Monday, April 30, 2012

2012 Peony Disease Bud Blast

I've had several peonies with buds that weren't able to develop. I think it has to do with the weather, which has been a bit weird this spring. It was really rainy right before the foliage and buds started to develop, and then it was dry for quite while they were growing. I could tell that there was some bud blast and blight on some of the foliage, but I think the succeeding dry period prevented it from developing further (which could have been much worse). Established plants seemed to make out with only a bit of brown near the edges of leaves or a rotten stem or perhaps a bud or two that succumbed to the disease. However some peonies that I ordered just last fall were really taken over by blight and disease. I planted these roots in brand new locations. So no other peonies had been planted there. It was previously just organically maintained lawn. It makes me wonder if the peonies had been sprayed with fungicides by the growers to keep the diseases at bay. Then perhaps when they were planted here in my garden, the plants succumbed to the disease that had been previously kept in check by chemicals. Maybe the peonies will come back next year or maybe they will die. I have had both outcomes with new plants from reputable vendors. Let's hope for the best...
Established Plant - Peony 'Do Tell'

Established Plant - Peony 'Scarlet O'Hara'

Newly Planted - Peony 'Carina'

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2012 Peony Blooms Very Early to Early Mid - Weeks 1-3

Wow! I can hardly believe the peony bloom season is already more than half over here! I have thoroughly enjoyed it so far this year. I have seen a couple new varieties bloom this year, plus I've seen some of my favorites really increase and flourish. Here are some of my favorite blooms from the first 3 weeks of my southern peony bloom season. The color on the 'Coral Charm', 'Lavender', and 'Morning Lilac' peonies is intoxicating. Peony 'Coral Fay' has such a sweet nodding form, Peony 'Firelight' has really nice dark pink flares against its lighter pink petals, and Peony 'Paladin' looks almost double before it fully opens. Enjoy!
Peony 'Coral Charm'
Peony 'Coral Fay'
Peony 'Firelight'
Peony 'Lavender'
Peony 'Paladin'
Peony 'Morning Lilac'

Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 Peonies in the Landscape

Growing peonies is great because of the flower size, colors and forms available, and lots of them even have a nice fragrance. Their bloom period can be short, but it can be extended with different varieties of peonies that bloom in different periods. Some people may find it challenging to integrate peonies into their landscape, but peonies can be used everywhere! They are great in mixed perennial beds with other flowers that bloom at different times. Their foliage is quite sturdy and makes and excellent backdrop for other flowers and even bulbs, and the foliage will usually last until frost. Peonies can be planted alone as accent plants or en masse in a large bed or border. However and wherever you decide to plant your peonies, you can look forward to years and perhaps even generations of flowers from a sturdy and long lived plant. :)
Peony 'Morning Lilac'
Peony 'Scarlet O'Hara'

Peony Landscape Beds

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2012 Peony Colors

So far this year I seem to be on top of things for the most part. I have missed recording the colors of some of my early peonies in the past couple of years. It seems like by the time I remember to do it, the early peonies are finished blooming. However this year I have gotten the chance to record the colors of several of my early blooming peonies, including one of my favorites, Peony 'Lavender'. I still missed Peony 'Early Scout' this year. Perhaps I will get that one next year! I plan to update my Inventory page with the RHS colors and bloom types data from my surveys soon, and I plan to add the bloom season eventually, when I collect enough data for the bloom seasons for my growing zone.

Peony 'Honor'

Peony 'Roy Pehrson's Best Yellow'

Peony 'Firelight'

Monday, April 2, 2012

2012 Peony 'Lavender'

I had a feeling that another one of my peonies had bloomed today. Good thing I checked them this morning before work (and took my camera with me). :) My favorite color is purple, and of course my lavender peony, Peony 'Lavender' bloomed today, and how beautiful it is! This is only the second year I've had this plant bloom for me, but it is just as lovely as last year, although I think there is one less bud. It bloomed much earlier though. Last year it was April 18th, and this year it bloomed today, April 2nd. I think it may have more stems than last year, though. I just checked my data and I don't have the RHS color for it or 2 of the other 3 (Early Scout, Chalice, Ludovica) peonies that are also in bloom now. So I just got out my color chart so that I can get an accurate color for the Peony 'Lavender'. It has such a beautiful and unique color to it.

Peony 'Lavender'

Peony 'Lavender'