Tuesday, March 29, 2022

2022 Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah' at Local Nursery!

I couldn't really believe it, at first. An Intersectional Peony I've never seen before, for sale at my local nursery!?! I was actually interested in it, but then I saw the price tag $99, and it scared me off. There was also only 1 of this variety, and it looked at little smaller than the other intersectional peonies they were selling. I also didn't see a bloom bud on it. I believe I kept myself at a distance since the price was so high. So I actually left the nursery - Logan's Garden Shop, and went on shopping to see what else was being offered this spring.

Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah' at Local Nursery

I actually went to Homewood Nursery to see what they were selling this year. I wasn't actually looking for a peony that day, when I found 2022 Peonies at Local Nurseries - Logan's Garden Shop & Homewood Nursery. I was really looking for anemones, the small, short growing single variety, in hot pink, red, and white. I had just seen them growing in nearby Edenton, NC when we took a weekend trip for our anniversary. Those anemones were so bright, and their colors just popped in the early spring garden, blooming with the snowdrops. Alas, I did not find any anemones, but I kept thinking about the Intersectional Peony, 'Haleigh's Hallelujah'...

Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah' Plant Tag

I figured that no matter which catalog or grower I ordered this plant from, the price would probably be $50-$100 anyway, 2022 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List (and actually I've never seen it offered before since I've been doing my intersectional peony price list - way back to 2013!) So even if someone did offer it, the price would likely be closer to $100 since it is still rare. Also you'd have to pay a shipping fee to get it to your house (on top of the price of the root). And - it would be a root, this one is a decent sized plant growing in a large 3 gallon pot!

Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah'

Anyway, I rationalized my way back to Logan's Plant Shop! Ha Ha! 😃 Luckily, the plant was still there and had not been sold (since it was the only one of that variety). Also when I got back to it, I examined it a bit closer, and it did actually have some bloom buds on it. I was thinking earlier that it did not. I think I wouldn't really let myself get close enough to it to really look at it, since the price tag had scared me off! In the end I was able to purchase my very own Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah', and I'm very glad I did, as it is actually a peony that was hybridized by my friend Don Smith, who I interviewed in 2016 Peony Hybridizer Interview - Don R. Smith. Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah', was actually named after Don Smith's daughter - Haleigh!

I can't wait to grow it!!

Saturday, March 26, 2022

2022 Peonies at Local Nurseries - Logan's Garden Shop & Homewood Nursery

Peonies at Local Nursery - Logan's Garden Shop

When I went out today to look at a couple of local nurseries, I found several varieties of peonies for sale! If you are looking for a quick way to get a peony started or to get started with peonies, buying a potted peony in spring can be a great way to jump start your collection! If you can find one in bloom or in bud with the color showing - even better! That way you can feel a little more sure of what you're getting.

Peonies at Local Nursery - Homewood Nursery

The peonies I saw today were not in bloom. They were in the stem and foliage growth stage, just the same as the peonies growing in my garden. If you do plan to purchase a potted peony this spring, be sure to get it into the ground as soon as possible before the summer weather arrives and it turns so hot! Any extra time they can get to become acclimated to their new home while the temps are still a little cool will be good.

Intersectional Peonies at Local Nursery - Homewood Nursery

Both of the nurseries I visited, both Logan's Garden Shop & Homewood Nursery were offering both the traditional herbaceous peonies and several intersectional varieties as well. I even saw some pretty new intersectional peony varieties like Intersectional Peony 'Pink Double Dandy' (aka Keiko), Intersectional Peony 'Belle Toulousaine', and Intersectional Peony 'Duchesse de Lorraine'. The prices were in the range of $40 for the herbaceous peony varieties and the range of $90-$120 for the intersectional peony varieties.

Herbaceous Peonies at Local Nursery - Logan's Garden Shop

The prices for these potted peonies are definitely more costly than purchasing a root from a grower, but you are really buying time. If you didn't purchase a peony root last year and plant it last fall (to see it grow this spring), then you'd really have to wait until next year to even see your peony grow if you are planning to buy a bare root this year. Also many bare root peony divisions won't bloom their first year to two, or sometimes they bloom the very first year, then won't bloom for another year or two. They need time to become established. These potted peonies are already established as plants on their own and will likely continue to bloom for you year after year, assuming you plant your peony in a location where it is happy!

Logan's Garden Shop Sale - 20% Peonies when you buy 3 or More -

Logan's even had a sale on peonies today - 20% off when you buy 3 or more! I am so happy to be able to support local family businesses in my area, and I hope you are able to do the same where you live! Buying local means a lot to the local economy, the local stores, the local people who own those businesses, and the local people that work there! So I hope you will Shop Small, Shop Local! and look for local plant nurseries near you (that just might already have their first shipment of peonies in)!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

2022 American Peony Society Convention Donation - Intersectional Peony 'Hillary'

This past Sunday I got an email request for donation from the American Peony Society (as all APS members should have received), and although I am not a commercial peony grower, and I definitely do not have fields or even a field of peonies, I still decided to donate a peony to the auction. If you are an APS member and have a home garden like me, I hope you too will consider donating a plant to the auction. Each year this APS auction is the main fundraiser for the APS organization, and it helps support the APS convention and bulletin publishing costs.

Intersectional Peony 'Hillary'

The peony that I decided to donate is Intersectional Peony 'Hillary'. It is definitely one of my favorite intersectional peonies, and it is also a Southern Peony Best Performer. This peony grows so well here that it will make a very large bush (which can also be divided). Even after division, this plant bounces back and keep on growing. The blooms on this plant are stunning, and as you can see from this photo (from our bloom season last year), the petals can slowly fade to an almost pastel like bloom, while the new flowers open a bright reddish-pink! This Intersectional Peony 'Hillary' is as stunning in person as it is in photos (or perhaps more)!

Monday, March 21, 2022

2022 First Tree Peony Bud of the Season!

First Tree Peony Bud of the Season

It is a simple, nameless tree peony seedling, but it is so lovely to see this first pale pink bud appear so early in the season! A harbinger of beautiful sights to come! When in full bloom, these P. Ostii tree peony flowers look mostly white, but it is so nice to see this beautiful blush of pink before these flowers are fully open! The petals look so delicate and soft, like beautiful wisps of pale pink crepe paper!

Pale Pink Bud on Tree Peony Ostii

I hope all of your gardens are growing well, and your tree peony seasons are upon you or quickly approaching! (And if you don't grow tree peonies yet, now might be a good time to consider it - since growing tree peonies is almost like having a whole other peony season/show before the herbaceous peony flowers show up!) 🙂

Pale Pink Bud of Tree Peony Ostii

Sunday, March 20, 2022

2022 Registered for the American Peony Society Convention!

I can hardly believe it!! Today I registered for the American Peony Society's 2022 Annual Convention! I must say it is like a breath of fresh air to feel like we can try to get back to some sense of normalcy. The covid-19 numbers have been dropping, and I'm sure it won't be gone forever, but at least now we have vaccines to help prevent/reduce infections, medicines designed to treat it, and have learned so much about how to prevent illness. I myself am fully vaccinated, and I am so looking forward to seeing all of my peony friends at the convention! It has been too long!!

American Peony Society Convention Registration

If you feel comfortable and ready to get back to peony conventioning, I hope you'll register too! It will be so nice to break bread and share stories with fellow peony lovers, to feel the collective joy and energy we all generate and receive from this love of our favorite (at least my favorite!) flower!! I am also particularly excited that my Mom has decided to join me at the convention this year. What a treat! I can't wait to see the beautiful fields of peonies at the University of Michigan's Nichols Arboretum and catch up with fellow peony friend, David Michener. I'm sure he's going to be a busy guy this year! Don't forget about all the beautiful blooms in the peony exhibition, and I can't wait to see what is up for auction at this year's convention!!

Thursday, March 17, 2022

2022 Seeing Green (Peonies) on St. Patrick's Day!

Peony & Iris

On this St. Patrick's Day, I wanted to reflect not on being lucky or making our own luck, but on gratitude for all the things we have to feel lucky for. There are so many sad events going on all over the world that have a real impact and toll on people, and I do wish for peace for all of those in turmoil. I think with that, the current state of the world should help us all reflect not just on the small things in life that we may sometimes under appreciate, our safety, our freedom, our health, our food and water, our homes (and gardens!)...

Daffodils & Peony 'Flame'

Peony 'Flame'

We should also reflect on how we as small part of the larger human whole can all do our part to be kind to each other on a daily basis, and kind not just to those who look like us or talk like us or dress like us, but kind to everyone, and kind to those especially that are different. For when we push a part of the human whole into the "other", we create unnecessary conflict. It is up to all of us to do our parts to welcome and include and be kind to all humans, because we are all human.

Tree Peony, Hellebores, & Camellias

So I wanted to take a small part of my St. Patrick's Day today to be thankful for even just seeing the slow and steady passage of time through nature, the tiny green growth springing forth from the ground. The renewal and rebirth of life, that faithfully returns, ever hopeful, a reminder of the good in nature that we are all a part of...