Wednesday, March 28, 2012

2012 First Peony Bloom of the Season!

I can hardly believe it! My first peony bloom opened this week on Monday, March 26, 2012. It was Peony 'Early Scout', a single red peony of short stature. Many of the single peonies bloom first, and 'Early Scout' is usually one of the first peonies to bloom here for me. I knew it had been an extremely warm spring, and that it could have been any day for the peony blooms to start opening, but somehow I still feel like it snuck up on me. I hope this year will be a good one for the peony blooms. It has already rained quite a bit right before the bloom season, so maybe it will be a bit dryer this year during the bloom season. Last year it was so wet during our peony bloom season that most of the flowers turned to mush which didn't allow for very many pictures taking opportunities. So hopefully this year the rainy weather will be a bit more even tempered instead of continuous! I've volunteered to host a family gathering next weekend. So I'm hoping that several peony varieties will be in bloom then because my mother and grandmother (who was a big influence in my love of gardening) also love peonies. Spring has sprung! :)
Peony 'Early Scout'

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2012 Peony Mulch

Wow! What could be better than freshly mulched peonies? What about FREE freshly mulched peonies? (Well I suppose it did require a bit of time and some elbow grease on my part, but I didn't pay any money for it!) I just happened upon a tree service truck that was about to dump some freshly mulched trees, and they were more than happy to dump their truck load of mulch in my back yard! Yay! Here are a couple of pictures of my freshly mulched peonies. The first one is of my Saunders Peony Garden. Many of the varieties in that garden are early, and as you can see they are finding their way out of the ground! Also Peony 'Coral Charm' in my Gold Medal Peony Garden is up tall and early as usual. The mulch should help to prevent weed growth and prevent the growing peonies from drying out too much this summer. They are all getting ready to burst open. I can hardly wait! :)

Saunders Peony Garden

Peony 'Coral Charm'

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 Peony Season is Coming!

I can hardly believe it. It's just the end of February, and the foliage on a couple of my peonies has already broken though the earth. They look like tiny red tendrils sprouting from the ground. Before I know it they will be blooming. I generally get my first peony bloom near the beginning of April. So that's only a little over a month away! So I guess now is the time to dream about what type of peony crosses I'd like to make. I'm hoping to also get more peony Photos this year. It seems like I was really busy last year during peony season. Combine that with lots of wet weather to make the blooms mushy, and I didn't get as many photographs as I'd hoped. Here's hoping this year will be better!
Peony 'Coral Charm'

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012 Spring Peony Orders!

Wow! It's not even spring yet, and I'm getting my peony orders in early this year. I decided it would be a good idea since the past couple of years I've waited until the fall, and some of the peonies I had hoped to order were already sold out. Today I finished cutting back and removing all of the dead peony foliage from last year. So now I'm dreaming about all of the new varieties I want to order from the peony catalog I got in the mail and the online catalogs as well. :) Here are a few of the peonies that I'm ordering tonight. One of them is Peony 'Garden Treasure' which was hybridized by Hollingsworth. I've been wanting this one since 2007 when the price was $120. The price this year is almost half of that ($68), so I figure it is time to buy it. Patience definitely pays off. I'm also ordering some lavender/purple hued peonies and some brownish-red 'chocolate' colored peonies. I love all the different colors!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 Peony New Beginnings

Dead Foliage in Peony Bed

2012, a new year, a new opportunity to see peony blossoms you've never seen before, to watch the growth of your existing plants, and reflect on growing seasons past. We have had such a mild winter so far. I am curious to see how this will affect the number and quality of the peony blooms. The weather was so warm I took the opportunity to do some cleaning up. I was out in my garden today cutting back dead peony foliage. However one of my peonies hadn't completely died back yet. It was the intersectional 'Yellow Crown' peony that so nicely produced a beautiful fall bloom for me last year. The foliage contained beautiful fall colors of red, orange, and gold. I went ahead and cut the remaining foliage off. Perhaps next year I will leave the foliage on as an experiment to see what happens.
Fall Colors of Peony 'Yellow Crown'
with Dead Foliage of Peony 'Bartzella'
in the Background

Peony 'Yellow Crown'