Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 The Peony & the Praying Mantis

The Peony & the Praying Mantis. It sounds like the title of a book. Hmm... Anyway I was working on collecting more data for 2011 in my peony garden today, and I was thrilled to see a praying mantis on one of my long spent peony blooms. The spent bloom and the praying mantis were the exact same color, dark brown, so the mantis blended in with the bloom stem quite nicely. He definitely kept me entertained for bit in what otherwise can be at times a somewhat dull task. I was privileged to witness these praying mantis acrobatics so I just had to share... :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

2011 Peony Experiments - Intersectional Blooms

I think I read somewhere that intersectional peonies would not bloom on old wood, and that the old stems must be cut down every year in order to get blooms. Somehow this did not ring true to me, and I wanted to find out for myself. So for the last 2 years I have left some of the old wood on my intersectional peony 'Bartzella'. The first year I didn't get any blooms on the old wood, but this year I did. Considering that intersectional peonies are merely a cross between herbaceous and tree peonies, and tree peonies bloom on woody stems, it makes sense that intersectional peonies could bloom on their woody stems as well. Perhaps the climate the intersectional peony is growing in will make a difference. I could see how the woody stems of the intersectional peony may not be as cold hardy as the woody stems of the traditional tree peonies. However for my zone 7 southern climate, intersectional peonies can definitely bloom on their woody stems from the previous year.
Peony 'Bartzella'

Peony 'Bartzella'

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2011 Peony Statistics & Data

I spent some time in my garden today, and boy is it hot out there! I was inspired to gather some data on my peonies. So I printed out a listing of all of my varieties, got my clipboard and pen, and got to work. I gathered some additional data on the colors of the peony blooms earlier in the season when the flowers were still in full bloom. Today I collected data on stem and bud counts. This will help me keep track of which peonies are increasing nicely and blooming successfully in my southern climate. I plan to post this data online to help everyone out there who wants to grow peonies in the south when I've collected enough of it to analyze and trend. I also plan to review peony foliage and diseases soon, so keep an eye out for that!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2011 Peony for Mother's Day

I can hardly believe the peony bloom season is pretty much over here. It went by so fast this year. The blossoms were so beautiful for Mother's Day. Here is a bouquet I cut for Mother's Day this year. Guess which one my mom selected as her favorite? That's right. The yellow one, Peony 'Bartzella', and what a beautiful blossom it is. Actually it's pretty much the only peony in my collection that is still in bloom today. So not only does Peony 'Bartzella' have a rare form and color, but it also has an extended bloom season! Awesome!
Mother's Day Peony Bouquet

Mom with Peony 'Bartzella'

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

2011 Intersectional Peony Blooms

Well another Intersectional Peony bloomed for me this year, and I was ecstatic. This variety is called Peony 'Singing in the Rain', and wow is it fantastic! The blooms are a peachy yellow color, one you won't find in herbaceous peonies. The color range of the petals is awesome. They range from yellow to almost coral and make for a beautiful blossom. See for yourself...
Peony 'Singing in the Rain'

Peony 'Singing in the Rain'