Saturday, April 11, 2015

2015 Tree Peony Moon Garden Progress

Of all the tree peonies in my tree peony garden, only one of them has a bud on it! It is also a peony that has never bloomed for me before. It is Peony 'Kamata-fuji', and I am excited to see its blossom. Last year two of them bloomed, Peony 'Fragrant Jade' with one flower and Peony 'Li Yuan Chun' with three flowers. Neither of those two tree peonies has a bud this year. I guess they spent quite a bit of their energy on those blooms last year, and are spending this year spreading their roots, and getting used to their new home. I hope next year I'll have more blooms on my tree peonies.
Chinese Tree Peonies
from Ali Express
Peony 'Black Lotus'

Also as you can see in the first picture, of the 8 original Chinese Tree Peonies from Ali Express, only 3 of them are still living. However the three that are still alive are growing larger and increasing in size. So this seems like a good sign for their future survival. Peony 'Black Lotus' is growing taller.

Herbaceous Root Stock of
Peony 'Fragrant Jade'
Peony 'High Noon'

Unfortunately it looks like Peony 'Fragrant Jade' has died, at least the top tree peony portion of the plant. It looks like the bottom herbaceous root that was grafted onto the tree peony stem is still living and has now sprouted. Perhaps I didn't plant this one deep enough? Peony 'High Noon' is still living and is a little larger than it was last year, but not much. Perhaps I'll put a little Black Kow composted around it to encourage its growth.

Dead Peony 'Kamata-nishiki'

Peony 'Kamata-nishiki' appears to be dead, both the top tree peony portion and the bottom herbaceous graft. I'm not sure why this one didn't make it. We did have a very cold winter, and this one did have some competition last year - some herbaceous peonies that I didn't get around to moving until last fall. The only thing left is a small violet growing in its place.

Peony 'Kamata-fuji' with Bud

Peony 'Kamata-fuji' is the only tree peony with a bud on it in my garden this year. So it will definitely be the star! Also this tree peony is supposed to have lavender purple flowers on it, and that is my favorite color. So this bloom is especially exciting!

P. Rockii

This P. rockii plant came from Ebay, and I am quite disappointed in it. I'm not sure if the seller just decided to sell of one of his most diseased plants or if this peony is just not adapting well to my climate. I am not happy with my Ebay peony purchases right now. I will tell you all more about that later...

P. Rockii Foliage

As you can see from the second P. rockii picture, the close up view of the foliage is very sad. I have a couple other P. rockii plants, and their foliage doesn't look this bad, especially this early in the season. I also have lots of P. rockii seedlings whose foliage is awesome compared to this one. If I ever get a bloom on this one, and they aren't spectacular, this tree peony may be headed for the trash bin!

Peony 'Li Yuan Chun'
Peony 'Kinkaku'

Peony 'Li Yuan Chun' is growing much larger this year. When I received it, I was tempted to divide it into two plants since it was so large, and it seemed to have a natural place to divide it. However considering my inexperience with tree peonies, and the fact that a few of them didn't make it through this past winter, I'm glad I didn't divide it. Since it had three blooms on it last year, I'm hopeful to see several of them next year since the plant seems to be growing well. Peony 'Kinkaku' is also growing much larger this year.

Peony 'Tria'

Peony 'Tria' is growing a tiny bit this year, but not much. This tree peony is at the back of the tree peony moon garden. So it receives a bit more shade than the rest of the other tree peonies. Perhaps I will add a little Black Kow compost to this one as well to try to give it a boost.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

2015 Spring Peony Buds of a Different Color

I was out early this morning in the garden, and the peonies were all wet with a fresh spring rain. As I wait in anticipation for the peony buds to burst open with a rainbow of colors, I can't help but notice the peony buds swelling in a multitude of different colors, shapes, and forms. Peony 'Coral Charm' has bright red stems beneath its bright green buds. Peony 'Early Scout' holds it buds tightly above its nice cut foliage. Peony 'Firelight' has bright red buds above a fuzzy stem. The petals are beginning to peek through on Peony 'Flame' and Peony 'Lustrous'. Peony 'Garden Peace' has a wide range of hues in its bud cluster from purple, burgundy, pink, orange, and bright green. Peony 'Lavender' even has lavender in its stems, leaves, and buds! Peony 'Nova' holds a yellow tipped green buds over fuzzy stems. Peony 'Rose Garland' has a bright green bud over a bright green stem. Their multitude of differences tells of lots of different genetic material floating around in their DNA. I keep waiting for the first peony bloom to open. The first peony to bloom is usually Peony 'Early Scout', but some other peony may win the race this year. We'll see!
Peony 'Coral Charm'
Peony 'Early Scout'
Peony 'Firelight'
Peony 'Flame'
Peony 'Garden Peace'
Peony 'Lavender'
Peony 'Lustrous'
Peony 'Nova'
Peony 'Rose Garland'

Monday, April 6, 2015

2015 So Many Peony Things to Do!

It feels like peony season has just crept up on me! There are so many things I'd like to do - count my peony seedlings to check the germination rates, check peony plants for buds, take photos of peonies, record the immature foliage colors for each variety, the list goes on! I'm also thinking about showing some flowers in this year's 2015 American Peony Society Convention in Kentucky. So I also need to research - read and reread - (again!) the instructions on how to cut and store peonies for showing. These instructions are available for all convention attendees and are posted the American Peony Society web site under 2015 Convention Exhibition Info on the APS Convention web page. Peonies and peony seedlings are popping out of the ground all around me, and it feels like they are ahead of me! I guess it is time to get busy. I have been stuck inside looking forward to spring for months now, and now it's warm and things are starting to grow, and I'm so happy to be busy outside again! :)

Peony Seedlings Popping Up

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

2015 American Peony Society Convention in Kentucky

The 2015 American Peony Society Convention is going to be May 13th-17th in Kentucky this year. I'm already registered for everything, and I'm so excited. I wasn't able to go last year, and I missed a whole year of fun. So I'm really excited to see everyone and of course all of the peonies! I have decided to drive this year since it will definitely cut down on my travel costs. That way I will have my own car and won't have to rent a car or fly. The hotel is a bit more expensive this year. I was going to stay elsewhere if I had to fly, but since I'm driving instead, I'll be able to stay at The Galt House Hotel, the hotel where the convention is being held. I'm really looking forward to it since this hotel is right on the river. If you're considering going, now's the time to get your registration in. After April 10th, there is a late fee. Another good reason to drive is that it will be much easier to bring flowers to enter into the APS Peony Exhibition. If you will have some peonies in bloom during the second week in May, you should consider bringing them. There are separate divisions for professional and amateur. So bring what you can. Don't be nervous. This is going to be my first year showing flowers too! ;)

2015 APS Convention in Louisville, Kentucky

Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 Spring Has Sprung Colorful Peonies!!!

Oh my goodness! Blink your eyes and it goes from snow to spring! They are just emerging from the ground, but already my peonies are bringing lots of color and lots of cheer! I am so happy to see each one of them, to see how much they've grown since last year, to see if there are any varieties with a bud on them for the first time, to see if the ones I transplanted and divided are happy in their new homes, just to see them! They aren't even in bloom yet, and they are bringing so much happiness and color. We went from two weeks in a row of winter storms to two weeks of so-so weather to two weeks of spring! Okay, I'm a little excited. I hope you are too! Spring has sprung, and so have the peonies!!!

Peony 'Roy Pehrson's Best Yellow' Emerging Foliage

Peony 'Pink Princess' Peony Seedling Emerging