Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010 Peony Blooms - Weeks 1-3

Here are some of the best blooms from weeks 1-3 of my peony bloom season. I am so happy to have so many peonies blooming now. 'Roselette', 'Roy Pehrson's Best Yellow', 'Honor', and 'Lustrous' are all blooming for the first time this year for me. Peony 'Roselette' is stunning in form and color. The yellow color of 'Roy Pehrson's Best Yellow' is excellent and the crinkled petals are interesting too. The bright pink color of 'Honor' is awesome. 'Lustrous' is so red, and it looks great with the 'Immortality' iris planted nearby. 'Chalice', 'Roselette', 'Honor', and 'Lustrous' are peonies in my Saunders peony garden and were hybridized by Professor A. P. Saunders. I love that most of his plants are early blooming and would like to expand the selection of early blooming varieties, especially in the South. I am so looking forward to the rest of the peony bloom season...
Peony 'Chalice'
Peony 'Roselette'
Peony 'Roy Pehrson's Best Yellow'
Peony 'Honor'
Peony 'Coral Charm'
Peony 'Lustrous'

Monday, April 19, 2010

2010 Peony Bud Count

I am so excited! I have only had one bloom last year on an intersectional peony, Yellow Crown. This year I have buds on 3 different intersectional peonies! They are Bartzella with 9 buds, Morning Lilac with 2 buds, and Yellow Crown with 2 buds. So I guess you can tell I did bud counts on all of my peonies today. There are several with no buds, maybe they'll bloom next year, to as many as 81 buds on one of them, an unknown double peony. My Festiva Maxima peony also has 50 buds on it. This is going to be a great year for the peonies as long as it is not too rainy in May. We have had a pretty dry April, which has been good for the emerging foliage. The reduced precipitation seems to have had a good affect on preventing botrytis blight on the new foliage, which seems to be much more susceptible to it than mature foliage. I think we could use some rain soon, though. As long as it's not like a week of continuous rain, to give the foliage a bit of time to dry out. That would be great.
Peony 'Morning Lilac'

Monday, April 5, 2010

2010 Peony Bloom Season

The first blooms of spring 2010 are starting to appear. The first peony to bloom this year was one that bloomed for the first time for me. It was Earlybird, and it bloomed today on April 5th. This peony is a P. tenuifolia hybrid (which gives it its beautiful fernleaf foliage) from Professor Saunders.

Peony 'Earlybird'

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2010 Winter is Almost Over

Winter is almost over, and spring will be here in just over a week. It felt like spring today. I got so much done outside today. Some of my peony seedlings are starting to peek out. The red buds on the herbaceous peonies are swelling, and a few are starting to poke out of the ground. With the warm day today, I took the opportunity to spread ashes on some of my peonies. The ashes are supposed to make the soil a bit more alkaline. I didn't have enough for all of them, but I did get the ashes spread on quite a few. I think it is supposed to rain tomorrow. So that's even better. It was windy some parts of the day today. So if the rain comes tomorrow perhaps some of the ashes will get soaked into the soil instead of blown away. I am so excited for spring! I can't wait to see what new peony flower faces I will get to meet this year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

2009 Fall Peony Cleanup

It's time for winter. Today is the Winter Solstice in fact. So I am a little late cutting back the dead peony foliage this year, but I did get some of it done before winter. I spent some time yesterday removing the dead peony stems and leaves from the herbaceous peonies. The foliage can carry the spores from the botrytis blight and reinfect next years stems. So it is important to remove all stems and leaves from and put this dead foliage in the trash. It is important not to leave these remains or compost them, as the diseases may still propagate. Here are some photos of my 'Karl Rosenfield' peony before and after cleanup. As you can see the hot pink buds for next years stems are visible above ground. Since I live in a southern climate, it is important that the peony be planted at this depth to get the required amount of chilling hours required for flowering.

Peony 'Karl Rosenfield'

Another interesting thing I've noticed the past 2 winters is that one of the intersectional peonies that I have, 'Yellow Crown', sends up new shoots in late summer/early fall that don't seem to die back with the first frost and last for some time into winter. The original shoots from spring have died back, but the later growth still remains.

Peony 'Yellow Crown'

Another intersectional peony that I have, 'Bartzella', has kept above ground stems like a tree peony. I accidentally cut off one of the stems before I realized they had buds on them. I don't know if the stems will survive the winter, but since this peony has never produced any flowers, I am going to leave them in place. It will be an interesting experiment to see if they survive the winter and produce any flowers.

Peony 'Bartzella'