Saturday, January 30, 2016

2016 Species in APS Handbook of the Peony 1st Edition

It was nice to take a little time for myself this past weekend and catch up on a little reading. I purchased the Manual of the American Peony Society First Edition (aka APS Handbook of the Peony 1st Edition) almost three years ago now (before my son Maddox!). Yikes! Yes, it got put to the side even though I was almost finished. However, a hot bath with some peony soaking salts from K. Hall Design Peony Products and a little free time netted me a few more pages. I was able to finish the section on species peonies. Apparently there was much confusion and many more categories of species peonies back when this book was written in 1928. The author links many of the species classes together noting there are little difference between x and y categories. It seems this topic has been subject to many revisions over the years with each plant discoverer and Paeonia genus researcher using their own methods of peony species classifications. It will be nice when one day all of them have been DNA mapped and we are able to classify them conclusively!

Manual of the American Peony Society
Plate XXXIX. Officinalis rubra plena

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2016 New Intersectional Peony 'Sugar Plum Fairy'

When I got an email from Hollingsworth Peonies this past weekend about their new peony cultivars, I was definitely curious. What a nice surprise to find out about a newly registered and currently available intersectional cultivar. The flower's name is Peony 'Sugar Plum Fairy'. The short bush and pale pink flower of this peony seem aptly named after a petite, cotton candy colored ballerina, The Sugar Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. Tchaikovsky being one of my favorite composers and me being a little ballerina for almost 10 years is reason enough to buy it now, and so I did. I'm guessing this little dancer is even pretty than her picture. I've also added this newly offered Peony 'Sugar Plum Fairy' to my 2016 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List!

Hollingsworth Peonies'
Intersectional Peony 'Sugar Plum Fairy'

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2016 Questions - Peony 'Bartzella' Seeds on Ebay

I received this question from Ted in zone 8:
"You may have seen the "Bartzella" seeds for sale on ebay? I wonder how they get Bartzella to produce seeds?"

Yellow "Intersectional" Paeonia Peony Seeds on Ebay

Actually I haven't seen those. I just looked them up. I believe those seeds are a hoax. My Peony 'Bartzella' has never set any seed, and I'm guessing yours hasn't either. The seller is likely playing into the fact that Itoh peonies are generally expensive (although their prices have come down quite a bit already). So they are trying to sell these "seeds" for less than the cost of an intersectional root, but highway robbery, nonetheless. I definitely would not purchase those seeds, as they are likely some seeds from an undesirable, common peony and will most likely not be yellow at all. Buyer Beware for sure!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

2016 Ice Storm Peonies Iced!

I guess I was wrong about the 2016 First Snow of the Year (and Maybe Only???). Winter Storm Jonas hit us with quite a bit. It looks like snow in the pictures, but there's not really much snow. It's more like 1-2 inches of ice with a little snow mixed in. I guess that's why there's a big tree snapped in half in my back yard and our power was out for almost a day! I'm so thankful it's back on, and we can get warm again.

Intersectional Peony 'Yellow Crown' on Ice

The peonies look like they're taking whatever Jonas is dishing out. You can't really read their plant name tags anymore, but I think the ice will melt, and they will be okay. Most of my peonies are still tucked safely underground. However, there are a few intersectional and tree peonies with above ground stems. I think they're going to make it, though. With the extra layer of ice, the peonies take on a shiny sheen, making them almost jewel like.

Tree Peony on Ice

Remember that New Peony Breaking Dormancy Too Early? With our sometimes warm weather last week, it decided to peek out through the extra layer of mulch I put on top of it. Now, however, the ice has seemed to put a stop to its growth. The foliage still has not unfurled yet. If the foliage opens or the stem grows taller, it probably won't make it. Since it is still short, there's a chance this one could survive. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. We'll see...

Intersectional Peony 'Prairie Charm' on Ice

Friday, January 22, 2016

2016 K. Hall Design Peony Products

I first discovered these K. Hall Designs products almost two years ago now, on our first wedding anniversary. I was pregnant at the time and couldn't travel far. So we decided to check in to a local spa. When we went to relax in the pools at the spa, I couldn't help but notice these peony products. The candles, lotion, and bath salts really caught my eye with "PEONY" printed boldly on a minimalistic pale pink label. I loved the scent (of course!), especially since it was not overpowering or fake smelling. The fact that the lotions and bath salts had not been dyed pink with artificial colors was a big plus in my book! I really wanted the lotion (of which they had a sample you could test). However, it was sold out. So I purchased the bath salts instead, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. When you add these peony salts to your bath, the entire bathroom smells like a field of peonies! I have since gotten the lotion as well, and it is just right. It moisturizes your hands and smells sweet without being sticky, greasy, or too strong smelling. So if you are looking for some mostly natural (their web site says at least 95% natural) peony toiletries, definitely check these out...

K. Hall Designs Peony Lotion and Bath Salts

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2016 Peony on My Wish List 'Silvia Saunders'

Peony 'Silvia Saunders'
4 Years Propagation Time Until Available in 2020
Photo Courtesy of Hidden Springs Flower Farm

When doing the research for my 2016 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List, I came across this peony I just had to have, Peony 'Silvia Saunders'. If you know a little about me, then you'll know I am a huge A.P. Saunders fan. I've been collecting Saunders peonies for quite some time and created a separate garden space, which I call my Saunders Peony Garden in 2007. If you know a little about A. P. Saunders, you'll know that Silvia was his daughter and carried on her Father's work. So when I saw this beauty, I knew I just had to have it. Unfortunately the first time I saw it, it was already sold out. I contacted the grower, Harvey Buchite at Hidden Springs Flower Farm and asked if it would be available again next year. Unfortunately it won't be available again until 2020! It is still going on my Peony List anyway... What a gorgeous flower!

Silvia Saunders, Daughter of A. P. Saunders

Also when looking up this flower, I came across this video, Paeonia 'Silvia Saunders' that David Michener at Nichols Arboretum created, which really shows just how beautiful this plant is in person! David has been doing a lot of great work with historic peony varieties, going to great lengths to catalog and preserve them in the Matthaei Botanical Gardens of Nichols Arboretum at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. From reviewing the Nichols Arboretum Peony Database, they first acquired Peony 'Silvia Saunders' in 1921! So that points to this flower having great longevity. Check out David's video. Their mature specimen of Peony 'Silvia Saunders' is just gorgeous!

David Michener with Peony 'Silvia Saunders'
Video, Paeonia 'Silvia Saunders' from MatthaeiBotanicalGardens

Monday, January 18, 2016

2016 First Snow of the Year (and Maybe Only???)

Snowing Hard During the First Snow of the Year

I can't believe it! It snowed yesterday! The temperatures the day before were almost 60°, and then the next day it was snowing like a blizzard. It snowed fast and hard for about an hour, and it did start to accumulate. However, it was gone as fast as it came. This snow event was a metaphor for our entire winter so far. Hot one day, cold the next. No wonder everything is confused, like this New Peony Breaking Dormancy Too Early. Hopefully most of my peonies will stay dormant until the proper time (at least a couple months from now), will receive enough chilling hours for bud set (since this has been kind of a warm winter so far), and spring will bring lots of brilliantly colored peony blooms!

First Snow of the Year

Friday, January 15, 2016

2016 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List

Wow! January again! The peony catalogs are coming out faster than I can add them! Well, they're not all out yet. So I'll update this information as more peony catalogs become available. If you'd like to compare this year's prices to last year's prices, here's a link to my 2015 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List Enjoy! (Also if you'd like your company to be listed here, please join the American Peony Society as a Commercial Member, since this is where I obtain my peony grower information.)

Price Change from Last Year
Adelman - mostly same or lower
Birchwood - same
Blossom Hill - mostly same or higher
Brooks - mostly lower, some same, some higher
Cricket Hill - mostly higher
Fina - same or lower
Hidden Springs - mostly same or lower
Hollingsworth - some lower, some higher
Peony's Envy - same
Solaris Farms - mostly lower
Song Sparrow - same or higher
Swenson - mostly higher or same

Intersectional PeonyPriceVendor
Al's Choice$85.00Brooks
Ballarena de Saval$70.00Adelman
Bartzella$45.00Solaris Farms
Bartzella$79.00Hidden Springs
Bartzella$85.00Song Sparrow
Bartzella$89.00Cricket Hill
BartzellaC$135.00Blossom Hill
Berry Garcia$95.00Brooks
Border Charm$40.00Adelman
Border Charm$40.00Brooks
Border Charm$40.00Hidden Springs
Border Charm$40.00Swenson
Border Charm$45.00Birchwood
Border Charm$65.00Song Sparrow
Border CharmC$90.00Blossom Hill
Callie's Memory$45.00Solaris Farms
Callie's Memory$60.00Swenson
Callie's Memory$70.00Brooks
Canary Brilliants$55.00Adelman
Canary Brilliants$60.00Swenson
Chief Black Hawk$185.00Brooks
Cora Louise$60.00Adelman
Cora Louise$60.00Birchwood
Cora Louise$70.00Brooks
Cora Louise$79.00Peony's Envy
Cora Louise$85.00Song Sparrow
Cora Louise$89.00Cricket Hill
Court Jester$50.00Swenson
First Arrival$40.00Solaris Farms
First Arrival$50.00Swenson
First Arrival$60.00Adelman
First Arrival$60.00Hollingsworth
First Arrival$89.00Cricket Hill
Garden Treasure$40.00Solaris Farms
Garden Treasure$60.00Adelman
Garden Treasure$60.00Fina
Garden Treasure$60.00Swenson
Garden Treasure$64.00Hollingsworth
Garden Treasure$65.00Brooks
Garden Treasure$68.00Birchwood
Garden Treasure$75.00Hidden Springs
Garden Treasure$85.00Song Sparrow
Garden Treasure$89.00Cricket Hill
Garden Treasure$89.00Peony's Envy
Going Bananas$40.00Adelman
Going Bananas$50.00Swenson
Going BananasC$90.00Blossom Hill
Going Bananas$100.00Song Sparrow
Gordon E. Simonson$300.00Swenson
Hidden Treasure$40.00Solaris Farms
Hillary$45.00Solaris Farms
Hillary$50.00Hidden Springs
Hillary$85.00Song Sparrow
HillaryC$130.00Blossom Hill
Joanna Marlene$64.00Fina
Joanna Marlene$75.00Swenson
Joanna Marlene$80.00Adelman
Julia Rose$45.00Solaris Farms
Julia Rose$50.00Swenson
Julia Rose$62.00Fina
Julia Rose$75.00Adelman
Julia Rose$75.00Brooks
Julia Rose$79.00Peony's Envy
Julia Rose$85.00Song Sparrow
Julia Rose$99.00Cricket Hill
Julia RoseC$130.00Blossom Hill
(Anderson's) Kaleidoscope$60.00Swenson
Kopper Kettle$95.00Brooks
Kopper Kettle$99.00Adelman
(Copper) Kopper Kettle$150.00Swenson
Lafayette Escadrille$65.00Song Sparrow
Lemon Dream$45.00Adelman
Lemon Dream$45.00Brooks
Lemon Dream$45.00Solaris Farms
Lemon Dream$50.00Swenson
Little Darlin$60.00Birchwood
Little Darlin$65.00Song Sparrow
Lollipop$45.00Solaris Farms
Love Affair$150.00Brooks
Love Affair$150.00Hidden Springs
Love Affair$150.00Solaris Farms
Momo Taro (Peach Boy)$48.00Fina
Morning Lilac$70.00Adelman
Morning Lilac$75.00Swenson
New Millennium$120.00Solaris Farms
Norwegian Blush$150.00Swenson
Old Rose Dandy$40.00Solaris Farms
Old Rose Dandy$40.00Swenson
Old Rose Dandy$45.00Adelman
Old Rose Dandy$45.00Brooks
Pastel Splendor$35.00Solaris Farms
Pastel Splendor$40.00Swenson
Pastel Splendor$45.00Adelman
Pastel Splendor$75.00Song Sparrow
Prairie Charm$40.00Hollingsworth
Prairie Charm$40.00Swenson
Prairie Charm$50.00Birchwood
Prairie Charm$50.00Hidden Springs
Prairie Charm$70.00Song Sparrow
Rosy Prospects$70.00Adelman
Rosy Prospects$75.00Brooks
Royal Blush$125.00Swenson
Saffron Innocence$200.00Swenson
Scarlet Heaven$40.00Adelman
Scarlet Heaven$50.00Hollingsworth
Scarlet Heaven$40.00Solaris Farms
Scarlet HeavenC$80.00Blossom Hill
Scarlet Heaven$89.00Cricket Hill
Sequestered Sunshine$48.00Fina
Sequestered Sunshine$75.00Swenson
Sequestered Sunshine$85.00Brooks
Sequestered Sunshine$100.00Song Sparrow
Singing in the Rain$60.00Solaris Farms
Singing in the Rain$75.00Brooks
Sonoma Amethyst$65.00Adelman
Sonoma Amethyst$65.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Apricot$60.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Apricot$80.00Adelman
Sonoma Blessing$80.00Adelman
Sonoma Floozy$80.00Adelman
Sonoma Halo$250.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Halo$350.00Adelman
Sonoma Lavender Fancy$50.00Adelman
Sonoma Rosy Future$125.00Adelman
Sonoma Rosy Future$150.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Sun$80.00Adelman
Sonoma Velvet Ruby$60.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Velvet Ruby$65.00Adelman
Sonoma Welcome$75.00Adelman
Strawberry Blush$175.00Swenson
Sugar Plum Fairy$75.00Hollingsworth
Tolomeo Itoh #L61$135.00Solaris Farms
Unique$60.00Hidden Springs
Unique$60.00Solaris Farms
Viking Full Moon$40.00Solaris Farms
Viking Full Moon$40.00Swenson
Viking Full Moon$45.00Adelman
Watermelon Wine$125.00Swenson
Watermelon Wine$150.00Adelman
Watermelon Wine$150.00Brooks
White Emperor$125.00Swenson
Yellow Crown$40.00Solaris Farms
Yellow DreamC$100.00Blossom Hill
Yellow Emperor$45.00Solaris Farms
Yellow Emperor$45.00Swenson
Yellow Emperor$85.00Song Sparrow

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

2016 Registered for American Peony Society Convention

I did it! I finally got my registration in for the 2016 American Peony Society Convention. I am already excited! I can't wait to see all of my peony friends again, meet some new ones, and of course see all of those gorgeous flowers! The convention is going to be in Wisconsin this year. This will be the second peony convention I've attended in Wisconsin. The first one I went to was in Janesville, WI, and it was nice. So I am looking forward to this one in Green Bay, especially since I've never been to Green Bay before. Plus, we are going to be touring the gardens of Nate Bremer of Solaris Farms and of Bill Seidl. It will be nice to meet both of them and see all of their peonies. I can't wait! Also don't forget about the tour of Klehm's Song Sparrow - a rare opportunity to buy their normally mail order only plants in person! Plus, there's always the exhibit, lectures, and of course the banquet and peony auction! So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!!! :-) I hope to see you all there!

2016 American Peony Society Convention

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 New Peony Breaking Dormancy Too Early

Intersectional Peony 'Prairie Charm' Breaking Dormancy Too Early

This happens on occasion, new peony foliage breaking dormancy too early. It's happened before like this 2012 Newly Planted Peony Sprouting in Fall. That peony lived, but those early sprouts of foliage did not, which is not ideal since the newly divided root is wasting its limited energy reserves on foliage that does not live. Usually the new peony will live, but it will just take longer for it to become established and bloom. This situation usually occurs in peonies that are newly planted, especially here in the South since the weather is warmer here than the climate they were previously growing in. As is the case with this Intersectional Peony 'Prairie Charm' from Moscow, PA - which appears to be in growing zone 5b/6a. I am in growing zone 7b. So that is at least 1.5 growing zones to about 2 full growing zones colder than where I am.

Intersectional Peony 'Prairie Charm' With Extra Mulch

This time, I noticed the dormancy break early, and tried throwing some much over it to block the sun and hopefully keep the foliage from freezing. I am hoping that by blocking the sun, the sprout will not continue to grow, and I'm also hoping that by covering the sprout with mulch, the newly emerging foliage will be protected from the freezing cold temperatures. Our winter has been very weird this year so far. We were warm for most of December, then it finally got cold for a week or so. Then it got hot again, and now cold again. I'm guessing this is how the rest of winter will play out too. I hope this little plant will figure out that it's not time to sprout yet and stay under this new layer of mulch!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2016 Southern Peony Joins Facebook!

Well, finally! Southern Peony finally joins Facebook! It's about time, it's only 2016! Happy New Year to all of my fellow peony lovers and growers out there! You now have a new way to keep up with all of the latest news here at Southern Peony through your favorite social media site - Facebook. So check out our new Southern Peony Facebook page and give us a like! All of our posts here will get posted to Facebook as well. That way you can see lots of gorgeous peony pics while you're catching up on all the family gossip and friend's photos! ;-) Also please tell all your peony friends about us too!

Southern Peony on Facebook