Articles about Peony donations
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Sunday, May 1, 2016

2016 Peonies for Spring Carolina Plant Swap


Southern Peony Seedlings for the Plant Swap

Yesterday was the Spring Carolina Plant Swap, and I spent the morning digging some of my most successful plants that needed a bit of dividing for donation to the plant swap. This is one of my favorite gardening events besides the American Peony Society Convention (which is coming up in less than one month!) This Carolina Plant Swap event happens twice a year, and I usually try to make it to at least one per year, two if I can. It is a great way to try plants you wouldn't normally grow (or pay for), and some plants that grow really well in your area, and even some plants you've never seen before! I always try to bring a couple peonies to help increase interest in the plant here in the South. Peonies can and do grow well here in the South - the biggest key is not planting the roots too deep. If you'd like to find a garden swap in your area to exchange plants (and hopefully help spread the love of peonies), I'd recommend signing up for an account on www.gardenweb.com, (previously GardenWeb, now called Houzz), finding the forum for your area and then looking at the Exchange forum, which is listed as a Related forum at the top of the page. Good Luck!

Southern Peony Pink Peony Seedlings

Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 Thank You Card for Peony for Historic Whitehall

I must say I was delighted to receive this thank you card in the mail a couple weeks ago from the Executive Director at Historic Whitehall. The card was sent to thank me for the Peony 'Bartzella' I sent them as a 2015 Peony Donation to Historic Whitehall Gardens to thank them for giving our APS members such a wonderful tour of their house and gardens. It is quite nice to get such a lovely snowy white card in the mail at a time that many APS members have snow in their gardens. We rarely get snow here. If we do, it usually melts within a day or two. Some years we don't get any snow that sticks to the ground or any snow at all. So this card with a beautiful snowball bush in front of their white columns is a good reminder that winter is almost here.

Thank You Card from Historic Whitehall

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2015 Peony Donation Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden

While on our family Labor Day vacation to Savannah, Georgia, I wanted to visit a local garden. So I looked it up on Google, and found that the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden was nearby. My family and I had a nice time visiting the gardens, and while we were there I asked to speak to the curator or main horticulturalist. I met Jamie, told him I was in the American Peony Society, and spoke to him about growing peonies. He wasn't sure if they'd grow in his Zone 8b garden, and they didn't currently have any peonies there. I told him I'd like to send him an intersectional peony from my Zone 7b garden, that I thought it might grow there and become acclimated more quickly since it was only one growing zone away.

Three Intersectional Peony 'Bartzella' Roots

He seemed hesitant at first, but by the end of the conversation he was asking if I could send him three of the roots so they could trial them in different areas of the garden. That is wonderful news! I am so excited! I told him I wasn't sure if I could send three roots, but I dug one of my intersectional 'Bartzella' peonies last month and was able to divide it into three large pieces. So I am sending all three of them to him. Jamie asked me to hold the roots to ship in early December to make sure they didn't try to sprout in their warm fall weather. So I just shipped them out to him today. Jamie commented to me in an email, "If this peony flourishes here, there will be rumblings among many garden club members." I can't wait to hear the rumblings!! :-)

Intersectional Peony Roots Boxed for Shipping

Sunday, November 8, 2015

2015 Peony Donation to Historic Whitehall Gardens

On our 2015 American Peony Society Whitehall Mansion Tour this year, I was so impressed by the layout of their peony garden - both in the beautiful assortment of peonies grown and the care taken in their planting and upkeep. The only thing I felt was noticeably missing from their gorgeous peony garden was an intersectional hybrid peony and a yellow peony. Peony 'Bartzella', both an intersectional peony and a gorgeous double yellow, would be an awesome addition to their peony collection. So at the end of the tour, I spoke with their main gardener, Mike Hayman, and volunteered to donate one myself if they were interested. Of course they were interested! So here we are. I will be mailing out this package to them on Monday with their peony - what a great way to spread the love of peonies, while thanking Mike Hayman and the Historic Whitehall staff for such a great tour of their mansion and gardens!

Peony 'Bartzella' Donation for Historic Whitehall

Sunday, October 4, 2015

2015 American Peony Society Fall Auction - 'Grace Root'

This year I am making another donation to the American Peony Society for their 2015 APS Online Fall Auction. Two years ago, I donated two peony plants to benefit the 2013 American Peony Society Fall Auction. Even though I am not a commercial grower, I will still try to donate something to the auction this year. So this year I am donating Peony 'Grace Root'. This peony is a terrific grower here in my Southern garden. So if you are looking for a plant that will do well in a more Southern region of the country, this is one peony I would definitely recommend. Plus it blooms very early and is an A. P. Saunders hybrid. So if you'd like the chance to bid on this gorgeous peony, the bidding is going on this weekend, October 10-11th. The APS Fall Auction is for APS Members only. So if you're not yet an APS Member, now's a great time to join! :-)

Southern Peony 2015 APS Fall Auction Donation
Peony 'Grace Root'

Friday, September 18, 2015

2015 Fall Peony Seed Planting and Donation

Well, it wasn't a bumper crop of seeds this year, but I did get some varieties of seed that I haven't gotten seed from before. So I'm really excited to see those grow. A couple of the plants that produced seed only produced one seed - like Peony 'Cream Delight' and Peony 'Rose Garland', and also this very red semi-double peony that I got from Klehm's Song Sparrow, which was supposed to be Peony 'Paree Fru Fru' (a light pink bomb), but was not... Anyway, I'm excited to see what kind of children these plants will produce.

2015 Peony Seed Planting Labels

Since seed production was kind of low this year, I planted most of my own seeds. There were only two varieties that produced more than 10 seeds this year - Peony 'Pink Spritzer' which had 40 seeds and Peony 'Raspberry Firefly' which had 37 seeds. I planted 10 of the Peony 'Pink Spritzer' seeds and 7 of the Peony 'Raspberry Firefly' seeds. The rest of the seeds from these two varieties, I will donate to the American Peony Society Seed Distribution Program. From checking their seed list, they don't currently have any seeds of Peony 'Raspberry Firefly'. So that's exciting to be able to share seeds that no one currently has access to purchase.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

2015 Peony Donation for Carolina Plant Swap

Yesterday I was so excited to be able to bring three blooming peonies to the Carolina Plant Swap. These three peonies are all unique peonies I grew from seed. They are all single blooming peonies that bloom early. Two of these peonies, a light pink one and a dark pink one, came from seed from Peony 'Pink Princess'. The other dark pink peony came from seed from Peony 'Lady Alexandra Duff'. I hope these peonies will increase in bloom and size each year and the recipients of the peonies will enjoy them for years to come. Peonies do not generally like to be moved in spring. So these need to be planted right away. These peonies may sulk a bit this year. Don't worry. Don't fertilize them or overwater them. They just need some time to get established and settled into their new homes. Next year they should come back bigger and even better! :-) Enjoy!

Peony Donation for Carolina Plant Swap

Sunday, April 26, 2015

2015 APS Auction Donation Designer Peony Tote

Well, I finally figured out what I wanted to donate for the 2015 American Peony Society Convention Auction. When I found it, I liked it so much I had to buy two - one for the auction and one for myself! I had never heard of this designer before. I just found it by doing a search for peony tote, since I had somewhat of an idea of what I was looking for. I just didn't know exactly what, but as soon as I saw the photo of this Michel Design Works Peony Designer Tote, I knew this was just what I was looking for! I haven't received it in the mail yet since I just ordered it this week. So I can't tell you much about how it feels or how it carries. However I'm sure it's an awesome bag, and if it is anything less than spectacular, I'll be sure to let you know. If you would like the chance to bid on this Designer Peony Tote and all of the other items (lots of peonies!) in the APS auction, be sure to join us at the 2015 American Peony Society Convention!

Michel Design Works Peony Designer Tote

Friday, September 12, 2014

2014 Peony Seeds for APS Seed Distribution Program


Peony Seeds for Donation

I finally got my peony seeds packaged up that I am donating to the American Peony Society Seed Distribution Program. I am donating peony seed from 5 different peony varieties (Peony 'Golden Frolic', Peony 'Miss America', Peony 'Pink Luau', Peony 'Pink Princess', and Peony 'Roy Pehrson's Best Yellow') of my 2014 Collected Peony Seeds. The rest of the varieties I have already planted to see what nature has created. Since I donated 5 varieties of seed, that means I can select 2 packets of peony seeds from other growers for FREE! That's cool! For every two varieties of peony seed you donate, you can select one packet of free seeds. If you'd like more information on how you can get your own free seeds, check out the American Peony Society Seed Distribution Program. All of the donated seeds go to Scott, the newly elected APS President, who runs the APS Seed Distribution Program. I can't wait to see what varieties of seed will be available from this year's harvest!

Peony Seeds Packed for Shipment

Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 American Peony Society Bulletin Article -
Public Gardens Peony Donation Project

As promised here is the article I wrote for the December 2013 issue of the American Peony Society bulletin...

"When I first joined the American Peony Society board, I was asked to become the Publicity Chair for the APS. Unsure of the duties and responsibilities for the role, it seems I assumed by default a role that no one else claimed. This year my goal has been to get peonies planted at a local arboretum here in Raleigh, NC. The project is going well, and in the back of my mind I was hoping to continue the program, finding a new arboretum or public garden in need of peonies each year. The APS president, Dana Tretheway commented to me that I was doing a great job as a Publicity Chair working on this project to get peonies installed at a public garden. I guess I never thought of it as a part of my Publicity Chair duties. I just wanted to spread the love of peonies everywhere, but I guess that does kind of fit.

When I first approached Mark Weathington of the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC, he seemed a bit reluctant and not quite as enthusiastic as I’d hoped about the prospects of so many new and free (to him) peonies. After several email exchanges I was able to set up an in person meeting with him to discuss the possibility of a peony donation on behalf of the American Peony Society. Since I am a board member local to his garden, I was willing to donate several varieties myself, and wanted to ensure the project would be a success.


The JC Raulston Arboretum

When I met Mark in person at the JC Raulston Arboretum, we got along fabulously, and after our discussion he seemed much more excited about the prospects of a large peony donation to his garden. The mission of his Arboretum is to educate the public on varieties of plants that perform well in the garden that they may have not have seen or been introduced to before. I thought that was perfect and informed him of the American Peony Society’s Award of Landscape Merit program which selects peonies “chosen for superior ornamental value, overall appearance in the landscape and throughout the growing season, and reliable performance across North America”.

Mark was quite excited to hear about this APS award and didn’t realize we had such a program. I also talked with him about our Gold Medal selections, and we discussed how and where these peonies might fit into his landscape. There are several different garden sections or rooms at the JC Raulston Arboretum, and Mark seemed to be interested in trying to fit peonies in all of them. He inquired about Itoh intersectional peonies since he’d heard how these were the latest and greatest peonies. However he did not have any in his collection. There is an Asian Valley garden that he was interested in adding some Asian tree peony cultivars and a rock garden that he wanted to add rock garden peonies too. For someone who didn’t have very many types of peonies currently represented at his garden, he sure was interested in all the different type of peonies.

After walking the garden together, I believe we only found 5 different types of peonies in the garden. After our meeting I asked Mark how many peonies he could plant if the APS board members were able to donate peonies for him. He said he could plant 40 or 50! Wow, that was great news! So off I went to solicit donations for the JC Raulston Arboretum. With the collaborative effort and good will of several APS members and a local plant nursery, we were able to donate over 40 peony varieties to him including APS Award of Landscape Merit selections, APS Gold Medal selections, Itoh Intersectional varieties, and several herbaceous peonies that would grow exceptionally well in North Carolina.

I’d like to thank the following donors for all of their help with this year’s Public Gardens Peony Donation Project: Adelman Peony Gardens, Adriana Feng, Homewood Nursery, Hollingsworth Peonies, Klehm’s Song Sparrow, and Jim & Lore Sampson of Rarity Gardens. I’m looking forward to seeing all of the peonies in bloom, and sharing those blooms with everyone! I’m also looking forward to the next Public Garden Peony Donation Project! :-)"

Since the publication of this article, the JC Raulston Arboretum has received an additional donation from Cricket Hill Garden. So on behalf of myself and the American Peony Society, I'd also like to add our thanks and appreciation to Cricket Hill Garden as well!

Friday, October 18, 2013

2013 APS Peony Donation to JC Raulston Arboretum

I finally had a chance to dig up peonies in my yard for donation this past weekend. This box of peonies went for a ride to my local arboretum. Through a joint project I've been working on with the American Peony Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum, I was able to gather over 40 peonies for donation to a local public garden. I personally donated 9 of the peony varieties myself. I guess you could say I had a slight incentive in being able to drop them off instead of having to pay the shipping costs to send them through the mail. The peony varieties I donated were: 'Angel Cheeks', 'Bowl of Cream', 'Chalice', 'Coral Charm', 'Do Tell', 'Festiva Maxima', 'Honor', 'Mother's Choice', and 'Sea Shell'.

Peony Donation for the JC Raulston Arboretum

There were several other donors to the project who I am very thankful for that helped make this project a great success: Adelman Peony Gardens, Hollingsworth Peonies, Rarity Gardens, Song Sparrow, and a local garden nursery, Homewood Nursery. I also wrote an APS Bulletin article about this project, which I will publish here when the bulletin comes out. I'll also be keeping a close eye on the peonies at the arboretum, and I'll definitely posts updates on their progress. I was so happy to work on this Public Gardens Peony Donation Project, and I can't wait to find the next public garden or arboretum in need of a large peony donation! If you have a suggestion, please leave a comment or contact me. :-)