Growth From 8 to 40 Buds!

Peony 'Lake O Silver' Achieves Explosive Growth

It's hard to believe how fast this Peony 'Lake o' Silver' has grown! It went from 8 buds in 2018 to 40 buds this year in 2019! I first purchased this peony during the 2016 American Peony Society Convention. We went on several tours during the convention, and this peony was one of my 2016 Peony Purchases from Klehm's Song Sparrow Tour. Going from 8 buds to 40 buds is a 400% growth rate!!! I don't think I've ever seen any other peony in my garden grow quite that fast! If you are looking for a peony that will grow well in the South and grow fast, I would definitely check this Peony 'Lake o' Silver' out! I can't wait to see it in full bloom!

Peony 'Lake O Silver' Achieves Explosive Growth

Peony 'Lake O Silver' Achieves Explosive Growth

Peony 'Lake O Silver' Achieves Explosive Growth

Thursday, April 25, 2019

2019 Peony Experiment - Little Darlin' Intersectional Root Pieces Grow!

I guess you could say this experiment was also a success. All of the Intersectional Peony 'Little Darlin'' root pieces that I planted last fall, 2019 Peony Experiment - Planting Little Darlin' Intersectional Root Pieces have all grown (except one). And I must say that this experiment was not totally controlled since it seems that a dog or some other animal dug up several of these roots, and they had to be replanted. One of them was dug up multiple times, even after it was replanted. My guess is the one that didn't grow is probably a root that was dug up multiple times, and that perhaps affected its ability to grow and thrive.

Intersectional Peony 'Little Darlin'' Root Pieces Grow (4/19)

Also the one root that didn't grow was also on the left. According to the original experiment, I planted them in order of least root (on the left) to most root (on the right). The root on the far most left side, which was really just a nub with an eye on it, really had no roots. Actually there was one other nub with eyes on it, just a slight larger nub, that did grow. Basically this experiment seems to confirm the success I had with the Intersectional Peony 'Bartzella' in a similar previous experiment, 2013 Peony Experiments - Intersectional Divisions Grow (4/25). It seems that intersectional peonies have a great propensity to regenerate.

Intersectional Peony 'Little Darlin'' Root Pieces Grow

Taking some new photos almost a week later, it seems that the bud tips (one of them actually looked like it might bloom!) of the tallest plant have started to dry up and die back a bit. I'm guessing it overgrew it's root capacity. It will probably be just fine next year. All of the other smaller divisions still look green and healthy. The other reason it could be drying up a bit could also be due to the heat we've experienced this week. We didn't get much of a chance to experience weather in the 70s so far this year (they may get skipped). It has been in the 80s for several days now, accelerating our bloom season, and perhaps causing this stress to these new intersectional peony plant divisions. Hopefully the weather will even out soon! A few more slightly cool, slightly warm spring days would be nice before summer!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

2019 Peony Pollen Collection Tubes

I finally found something decent to put my tree peony pollen in, as I mentioned in my hybridizing article, 2019 Peony Hybridizing Season is Here! I bought these plastic tubes with screw on lids on Amazon last year. I didn't actually use them last year, though, as I purchased them right after tree peony season was over (and I decided I needed something better than just aluminum foil to save and store my pollen in). I have really been putting them to good use this year. I have collected 7 types of tree peony pollen so far this year - 'Angel Choir', 'Angel Emily', 'KC Red', 'Lavender Hill', 'Lavender Grace', 'Sahohime', and 'Shimadaijin'. I am so glad I purchased them, as they have really come in handy. I take them out into the garden when I want to pollinate some flowers, and then return them to the fridge when I am done.

Tree Peony Pollen in Plastic Tubes

I have been keeping them in the fridge with the lids off, but I plan to put the lids on and freeze them when I'm done with my hybridizing season for use in future years if I need them. At first I just put a little piece of tape on the lid with the pollen name on it, but then I also labeled the bottles too (so I will know what the pollen is when the lid is off). Also having the name on the lid and the bottle makes sure I don't intermix the pollen by putting the wrong lid on the wrong bottle. I also plan to write the year on them before I put them in the freezer, so I can keep track of how old they are, in case I need to throw some out in the future. If you'd like to get your own tubes for pollen collection, just search for "dime coin tubes". Yes, these are actually meant to hold coins! If you want to adjust the size to fit your needs, just look for the coin size you would prefer for your bottle circumference. Happy Pollinating!

Monday, April 22, 2019

2019 Severe Thunderstorms Damage to Peonies

Peony Damaged During Severe Thunderstorms

Luckily there wasn't much damage to the peonies here in the severe thunderstorm we had this weekend. I guess you could say we got off lucky. Two of our neighbors had large pine trees come down. One of them crashed through a standalone garage and really busted it up. Luckily no one was hurt. The worst we had here were some small sticks and dead branches that fell, nothing major. This is really the only damage to a peony that I found, and I'm sure that this peony will be fine. The peony stem was not broken, only smashed to the ground. So really all we needed to do was some minor cleanup, pick up an overturned potted tree, blow off the deck and driveway, and pick up lots of sticks!

Tree Peony 'Angel Choir'

Tree Peony 'Angel Choir'

Also it was nice to see this beautiful peony bloom after the storm was over. This is the first time this peony has bloomed for me. I planted it in 2017, as a fairly small division. I'm glad the "Angel" came out to sing after the storm. :-) I can't wait to see how this peony will look as it matures. It was my favorite peony in bloom when we toured Kris Casey's garden during the 2016 American Peony Society Convention. It looks like I never wrote an article about that garden tour. Perhaps I'll get back to it one day! You can tell from this photo how beautiful the plant looks when mature, with nice foliage cover, the blooms held high above the bush, and covered in huge, gorgeous white blooms!

Me with Tree Peony 'Angel Choir'

Sunday, April 21, 2019

2019 Intersectional Peony Blooms Week 3 Early Mid

There was actually only one intersectional peony in bloom this week, and only one single bloom has opened on the bush so far. It almost looks a bit like a rose opening up. I am always happy to see the blooms on Intersectional Peony 'Hillary'. This is quite a reliable peony bush, and quite a reliable bloomer as well. I have divided this peony into several pieces, and it has just shrugged it off, and zoomed back to its original size. The extra smaller pieces from it have grown as well. It was our giveaway prize last year to celebrate how much we've grown, 2018 Southern Peony Intersectional Peony 'Hillary' Winner Selected.

Intersectional Peony 'Hillary'

This plant is also a Southern Peony Best Performer. It was selected last year as a week 4 Southern Peony Best Performer, 2018 Peony 'Hillary' Best Performer - Week 4, which makes sense since it has only opened one bloom thus far in week 3. It will be awesome in Week 4 again this year! If you haven't yet added this intersectional peony to your collection, I highly recommend it! Intersectional Peony 'Hillary' has come down in price quite a bit too. So you can easily find this one around or below the $50 price point (as low as $35). Check out our 2019 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List for more pricing info.

Intersectional Peony 'Hillary'

Saturday, April 20, 2019

2019 Peony Blooms Week 3 Early Mid

The very early herbaceous peonies have definitely started to come out this week (mostly single and semi-double). It was nice to see a beautiful bloom on Peony 'Nova' this year, as I often don't get to see it (due to cold bud blast) or only get to see cold damaged flowers. Peony 'Coral Fay' offered her bright and deep reliable, early color again this year. 'Coral Sunset' just started to pop this week, and this bloom on Peony 'Paladin' was more gorgeous than usual with so many petals. Peony 'Horizon' went nuts this year with so many blooms! Peony 'Dreamtime' is just as I expected, and I am so grateful to see this one bloom for the first time. It really is "Dreamy"! Peony 'Roselette's Baby' didn't disappoint with her very dark and moody petals. Peony 'Juliska' also bloomed for the first time this year as well, and it was a nice early surprise to have such a large double blooming much sooner than the rest.

Peony 'Nova'

Peony 'Coral Fay'

Peony 'Coral Sunset'

Peony 'Paladin'

Peony 'Horizon'

Peony 'Dreamtime'

Peony 'Roselette's Baby'

Peony 'Juliska'