Saturday, May 23, 2020

2020 Peony Blooms Week 9 Very Very Very Late

WOW. Is there another word for Wow? This is definitely mind blowing! For the first time ever here at Southern Peony, we've had a Week 9 Bloom Season! That is probably very rare, especially for the South, where it usually goes from winter to summer in 1 week flat. LOL. I must say I am very grateful to have witnessed our slowest spring warm up ever, with the mildest, most moderate spring temperatures in memory. It almost felt like I wasn't in the South. ;-) For our 2020 Bloom Season Week 9 we have these 2 stunners that first opened and began to entertain us, Peony 'Karl Rosenfield' and Peony 'Dinner Plate'. They are both pink, but two very different colors of pink. Peony 'Karl Rosenfield' is a hot pink oldie but goodie from 1908, while Peony 'Dinner Plate' is perfectly light pink variety about 60 years newer. Both are definitely late season beauties!

Peony 'Karl Rosenfield'

Peony 'Dinner Plate'

Friday, May 22, 2020

2020 How to Make a Peony Support Ring from a Tomato Cage

Peony 'White Cap' in Dire Need of Support

Day after day, I just couldn't take looking at it this way anymore. This Peony 'White Cap' just kept blooming and blooming. I thought at some point it would just quit blooming and I wouldn't have to watch the blooms keep opening on the ground, but it just kept blooming and blooming. Even days after I went to the store to purchase a tomato cage did I finally get around to messing with this plant, and it was still blooming (granted it was almost finished, but still blooming).

Carefully Putting Tomato Cage on Peony 'White Cap'

I thought I might need to trim the bottom of this tomato cage to make it a suitable support for my Peony 'White Cap', but this peony was so tall and my tomato cage was so short, that it worked out just right! I purchased the 33-in Galvanized Steel Wire Round Tomato Cage from my local home improvement hardware store - Lowe's. This particular tomato cage came with 3 support rings on it, which did make it a little tricky to get on my plant, but I was able to finally get it on there. First I gathered up all of the stems, and put them as close together as possible so that I could fit the flowers through the bottom ring of the tomato cage, then the second ring.

Peony 'White Cap' Fully Supported

After that the foliage was kind of in the way. So I had to wiggle and jiggle the tomato cage on a bit, carefully putting each leaflet through the bottom ring of the cage. I was able to start pushing the cage into the ground a bit, adjusting the leaves up through the cage, pushing the cage down a bit, adjusting the leaves, repeating until the tomato cage is at the desired height needed to support the peony. I must say this Peony 'White Cap' does look so much better when the flowers are up higher, making them easier to see their lovely contrasting blooms and smell their fragrance!

Peony 'White Cap' The Next Day

I will also admit that this was not the most ideal time to add support for this peony. Next year I will put the support out before the foliage emerges so that it can grow into the support rings naturally (and I can help make sure that it does). The peony seemed to work great in this size tomato cage, but it looks like Lowe's also sells a short 30" version with only 2 support rings if you think that might be more to your liking. As you can see I took a photo of the plant the day after I added the support and some of the foliage had started to adjust to the correct positioning (after being on the ground so long, the foliage was also growing sideways). I also captured this gorgeous bloom photo of Peony 'White Cap' which looked like it had regained some moisture overnight.

Peony 'White Cap' Bloom

Saturday, May 16, 2020

2020 Peony Blooms Week 8 Very Very Late

It looks like the "Firefly"s came out this week. It is always so neat to see the wild, twisted, and striped petals on Peony 'Raspberry Firely' and Peony 'Pink Firefly'. Peony 'Candy Stipe' is always one of the last peonies to bloom in my garden, and I always look forward to it's peppermint like stipes as well. Peony 'Cora Stubbs' presents a beautiful bi-color with perfectly pink petals and an almost white tuft in the center, so cute. Peony 'Pink Derby' also has multiple layers of color in a big, bomb shaped flower. I can't believe the peony season is drawing near to the end. This week 8 bloom period is only the 2nd time in 10 years that we've had a very very late Week 8 season. I have really enjoyed having so much time with the blooms this year. I think we may even have a record-setting Week 9 next week. :-o Stay tuned!

Peony 'Cora Stubbs'

Peony 'Raspberry Firefly'

Peony 'Pink Derby'

Peony 'Pink Firefly'

Peony 'Candy Stripe'

Friday, May 15, 2020

2020 Giant Leaves on Herbaceous Peony 'Juliska'!!

Herbaceous Peony 'Juliska' Giant Leaves 10 Inches Across

So the foliage on the Peony 'Juliska' is not as large as the foliage that grew on my 2013 Peony Foliage on Steriods! Peony 'Bowl of Cream'. However it is still really, really big. I am wondering if this Peony 'Juliska' foliage will grow this large every year or if something just happens some years that causes this monstrous foliage. My Peony 'Bowl of Cream' foliage is large, but I don't think I've ever seen it grow quite as large as it did in 2013. This Peony 'Juliska' plant is still quite young. This is only the second year of growth for it. It had a flower on it the first year. I probably should have pinched the bud off to let the plant store more energy, but I really wanted to see it flower so I didn't pinch it off.

Herbaceous Peony 'Juliska' Grows Giant Leaves

Herbaceous Peony 'Juliska' in Planting Bed
Foliage Much Larger than Other Herbaceous Peonies

To give you some perspective, I snapped the photo about with Peony 'Juliska' in the bottom center of the photo. It is planted near Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt' and Peony 'Lake o' Silver'. As a comparison the foliage on this Peony 'Juliska' plant is just huge compared to the foliage of the other two herbaceous peonies. The foliage of those other two herbaceous peonies is much more pointed and smaller. This Peony 'Juliska' foliage is really rounded and much larger. One compound leaf grew 10 inches across and 6 inches high, and a leaf node grew 4 inches wide. Only time will tell how this Peony 'Juliska' grows in the future. I will keep my eye on her...

Herbaceous Peony 'Juliska'
Single Compound Leaf

Herbaceous Peony 'Juliska' Leaf Height 6 Inches

Herbaceous Peony 'Juliska' Leaf Width 4 Inches

Thursday, May 14, 2020

2020 Giant Bloom on Intersectional Peony 'Gordon E. Simonson'

Intersectional Peony 'Gordon E. Simonson'

WOW! That's all I can really say about this Giant Bloom on my Intersectional Peony 'Gordon E. Simonson'. Of all the intersectional peonies I grow, the flowers on this one are definitely the largest. This is actually the first year this intersectional peony has bloomed for me. I first planted it in 2017, and it took until now to grow it to blooming size. The very first flower to open on this plant is super huge!! The petals on this flower just continued to grow and expand as it was open.

Intersectional Peony 'Gordon E. Simonson'

The color has faded some since it first opened, but for the most part, it has held the color pretty well, and is still a very nice shade. The substance on these petals is unbelievable! They are thick and really hold up well to the sun. This plant had 4 blooms on it for me this year, the first year that it has ever bloomed for me. What a giant stunner! I can't wait to see how this one does next year as well!! I wasn't sure if I would like this peony or not since it doesn't have a great name, but I am really impressed.

Intersectional Peony 'Gordon E. Simonson'