Thursday, March 31, 2016

2016 Japanese Tree Peony 'Chojuraku' from Ebay

Tree Peony 'Chojuraku' 長寿楽
Garden Label
Tree Peony 'Chojuraku' 長寿楽
from Ebay

I just bought this Japanese Tree Peony 'Chojuraku' 長寿楽 from Ebay two weeks ago. It came quickly through the mail, and I got it planted quickly too. I must say I am really impressed by the size and age of this grafted plant. It is huge. I definitely feel like I got my money's worth from this Ebay seller - garden*breeze. This is the second peony I have purchased from them, and I have been happy with both. However, this isn't the case with all Ebay sellers, so I am planning on creating and Ebay peony seller's review. Hopefully I will be able to get to it this year! Another reason I am excited about this peony besides its large size is its color - lavender, my favorite! This Tree Peony 'Chojuraku' 長寿楽 looks like it may be a double flowering P. rockii hybrid since it has dark purple flares, and I really have been wanting a peony like that. I tried buying some Purple Peony Rockii Seeds from Ebay Canada last year, but they haven't sprouted yet. I'm not giving up hope on those yet since many of my own 2015 seed have not sprouted yet. However, I'm sure this Tree Peony 'Chojuraku' 長寿楽 will provide me with blooms much sooner!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2016 Second Bloom of the Year Peony 'Halcyon'

Second Peony Bloom of the Year
Peony 'Halcyon' Bloom

Well, my second peony of the year bloomed today, Peony 'Halcyon'. It is a gorgeous pale lavender pink, another pretty pastel spring color. I love the color lavender in peonies, and the lavender pink of this very early blooming A. P. Saunders variety hints at the lavender color of the later blooming (but still early blooming) Peony 'Lavender'. Since we had an early spring with no late frost to blast these early buds, all of my very early blooming peonies are blooming fabulously this year. The First Bloom of the Year was Peony 'Nova'. In fact, these early herbaceous peonies are even blooming before my tree peonies this year. Last year the First Peony Bloom of the Year was Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'. If your peonies haven't quite woken up yet, then you may want to consider adding some very early blooming peonies to your garden this fall.

Second Peony Bloom of the Year
Peony 'Halcyon'

Sunday, March 27, 2016

2016 First Bloom of the Year Peony 'Nova'

First Peony Bloom of the Year
Peony 'Nova' Bloom

It was a rainy Easter today, and I cut my finger pretty bad last night. However, I got a nice surprise when I was walking around my garden today trying to lift my spirits. I found my first peony bloom of the year. Remember those 2016 Peony 'Nova' Buds Snaking Out of the Ground? Well, the tallest 'snake' was the first bud to bloom in my garden! I was so happy to see this bloom because not only was it the first peony to bloom this year in my garden, it was also the first time I had ever seen this Peony 'Nova' variety bloom.

First Peony Bloom of the Year
Peony 'Nova'

Peony 'Nova' is definitely a very early bloomer. I was also able to classify the bloom color as RHS Light Yellow 4D. I was very happy to meet a new blossom and have the opportunity to classify its color on the first bloom of my peony bloom season. Also what a nice peony bloom color to help celebrate Easter - a perfectly pastel yellow!

First Peony Bloom of the Year
Peony 'Nova' Plant

Friday, March 25, 2016

2016 Tree Peony 'Rou Fu Rong' (肉芙蓉) Still Alive

Since this peony was given to me as a gift at the last American Peony Society convention, I tried to take extra good care of it. However, in doing so, I may have inadvertently overwatered it last summer. According to this Caring for Tree Peonies article on the Kelways UK site, the biggest cause of failure for tree peonies is overwatering. Their site states in large, bold letters, "DO NOT OVERWATER NEWLY PLANTED PEONIES, THIS IS THE BIGGEST CAUSE OF FAILURE." Since the Kelways web site says they been growing peonies since 1851, I'm guessing they know what they're talking about.

Tree Peony 'Rou Fu Rong' 肉芙蓉 (Pink Hibiscus)

Our summers can get very hot and dry at times, and I wanted to make sure this tree peony had enough moisture. All three of the existing tree peony branches on it died, and I was worried that the plant may have died altogether. However, one small tree peony shoot has come up this spring from the base of the plant. I am so happy it is still alive. I had never been given a peony before, nor a tree peony. So this was a very nice surprise for me to receive this plant. I also received another peony as a gift at that convention, 2015 Hybridizing Peony Martha W., which arrived in the mail a couple of months after the convention. I am very excited and hopeful to see this tree peony, 'Rou Fu Rong' 肉芙蓉 (Pink Hibiscus) grow and prosper!

Tree Peony 'Rou Fu Rong' 肉芙蓉 (Pink Hibiscus) Sign

Monday, March 21, 2016

2016 Peony 'Nova' Buds Snaking Out of the Ground

With over two weeks of weather in the 70s, all of my peonies are popping up. Even Peony 'Nova' is snaking its way out of the ground. With all of this warm weather those 2016 Very Early Peony 'Nova' Buds Emerge First are still alive. Only that one bud was blasted last month. The rest of them are fine. Now three more buds have emerged to join those early two. One of them is snaking its way up out of the ground and another one is about to bloom before it even grows up out of the ground. It is really exciting to see them make so much progress in the last two weeks! However, the last couple days have turned colder (just in time for the start of spring!), and the overnight temperatures for last night and tonight are in the 30s. Tonight's overnight forecast is 35 degrees. So it should stay above freezing. Let's hope so, I am eager to see these beauties in full bloom!

Peony 'Nova' Snaking Out of the Ground

Friday, March 18, 2016

2016 Peony Experiment - 2 Year Old Root Grows

Peony 'Silver Dawn Mix' Sprouted

It's alive! Peony 'Silver Dawn Mix' has sprouted!!! Yay! It's not a very large sprout, but it is still alive. Since this peony did at least come up, I think I'll be able to nurture it to maturity. It might take a while to get a bloom on it, but I'm sure that it will get one eventually. This peony seems like a survivor! Even though I left this peony in a box for 2 years before planting it, which turned it into a 2015 Peony Experiment - Planting 2 Year Old Root, and it still came up, I would not recommend doing the same thing. I'm sure this peony degraded over time and lost quite a bit of energy and moisture, which would have helped it send up a much larger sprout and get a much better start in my garden. Also it lost two years of growing time and potential increase. So you'd be much better off planting your peonies right away. However, if you do happen to find one that's been sitting around for a while, it's worth a shot to plant it out and see it if grows! I'll be very curious to see what color blooms this peony has on it when it finally does bloom. Since this peony is from the 'Silver Dawn Mix', it could be a range of pale yellow to peach to pink colors. I guess only time will tell...

Peony 'Silver Dawn Mix'

Monday, March 14, 2016

2016 Peony 'Coral Charm' Goes to Grandma's House

I went to visit my Grandma on Friday and took a look around her garden while I was there. I asked her if she already had a coral peony, and she said she did not. So I just couldn't resist giving her one of my 2016 Peony 'Coral Charm' Has Many Adventitious Roots plants. This time I was really careful digging out the root. Since it had already been severed when I originally divided the plant, it was really easy to dig her up a division. I made sure to get the whole piece of root to hopefully keep the plant from experiencing too much shock, and also to make sure I don't end up with another Peony 'Coral Charm' plant even farther away from the mother. I pretty much got the whole thing. It looks like I only lost a tiny piece of one very small side root.

Peony 'Coral Charm' Division

So this peony went to stay at Grandma's house. Who doesn't love going to Grandma's house? I dug this division up Saturday morning and took it to her house right away. I helped her plant it just 4 hours later. So hopefully the plant will grow well and thrive for her. Inside those red foliage shoots I can see that this Peony 'Coral Charm' plant already has small buds developing on it. I am excited and hopeful that it will bloom for her this spring too!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

2016 Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt' for $1.69 at Aldi's!

I think it was as much curiosity as it was a love for peonies (and a great deal) that prompted me to buy this 'Sarah Bernhardt' peony at Aldi's. This peony is priced at only $1.69! I couldn't believe it! I thought the price was $4.99 (and I was going to try one even for that price), but the price was actually just $1.69! That is not a markdown price. That is their original price. I have never seen a peony sold for that low of a price before!

Gardenline Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt' from Aldi's

Of course I know, you get what you pay for. Of course the root on this peony is very small, and I'm sure it will take a long time for it to become an established plant. Also it may not even be the variety advertised. However, for only $1.69, I don't think I'll be complaining too much. The root is very small, but it looks very healthy with two large growth buds on it. There is no mold, and it seems to have been kept moist enough so that it didn't dry out. So if you're interested in getting a small, but healthy peony for $1.69 run over to your local Aldi's store (if you're lucky enough to have one) and pick up one (or three) of these very low price roots!

Gardenline Peony 'Sarah Bernhardt' Root from Aldi's

Aldi's does have more than one variety of peony available for the $1.69 price point. The dark pink peony 'Karl Rosenfield' is the same price. They are also selling several types of glads, dahlias, and lilies priced at $1.69 too. So if you'd like to round out your garden with a few other types of bulbs, you should definitely check out their selection. I picked up a couple bags of lilies for myself and my grandmother as well. If you are new to peonies or know someone who is new to peonies, these would be great to get someone interested in peonies. Once they have one, they will need more! These would also be wonderful gifts for friends or neighbors that have always wanted to try growing peonies!

Friday, March 11, 2016

2016 Peony 'Coral Charm' Has Many Adventitious Roots

In my 2016 It's Starting... Tree Peonies are Waking Up! post, I mentioned that my coral peonies were starting to wake up too. Well, one of them, Peony 'Coral Charm', is waking up in a big way - all over the place! This peony loves to multiply and spread. It apparently also has the feature of developing growth buds on its roots, called adventitious roots. Another peony of mine also has this feature - 2013 Peony 'Grace Root' Adventitious Bud Stem Flower. I hadn't really noticed this feature in Peony 'Coral Charm' until last year when it started to get one side shoot. I think this all started when I divided this peony to donate a large piece of it as a part of the 2013 APS Peony Donation to JC Raulston Arboretum. Apparently all of the severed roots that were left in the ground have now decided to regenerate and grow their own buds and crown to create lots of new plants. So now this year it has lots of side shoots (at least 15)!!! I think I'll be giving one of these to my grandma for sure. I may donate one for the American Peony Society convention or fall auction as well. :-)

Peony 'Coral Charm' with Adventitious Shoots

Monday, March 7, 2016

2016 Very Early Peony 'Nova' Buds Emerge First

I am getting a little excited. I have been growing this very early Peony 'Nova' plant for three years now. However, I have not yet seen it bloom. Every year, its buds are blasted. This is the only peony I grow with the very curious habit of pushing out huge bloom buds out of the ground first. I suppose its buds develop over the winter, much earlier than most other varieties. Then when Peony 'Nova' starts to emerge from the ground in the spring, these huge buds are very susceptible to bud blast by a late freeze. As you can see from last year's 2015 Saunders Peony Varieties Frozen Bud Blast report, all of Peony 'Nova's buds were blasted last spring.

Peony 'Nova' Bloom Buds Emerge First

From the photo above you can see that Peony 'Nova' buds emerge so early, one of them was already blasted earlier this winter. Now two more have arrived, and hopefully we'll get to see them bloom this year! We shouldn't get any more late freezes before they bloom, since our local groundhog, Sir Walter Wally, predicted an early spring this year. ;-) On a more scientific note, our local 10 Day Forecast looks like we'll have 10 days in a row of 70 degree temperatures starting tomorrow! Also the overnight temperature will range from the upper 40s to the upper 50s. If that doesn't sound like an early spring, I don't know what does! Hopefully it will be enough to coax these beautiful Peony 'Nova' blossoms from their buds!

Local Weather - 10 Day Forecast

Saturday, March 5, 2016

2016 Intersectional Peony Vendor Price Changes

Well, I think all of the 2016 peony catalogs are out now. So I've updated my 2016 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List. I decided to add a new feature this year to put green arrows for mostly lower prices, red arrows for mostly higher prices, and a blue dot for mostly same prices. Hopefully this will be a helpful feature when determining where to place your order. If you haven't taken a look yet to see what roots you'd like to order to plant this fall, now is a good time to do it. A few limited stock and in demand peonies have sold out already, but not many. However, the later you wait in the year, the more peony varieties will be sold out. So get your order in early!!!

Intersectional Peony Vendor Price Changes

Thursday, March 3, 2016

2016 It's Starting... Tree Peonies are Waking Up!

OMG! I am so excited. My tree peonies are starting to wake up! There are even a couple of coral peonies that have started to sneak a little stem out of the ground. Peony season is coming! After three 70° days in a row, how could they not wake up? I am so happy to see many of my tree peonies are coming back from last year - sorry to say I have killed a few (and there may more casualties this year). I only have a small number of tree peonies, even though they supposedly grow very well here. I am trying to grow my tree peony collection, and still trying to figure out how to grow them. They're a little different than the herbaceous peonies that I'm used to growing. However, I think I am *starting* to get the hang of it - by no means an expert, but I'm starting to get them to come back year to year. ;-) I can't wait to see what my tree peonies do this year. I think a few of them have tips that look like bud tips on them. So some of the tree peonies that I have not yet seen bloom, might give me a flower this spring - very exciting!!!
Tree Peony 'Li Yuan Chun' 李园春
Leafing Out
Tree Peony 'Li Yuan Chun' 李园春
Leafing Out