Articles about Peony best performer
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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

2021 Peony 'White Cap' Southern Peony Best Performer - Week 5


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer

I must say that this peony 'White Cap' does have one flaw, its stems like to lay flat on the ground. So if you don't mind staking it, and you love the colors, then this is one peony you'll want to grow. This Peony 'White Cap' is growing in some of the most unamended, unloved soil in my garden, and it is still growing like there's no tomorrow! There aren't a lot of peonies that have the kind of rapid growth and tenacity of this peony while growing here in the South. With a huge number of blooms on every stem, making an explosion of color, this peony is a hit!


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Peony 'White Cap' is an herbaceous lactiflora peony, hybridized by Winchell and registered in 1956. The blooms just keep coming and coming on this peony due to the numerous side buds it produces. The bi-color anemone form of the bloom creates an eye-catching color-contrasting combo (hot pinky/purple & white) that really grabs your attention. If you want a peony that stands out in the garden this is it!


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer

As you can see from the photos, I have this peony staked up, and it seems to be very happy with the additional support. Some of you may remember last year, I decided to add this article on How to Make a Peony Support Ring from a Tomato Cage (specifically for Peony 'White Cap' as it neared the end of its bloom period). This year as it grew I just tried to make sure I tucked the peony stems into the tomato cage as the stems grew. As you can see it made a huge differnce!


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Sunday, December 19, 2021

2021 Peony 'First Arrival' Southern Peony Best Performer - Week 4


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Intersectional Peony 'First Arrival' was supposedly the first ever intersectional peony that bloomed for Roger Anderson from his intersectional peony breeding attempts. It sure is a beauty, and I don't think I've seen another intersectional peony on the market with a color quite like this one. It has a very nice pink color with a bit of a lavender tint. Intersectional Peony 'First Arrival' was hybridized by Roger Anderson and registered with the APS in 1986.


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer

This intersectional peony will fill up the bush with buds, which bloom over a few days giving a fresh set of blooms, while the old blooms fade cleanly from the bush all on their own. This Intersectional Peony 'First Arrival' grows well here in the South. My plant took a few years to settle in, but it really seems to be taking off now. The bush gets larger and has more blooms on it each year! The blooms on this plant are quite variable in number of petals and form, but most of them have a pleasing symmetrical shape with rounded petals. The very center of these blooms have small dark pink/purple flares, giving the blooms a delightful inner glow of color!


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Monday, May 4, 2020

2020 Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt' Southern Peony Best Performer - Week 6

When it comes to giant fluffy, perfectly pink and sweetly fragrant blooms, Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt' can't be beat! It really does shrug off our Southern heat. However the blooms are very top heavy and must also be staked. The Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt' plant in this picture is being supported by a peony support ring which was put in place before the foliage grew, and as you can see the flowers are still flopping over the edge of the support ring a bit. Another alternative to staking them up is to cut them and bring them indoors. This peony also produces multiple buds and blooms per stem (another reason the stems are so top heavy). As you can see in the photo, one of the stems had a giant bloom on it with 3 large buds about to open on the same stem. Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt' was registered by Lemoine in 1906, another classic beauty!


Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Monday, April 27, 2020

2020 Peony 'Festiva Maxima' Southern Peony Best Performer - Week 5

A Southern peony classic, Peony 'Festiva Maxima' is definitely a Southern Peony Best Performer. This peony will grow and multiply so well you will have enough to share with friends and neighbors. You can divide it easily, no problem, and this peony does not skip a beat. It is filled with loads of giant, fluffly double white blooms, with scattered red flecks in its center. The perfume is heavenly - you just can't get enough of its fragrance. The only downside to this peony is that the blooms are so heavy they will lay on the ground unless you stake or tie them up. As you can see I tied mine up after the blooms started to open. Your best bet for keeping these beauties looking their best is a peony cage or plant support ring put out when the foliage is first emerging. Peony 'Festiva Maxima' was hybridized by Miellez and registered in 1851, a true classic!


Peony 'Festiva Maxima'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Festiva Maxima'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Festiva Maxima'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Festiva Maxima'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Festiva Maxima'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Monday, April 20, 2020

2020 Peony 'Green Lotus' Southern Peony Best Performer - Week 4

This Peony 'Green Lotus' is like a machine! It is always, always full of blooms every single year. It is a very, very reliable bloomer. The blooms will just stay on the plant and stay on the plant. They are wild and unique and GREEN! I just love this plant!! The blooms like literally never fall off. They will open over time, but eventually every bloom on the plant will be open at the same time. Peony 'Green Lotus' was hybridized by Klehm and registered in 1995. If you want to add a unqiue peony to your garden that's sure to be something different, Peony 'Green Lotus' is it! :-)


Peony 'Green Lotus'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Green Lotus'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Green Lotus'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2019 Peony 'Smith Family Yellow' Best Performer - Week 5


Intersectional Peony 'Smith Family Yellow'
Southern Peony Best Performer

It didn't take long for this beauty to get to be a full sized magnificent plant. I first planted this Intersectional Peony 'Smith Family Yellow' in 2015, and it has grown rapidly ever since. This peony was hybridized by Don Smith, and he even mentions it as being one of his most popular with the public in my interview with him, 2016 Peony Hybridizer Interview - Don R. Smith. It was registered in 2002. So it's actually a pretty new peony to the market. I know that Peony 'Bartzella' is the gold (pun intended) standard of intersectional peonies, but this one is a little better to me. There is less red in the blooms, and the petals are a bit more regular and rounded. Each ones of the blooms is like a bright yellow sunshine on the bush. The blooms cover the bush well on all sides, and the bright yellow blooms of this peony just lift you up and make you feel sunny! It looks like there are 2 vendors offering it for sale this year (at the same price point I bought it for in 2015), 2019 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List. I'm sad to say it hasn't come down in price at all since I bought it 4 years ago, but it is worth every penny!


Intersectional Peony 'Smith Family Yellow'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Intersectional Peony 'Smith Family Yellow'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Intersectional Peony 'Smith Family Yellow'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Wednesday, May 1, 2019

2019 Peony 'Watermelon Wine' Best Performer - Week 4

I must say there is something about Peony 'Watermelon Wine' that really calls you from across the garden. I think it may be the vibrant hot pink color, the way it holds its blooms high above the plant, did I mention the enchanting color? Intersectional Peony 'Watermelon Wine' was hybridized by Roger Anderson and registered in 1999. This plant has grown really well every year in my garden since I've gotten it. Of course it came to me as a really huge root, so it had a great starting point. I can't wait to see how it continues to grow and bloom! There are a couple of peony growers offering this intersectional peony for sale this year. Check out our 2019 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List for availability and prices. This brazen beauty is very vigorous, quite a tall plant, and flowers reliably, and has HOT PINK flowers (a rare color for intersectional peonies these days).


Intersectional Peony 'Watermelon Wine'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Intersectional Peony 'Watermelon Wine'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Intersectional Peony 'Watermelon Wine'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

2018 Peony 'Topeka Garnet' Does it Again


Peony 'Topeka Garnet' 2018

Peony 'Topeka Garnet' performed so well in my garden this year, I just couldn't help but share it again. It was just named a Southern Peony Best Performer last year in 2017, and it is very well deserved. This peony has steadily increased in size and blooms every year it has been in my garden. The picture above is what it did in my garden this year, 2018, and the picture below was from last year, 2017. You can see there is a huge difference in both the size and the number of blooms, with unbelievable growth in the last year! There was such a astounding difference in the photos, that I just had to add this year's photo to the Peony 'Topeka Garnet' Southern Peony Best Performer page. This peony went from 3 stems in in 2013, to 7 stems in 2014, to 10 stems in 2015, to 12 stems in 2016, to 15 stems in 2017, to now 22 stems this year in 2018! The number of blooms on it was amazing. I love it when there is more bloom on the bush than there is green, and Peony 'Topeka Garnet' definitely delivered - with 29 gorgeous, red blooms this year!


Peony 'Topeka Garnet' 2017

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

2018 Peony 'White Emperor' Best Performer - Week 5

Of all the white intersectionals I grow, this one, Intersectional Peony 'White Emperor' has definitely performed the best for me so far. I'm not sure why there aren't more white intesectional peonies. I only know of two, and I believe they are both sports of yellow intersectional peonies. This one, Intersectional Peony 'White Emperor' is a sport of Intersectional Peony 'Yellow Emperor', which also grows well for me. Intersectional Peony 'White Emperor' is a consistent performer year after year, always growing and increasing in size and blooms. It was hybridized/discovered by Bill Seidl and registered in 1989. The blooms open with a creamy white center and become more white as the blooms age. If you haven't heard of Intersectional Peony 'White Emperor', I'm not surprised. It seems that not many people grow it, but they should. I've only seen it offered by Swenson Gardens (which is where I purchased it). According to my Price Lists, it looks like they are offering it this year for $100, and it is not yet sold out. Don't miss your chance! :-)

Intersectional Peony 'White Emperor'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Intersectional Peony 'White Emperor'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

2018 Peony 'Hillary' Best Performer - Week 4

Well, I believe the accolades for this beautiful peony are long overdue. This Intersectional Peony 'Hillary' is a stellar performer, and I feel very lucky to grow this plant in my garden. The colors on the gorgeous plant start out a beautiful shade of pink with a hint of coral. Over a few days the blooms fade to a paler peachy pink color, which is just as gorgeous. The effect of the new and old blooms on the plant creates a multi colored feast for the eyes on the bush. The blooms also feature a reddish flare in the center which becomes more prominent as the petals lighten in color. This intersectional peony was hybridized by Roger Anderson and registered in 1999. If you don't yet own this intersectional peony, I highly recommend it. It can typically be found in the $50 price range, and is listed from several sellers on my 2018 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List.

Intersectional Peony 'Hillary'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Intersectional Peony 'Hillary'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Intersectional Peony 'Hillary'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

2018 Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' Best Performer - Week 3

I do not cease to be amazed by this tree peony. I used to not really like tree peonies all that much, but I have to credit this one with changing my mind. Tree Peony 'Angel Emily' is a dream plant. It has wonderful vigor, increasing in size and blooms every year. Its bloom buds withstand our late freezes, and the color of the flower just blows your mind. This tree peony was hybridized by Bill Seidl and registered jointly by Bill and Nate Bremer in 2013. I missed being able to purchase it in 2013, but by 2014, I was ready to hunt it down. The pictures of this full grown plant on Solaris Farms' web site called to me! The semi-double flowers are a beautiful shade of lavender with just a hint of pink. The petals are large and ruffled, the center of which emanates a dark purple flare. If you missed your chance to purchase this one again this year (it is already sold out for 2018), make sure to put it on your 2019 peony purchase list!
Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Tree Peony 'Angel Emily'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2018 Tree Peony 'White Phoenix' Best Performer - Week 2

Of all the tree peonies I've tried to grow, this one is definitely the easiest to grow. It doesn't mind our heat. The bush gets larger every year - no shrinkage. And the blooms become more and more plentiful as well. It is a great start to the peony season, with plenty of brilliant white blossoms decorating a nice bush. Tree Peony 'White Phoenix' 鳳丹白(Feng Dan Bai) is a Chinese cultivar of p. ostii. If you don't grow any tree peonies, and are looking for a good one to start with, this one is it. It is relatively inexpensive (compared to most other tree peonies),is widely grown (so it should be easy to find), and really takes care of itself (requiring very little intervention). Also if you do already grow tree peonies, this one would be an easy going variety to add to your collection. It really is a great tree peony for all peony lovers.

Tree Peony 'White Phoenix' 鳳丹白(Feng Dan Bai)
Southern Peony Best Performer


Tree Peony 'White Phoenix' 鳳丹白(Feng Dan Bai)
Southern Peony Best Performer

Monday, May 1, 2017

2017 Peony 'Topeka Garnet' Best Performer - Week 4

I must say that I have been very impressed with how fast Peony 'Topeka Garnet' has developed in my garden. It has grown from 3 stems, to 7 stems, to 10 stems, to 12 stems, to now 15 stems this year. Each year its bud and blooms counts have been steadily increasing as well. This peony stands up in the face of heat, rain, and wind. It definitely thrives here in our warm Southern climate. This photo was taken after a big storm. As you can see a few of the blooms have been open for a few days and yet the bright red color is unaffected. The blooms have such good substance and the petals are so tough that they hang on even through a storm, giving you a nice red petaled show! The number of flowers on the bush is amazing, and I'd even already cut two stems to enter into the APS Exhibition this year! Peony 'Topeka Garnet' was hybridized by Bigger and registered in 1975. If you are looking for a good mid season red to add to your collection, I would highly recommend Peony 'Topeka Garnet'!

Peony 'Topeka Garnet'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Topeka Garnet'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Topeka Garnet'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Monday, April 24, 2017

2017 Peony 'Julia Rose' Best Performer - Week 3

I just can not stop looking at (or taking pictures of) this Peony 'Julia Rose' plant this year. Every bloom on the plant is gorgeous. The colors of the petals are beautiful ombres of pink, orange, and coral. This intersectional Peony 'Julia Rose' was hybridized by Roger Anderson and does not yet seem to be registered. However this plant has been on the market for quite some time. This plant holds the flowers nicely above the foliage and the blooms are spaced evenly around the plant. The blooms open over a period of time, so you get to enjoy the blooms for a couple weeks. If you don't yet grow Intersectional Peony 'Julia Rose', it should definitely be on your list. You can find this peony for sale from several growers on my 2017 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List. Good luck!

Intersectional Peony 'Julia Rose'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Intersectional Peony 'Julia Rose'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Monday, April 17, 2017

2017 Peony 'Lustrous' Best Performer - Week 2

I have loved this peony, Peony 'Lustrous', for years now. It is just so hard to get a photo of the plant with several blooms on it all at once! The buds usually open over a period of time instead of all at one time. So you don't get a plant full of blooms effect with this peony variety. However the upside of that is that you get to enjoy them bloom by bloom over a period of time. As you can see two of the flowers have already opened and faded in this photo, several are open, and there are 6 big fat buds on it still waiting to open! Peony 'Lustrous' was hybridized by A. P. Saunders and registered in 1942. It is one of the standout peonies in my Saunders peony garden. It is beautiful for it rare, true red coloring, its early season, and its very full, semi-double flowers when most other herbaceous peonies opening at this time are single petaled blooms. If you haven't yet added Peony 'Lustrous' to your early blooming peony collection, now's the time, so you too can enjoy these luscious red peony blooms!

Peony 'Lustrous'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Lustrous'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Friday, May 20, 2016

2016 Peony 'Guidon' Best Performer - Week 7

I have had Peony 'Guidon' for a long time now - (over 10 years!), and it always makes a huge bush with loads of flowers. There are always multiple buds per stem. Even with the weight of several very large and very double pink flowers, the extra strong stems usually keep most blooms off of the ground. The characteristic of having multiple buds per stems also allows the flowers to open over a longer period, keeping this peony full of flowers for a couple of weeks. Peony 'Guidon' was hybridized by C. J. Nicholls and registered in 1941. This peony is a late bloomer. However, it doesn't always bloom this late in my garden. This has just been quite a weird weather year. However, if you are looking for a late blooming peony to brighten up your landscape (and your mood!), Peony 'Guidon' is it! This peony has is all - tons of colorful blooms, large healthy foliage, and perfectly shaped flowers, each one unique!

Peony 'Guidon'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'Guidon'
Southern Peony Best Performer