Friday, August 30, 2013

2013 New Fall Growth on Purple English Tree Peony

When watering my garden earlier this week, I noticed some new fall growth on one of the Purple Tree Peony Seedlings From Ebay UK. All of the existing foliage had already died back. This was probably due to the stress of shipment during the summer and the adjustment to a new climate. Anyway it's still alive! That's good news. I just hope these guys come back in the spring! One of them has two new leaves on it, and the other one doesn't have any active growth. Let's hope that one has just gone dormant for the year. It's nice to have something happening in the garden with peonies at this time of year. All the rest of my peonies are pretty inactive since things are winding down for peonies about now. The next thing will be the colorful fall foliage, which I'm looking forward to!

Purple Tree Peony Seedlings from UK

New Growth on Purple Tree Peony Seedling

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

2013 Crispy Coral Sun Peony Garden

Deja vu! I feel like I've seen this before. All of my transplanted coral peonies in my New Coral Peony Sun Garden are now crispy. Only 1 of the 6 plants I transplanted had already gone dormant. Now the rest of them (the other 5) are brown too. I hope they've just gone dormant for the year. Coral peonies usually go dormant a bit earlier than the other peony colors. It is almost time for coral peonies to go dormant here anyway. So hopefully these will be okay. I'll keep watering them and hope for the best. Last year I transplanted some existing and newly planted intersectional peonies. Despite the Intersectional Peony Garden Dead Foliage, all of the existing intersectional peonies survived just fine even though they had turned crispy and brown as well. However only 2 of the 4 newly planted intersectional Peonies on Ebay actually came back this year. At first I thought only 1 of them was alive, but another one of them came up about a month later. That's a lesson for buying cheap intersectional peonies on Ebay. They may or may not survive. I hope these coral peonies will survive. All of these transplanted coral peonies are existing peonies - none of them are newly planted this year or last. So hopefully they will all make it. I will give you a report in the spring! :-)

Crispy Coral Peony Sun Garden

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2013 New Coral Peony Sun Garden

I've been growing most of my coral peonies in my peony moon garden (a half-moon shaped bed near the edge of my woods). At first they were doing well here, but it seems like they are now either starting to decline or not increasing. So I decided to move them to another more sunny location, and give them a bed all their own. It's almost fall here. The weather seems like it has started to cool down. Don't get me wrong, it's still quite hot, but we've come off of our highs a bit. So it's beginning to be the perfect season for moving peonies. My plan is to move all of the herbaceous peonies out of my moon shaped peony garden near the edge of the woods and replace them with tree peonies. I don't have many tree peonies right now. So I'm planning on acquiring some (hopefully) this fall.

Existing Peony Moon Garden

So the first step, moving the herbaceous peonies out of this location has begun. Hopefully these coral peonies will be much happier in their new sunnier location with less root competition. I moved Coral 'n' Gold, Coral Charm, Coral Magic, Coral Supreme, Pink Hawaiian Coral, and Salmon Surprise. If there's one thing I've learned about herbaceous hybrid and lactiflora peonies over the years is they need sun! So if you've got a peony in a spot that is too near a tree, you should definitely move it to a separate, sunnier location. It will definitely be much happier with the additional sun and less competition for moisture and nutrients!

New Coral Peony Sun Garden

Monday, August 19, 2013

2013 Southern Peony Logo & Photos

Some work I've been doing for the American Peony Society has inspired me to spruce up my own web site a bit. Not only does Southern Peony have a spiffy new logo, but we also have new larger pictures with a Southern Peony watermark. With the additional security of a watermark, I'm able to bring bigger and more useful photos to you! You can check out the new, larger, watermarked photos on our Photos page. In case you haven't noticed, we update the photo on the Southern Peony main page every month with a new photo. These photos go into the Southern Peony photo archive on our Photos page to help you identify peonies, peruse the pictures to see what's available, and maybe plan your future peony purchases!!! ;-)

Southern Peony Logo

Southern Peony Photos

Friday, August 16, 2013

2013 Southern Peony Inventory

There hasn't been too much going on in the garden this summer. I have cut back a few instances of blight or dieback that I've noticed on some peony stems, but other than that, it has been a pretty good summer for peonies. We've had quite a bit of rain this year, so there have been very few instances of thirsty, droopy peony foliage. With such little stress and lots of opportunity for growth, I'm looking forward to seeing the growth in size of all the peonies next year. I've also been working quite a bit on some not-in-the-garden peony projects this summer. I recently updated my Inventory page to include hybridizer information about each variety. The new data contains the hybridizer and the year the peony variety was registered with the American Peony Society. I've also been working on a few projects for the American Peony Society itself, including another bulletin article for their September issue (look for a reprint soon), official APS peony photos, and a project to donate peonies to a local arboretum for public education and enjoyment - more details to come about all of these projects very soon!

Southern Peony Inventory

Sunday, August 4, 2013

2013 Peony Seed Pods & Peony Seed Collecting

Peony Seed Pod Full of Seeds

It's that time of year! Peony seed collecting time! Peony seeds are so easy to collect since they're so huge! The beautiful seeds pods start to burst open this time of year revealing those large, shiny, black seeds. Not all of my seed pods are mature yet. Some of them are not quite ripe and have not yet opened. Some others failed to be pollinated, and these too have not opened, but are generally smaller. Several of the seeds pods were opened, yet unfertilized and dry. I cut back these unfertilized empty seed pods, along with any blight I noticed near the top of the stem and discarded. For the seeds that were fertilized and ripened, ready to be picked, I collected these yesterday and put them in bags labeled with the plant variety and year. I plan to plant them out today, to hopefully give them a head start. If they are able to send out a root shoot this fall, then I may actually get a leaf next spring! So far this year I have collected seed from these peonies: 'Cream Delight', 'Early White', 'Gilbert Barthelot', 'Honor', 'Okinawa', 'Paula Fay', 'Pink Luau', 'Pink Princess', 'Roy Pehrson's Best Yellow', 'Salmon Dream', and 'White Cap'.

Failed Peony Seed Pod, No Seeds

Not all peonies will set seed. Some hybrids may be so crossed (like 2 species) and mutated (like full doubles), that it is impossible for them to set seed. Some plants set excessive amounts of seed! These plants may be useful for hybridizing, provided their qualities are suitable to your hybridizing goals. Even if you're just a backyard gardener who wants to grow something new, growing a peony from seed can be quite exciting and also an exercise in patience, to see what your baby (peony) will look like! :-)