Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 Peonies on Ice

Ice Coating on Tree Branches

When I awoke yesterday morning, everything was covered in a thin layer of ice. This has been a particularly long and cold winter for us this year. Tomorrow is the first day of spring, and winter just wanted to make sure we knew it wasn't over yet! We've already had a couple of 70 degree days (on the weekends usually - thank goodness), but they have been rare. This weekend we should have another 70 degree day, and I can't wait. Luckily yesterday was very cloudy all day so the sun shouldn't have caused any frost damage to the foliage.

Peony 'Li Yuan Chun' with a Coating of Ice

As you can see there are already a couple of swelling buds on this tree peony since the last time I photographed it in February - 2014 First Signs of (Tree Peony) Life). Even the peony sign has a layer of ice on it. I'm not sure how much longer it will be until this tree peony blooms, but I am ready for it. I can't wait to see its blooms for the first time. Come on spring!!!

Peony Sign 'Li Yuan Chun' with a Coating of Ice

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

2014 Peony Seedling Plastic Label Failure

When I went outside a couple weeks ago I noticed something strange with some of my peony seedling labels... They were all on the ground. Apparently these plastic labels are too lightweight and could not withstand the constant freezing and thawing of the ground here. I guess that's a valuable lesson learned. I won't know the parent name for of all of the Chinese peony seedlings that I so carefully labeled and had my Chinese husband translate for me. What a waste! Well I guess I'll stick to the tried and true steel and copper plant labels that I've been using since 2007. These have never been heaved from the ground like these plastic plant labels! Too bad I never got around to putting these on my peony seedling map... I guess if any of them turn out to be worthwhile seedlings, they'll get a new name anyway! It would have been nice to know their heritage, though, assuming they were labeled correctly in the first place.

Plastic Peony Seedling Labels

Copper and Steel Peony Seedling Labels

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2014 Chinese Tree Peony Seeds Starting to Sprout

At the suggestion of one of my readers, I decided to check my Chinese tree peony seeds to see if they had started sprouting. Sure enough, they had! A couple of them are just starting to push through. So it's definitely a bit early to get a count for the germination rate. I'll have to wait a little longer to see how many actually sprout. The only ones that are starting to sprout so far are the Chinese Peony Seeds from Ebay that I planted on 3/15/2013. There are 6 different colors of the Chinese tree peony seeds that I bought on Ebay, which came labeled as P1-P6, and only 2 of them are sprouting now - P3 Blue & P4 Green. So there are 4 other types/colors of these tree peony seeds that have not yet sprouted. None of the Chinese tree peony seeds I purchased from Ali Express and planted on 4/1/2013 have started to sprout yet. So I will have to check on those Chinese tree peony seeds again later.

Chinese Tree Peony P3 Blue Seeds from Ebay Sprouting

Chinese Tree Peony P4 Green Seeds from Ebay Sprouting