Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 Tree Peony 'White Phoenix' Growing in January

Yes, this is a tree peony that is growing in January. It is only just starting its growth cycle, but it is starting. When I've seen tree peonies growing so early in the season in previous years, it was worrisome to me. I didn't and still do not have tons of experience with tree peonies. However, I am beginning to learn that these mighty beauties begin their growth cycle much earlier than herbaceous peonies. Also the buds of tree peonies seem to be much more impervious to winter weather (although not invincible). Since almost all of the tree peony's flower buds are above ground all winter long, these buds are built to withstand the cold temperatures and weather fluctuations that can be experienced in a winter to spring warm up transition.

Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'
Beginning to Grow in January

This is likely another reason that tree peonies have a reputation of growing well in Southern climates. Since tree peonies' flower buds are formed in the fall, and remain on the tree peony stem tips all winter long, they are able to accumulate more chilling hours on their buds than herbaceous peony buds, which are at or below the soil surface all winter long. This is yet another reason to plant your herbaceous peonies as close to the soil surface as possible in Southern climates. This allows the buds to accumulate the chilling hours needed to flower. So if you grow tree peonies in a Southern climate, and you notice that they begin to grow so much earlier than your herbaceous peonies, do not fear. The foliage will not be harmed and the buds will likely be just fine too...

Sunday, January 29, 2017

2017 Questions - Dividing an Herbaceous Peony in Winter

I received this question from Gwendolyn in zone 7b:


I have an 8 year old Sarah Bernhardt peony that I would like to divide. I live in Raleigh, NC and I was wondering if it is too late to divide it? Thank you for any advice you can give me.


Herbaceous Peony Buds Still Dormant
(End of January)

Actually you are in luck. Since the ground never really experiences a hard, long freeze during the winter here in growing zone 7b, you have some extra time to divide your herbaceous peony plant (especially with the warmer temperatures we've been experiencing here recently). Ideally peonies are divided in the fall season. However, digging and dividing a peony now in our growing zone should be no problem, as long as there is no snow cover (which is rare here anyway) and the ground is not frozen at the time. I would definitely get it done now, though. January and February would probably be the limit on when to divide a peony in a Southern growing zone.

Herbaceous Peony Buds Beginning of Growth Cycle
(End of February)

By March the peony's foliage will begin to start an active growth cycle, and that foliage would be stunned by a division during that time. The plant may still recover. However, completing the division now, before that active growth cycle starts is your best bet. Also if you need some step by step instructions (with pictures) on how to divide an herbaceous peony, please take a look at my How to Divide an Herbaceous Peony guide on my How To page. Good luck with your dividing your peony!

Herbaceous Peony Foliage Active Growth Cycle
(Middle of March)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2017 Herbaceous Hot 100 Peony Catalog Price Comparison List

I've been doing my Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison Lists for a few years now. This year I thought it might also be helpful to list some of the pricey herbaceous peonies that people might be interested in. There a several up and coming hot herbaceous peonies that tend to be around or above the $100 price range. Some of these peonies can be hard to find and acquire because their stock is so limited. So this list will give you a heads up of where you can find them and who has them priced for what. Even if you don't want to spend that much on one peony (yet!), at least you can drool! 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.)

Photo Courtesy of Flower Muse

Peony Vendor
Blossom Hill
Cricket Hill
Hidden Springs
Peony's Envy
Peony Shop Holland
Solaris Farms
Song Sparrow

Herbaceous PeonyPriceVendor
Alexander Woollcott$75.00Hidden Springs
Blood Moon$225.00Solaris Farms
Bob$125.00Hidden Springs
Callisto$80.00Solaris Farms
Dione$100.00Solaris Farms
Dreamtime$115.00Solaris Farms
Europa$225.00Solaris Farms
Faithful Dream$140.00Hollingsworth
Golden Angel$125.00Song Sparrow
Golden Wheel$125.00Cricket Hill
John's DreamC$350.00Blossom Hill
Juliska$80.00Solaris Farms
Juliska$95.00Hidden Springs
Kathy's Touch$80.00Hollingsworth
Kayleigh Ann$200.00Hollingsworth
Lemon Chiffon€21.00Peony Shop Holland
Lemon Chiffon$90.00Brooks
Lemon Chiffon$90.00Hollingsworth
Lemon Chiffon$95.00Solaris Farms
Lemon Chiffon$99.99Hidden Springs
Lemon Chiffon$115.99Fina
Lemon Chiffon$135.99Song Sparrow
Little Dorrit$125.00Brooks
Little Corporal$90.00Solaris Farms
Little Corporal$120.00Hollingsworth
Lois' Choice$85.00Brooks
Lois' Choice$89.99Hidden Springs
Lois' Choice$90.00Adelman
Lois' Choice$90.00Hollingsworth
Lois' Choice$90.00Solaris Farms
Lois' Choice€120.00Peony Shop Holland
Old Soldier$80.00Solaris Farms
Old Soldier$80.00Hollingsworth
Paeonia mlokosewitschii$75.00Brooks
Pastelegance€200.00Peony Shop Holland
Pastelegance$240.00Solaris Farms
Pastelorama$200.00Solaris Farms
Pearled Lemon Cream$100.00Song Sparrow
Red Rock Canyon$175.00Solaris Farms
Sky Dance$80.00Solaris Farms
Steven Ambrose$200.00Hidden Springs
Summer Glow$75.00Hidden Springs
Summer Glow$70.00Adelman
Sunny Boy€500.00Peony Shop Holland
Sunny Day€125.00Peony Shop Holland
Tranquil Dove$90.00Hollingsworth
Triton$100.00Solaris Farms
Tropicana$75.00Solaris Farms
Vanilla Schnapps$125.00Solaris Farms
Vanilla Schnapps$150.00Hollingsworth
Virginia Emerson$100.00Hollingsworth

Friday, January 20, 2017

2017 First Intersectional Peony Gift from a Friend

USPS Priority Mail Box with Peony Gift

This week I was delighted to receive my first ever division of an intersectional peony as a gift from a Southern peony friend. Sure my Mom has bought me a peony for my birthday before (and of course that was much appreciated), but I had never received a division from a peony friend's own garden. So it was especially nice to receive a box from a fellow Southern peony gardener this week with a division of 'Sonoma YeDo' in it. The box was large, but rather light. However, when I opened the box, the root was huge, and despite its lack of packing material, not even one root appeared to have been broken. Way to go USPS Priority Mail!

Peony Root in Reused (Yay!) Southern States Bag

The root was simply wrapped in a reused retail bag, with a name on it I thought appropriate - Southern States. :-) The root itself easily had more than 10 pink eyes on it and more than 10 stems cut back from the previous season - a very large root. So it seems very likely that I will get a bloom from this one this year! How exciting! I am keeping my fingers crossed. I will definitely be posting some pics if I get a bright, yellow bloom from this Intersectional Peony 'Sonoma YeDo' this year! :-D

Intersectional Peony 'Sonoma YeDo'

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

2017 Transplant Late Blooming Dark Pink Herbaceous Peony

Transplanted Peony of Interest's
Pink Bud
Transplanted Peony's
Faded Tag

I know it is super late in the season (read: past the season) to transplant peonies. However, I took advantage of the 62° day we had this week (now that the snow and ice has melted) to transplant a peony that looked promising to me last spring. It is a dark pink herbaceous peony, and I had tagged it as "WATCH LATE BLOOMER" at the end of the peony bloom season. It was particularly interesting to me because it was the only peony blooming after all of the other peonies in the bed had finished blooming. That is a valuable peony to have. I am curious to see when and how it blooms next spring. So I moved it from a crowded seedling bed to a less crowded seedling bed. Since I missed getting pictures of the blooms last spring, I will be sure to get some photos of its flowers when it blooms.

Transplanted Peony's Roots and Brown Stem

Friday, January 13, 2017

2017 Peony Shop Holland 13 Intersectional Peonies Less than $20!

Peony Shop Holland
12 Intersectional Peonies for Less than $20!

As I was putting together the 2017 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List this year, I couldn't help but notice that Peony Shop Holland is offering 13 Intersectional Peony Varieties for less than $20 each! I have never ordered from them before, but I am definitely tempted. There is a €100.00 fee for a phytosanitary certificate, plus shipping. However, if you are placing a big order from them, the much, much lower price of the roots would likely more than pay for the extra fee. Also the dollar and the euro are almost equal now. One dollar equals .95 euro. I sent a note of inquiry to Peony Shop Holland, and Joshua informed me of another option for private collectors. There is a person in the USA who conglomerates USA orders into one shipment, making the shipping about $5 per root to your door with no separate phytosanitary charge. This might be another option to get some pretty intersectional peonies to your door!

The intersectional peony varieties that Peony Shop Holland is offering this year for less than $20 are:

Peony VarietyPrice
Border Charm €11.00
Callies Memory€11.00
Cora Louise€15.00
Garden Treasure€11.00
Old Rose Dandy€13.00
Prairie Charm€15.00
Scarlet Heaven€15.00
Shining Light€13.00
Viking Full Moon€19.00
Yellow Crown€11.00
Yellow Waterlily€15.00

Monday, January 9, 2017

2017 Intersectional Peony Catalog Price Comparison List

The new year is upon us, and so is a white layer of winter weather. What better time to spend the snow day than creating my annual Intersectional Peony Price List? The online peony catalogs are coming online, but they are not all out yet. The vendors who don't have their lists up yet still have a line through them. I'll update this information as more online peony catalogs are updated and become available. If you'd like to compare this year's prices to last year's prices, here's a link to my 2016 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.)

Photo Courtesy of Georgianna Lane

Peony Vendor
Price Change
from Last Year

Adelman mostly same or lower
Birchwood same
Blossom Hill mostly same or higher
Brooks mixed same, lower, & higher
Cricket Hill mostly same
Fina same or lower
Hidden Springs mostly lower or same
Hollingsworth mostly lower or same
Peony's Envy mostly same
Peony Shop Holland mostly same
Solaris Farms mostly lower or same
Song Sparrow mostly same or higher
Swenson mostly same or lower

Intersectional PeonyPriceVendor
Ballarena de Saval€50.00Peony Shop Holland
Ballarena de Saval$70.00Adelman
Bartzella€11.00Peony Shop Holland
Bartzella$45.00Solaris Farms
Bartzella$59.99Hidden Springs
Bartzella$79.00Peony's Envy
Bartzella$85.00Song Sparrow
Bartzella$89.00Cricket Hill
Berry Garcia$95.00Brooks
Border Charm€11.00Peony Shop Holland
Border Charm$40.00Adelman
Border Charm$40.00Brooks
Border Charm$40.00Swenson
Border Charm$65.00Song Sparrow
Border CharmC$90.00Blossom Hill
Callie's Memory€11.00Peony Shop Holland
Callie's Memory$40.00Solaris Farms
Callie's Memory$60.00Swenson
Callie's Memory$75.00Adelman
Callie's Memory$125.00Song Sparrow
Canary Brilliants$55.00Adelman
Canary Brilliants$60.00Brooks
Canary Brilliants$60.00Swenson
Canary Brilliants$75.00Solaris Farms
Canary Brilliants$79.00Peony's Envy
Canary Brilliants$89.00Cricket Hill
Canary Brilliants$125.00Song Sparrow
Chief Black Hawk$175.00Brooks
Chief Black Hawk$250.00Swenson
Cora Louise€15.00Peony Shop Holland
Cora Louise$59.99Hidden Springs
Cora Louise$60.00Adelman
Cora Louise$60.00Hollingsworth
Cora Louise$60.00Swenson
Cora Louise$79.00Peony's Envy
Cora Louise$85.00Song Sparrow
Cora Louise$89.00Cricket Hill
Court Jester$40.00Swenson
(Maroon) Dragon Claw$89.00Cricket Hill
First Arrival$40.00Solaris Farms
First Arrival$50.00Hollingsworth
First Arrival$50.00Swenson
First Arrival$57.00Fina
First Arrival$60.00Adelman
First Arrival$79.00Peony's Envy
First Arrival$89.00Cricket Hill
First ArrivalC$130.00Blossom Hill
First Arrival$140.00Song Sparrow
Garden Treasure€11.00Peony Shop Holland
Garden Treasure$40.00Solaris Farms
Garden Treasure$50.00Swenson
Garden Treasure$52.00Fina
Garden Treasure$59.99Hidden Springs
Garden Treasure$60.00Adelman
Garden Treasure$60.00Brooks
Garden Treasure$64.00Hollingsworth
Garden Treasure$79.00Peony's Envy
Garden Treasure$85.00Song Sparrow
Garden Treasure$89.00Cricket Hill
Going Bananas$40.00Adelman
Going Bananas$50.00Swenson
Going Bananas$100.00Song Sparrow
Gordon E. Simonson$150.00Solaris Farms
Gordon E. Simonson$180.00Hollingsworth
Gordon E. Simonson$200.00Swenson
Gordon E. Simonson$225.00Adelman
Gordon E. Simonson€300.00Peony Shop Holland
Hidden Treasure$35.00Solaris Farms
Hillary€17.00Peony Shop Holland
Hillary$40.00Solaris Farms
Hillary$59.99Hidden Springs
Hillary$85.00Song Sparrow
Joanna Marlene$60.00Swenson
Joanna Marlene$72.00Fina
Joanna Marlene$80.00Adelman
Julia Rose$45.00Solaris Farms
Julia Rose$50.00Swenson
Julia Rose$56.00Fina
Julia Rose$75.00Adelman
Julia Rose$79.00Peony's Envy
Julia Rose$85.00Song Sparrow
Julia Rose$89.00Cricket Hill
(Anderson's) Kaleidoscope$50.00Swenson
Kopper Kettle$75.00Fina
Kopper Kettle$95.00Brooks
Kopper Kettle$99.00Adelman
Kopper KettleC$120.00Blossom Hill
(Copper) Kopper Kettle$150.00Swenson
Lemon Dream$45.00Adelman
Lemon Dream$45.00Fina
Lemon Dream$45.00Solaris Farms
Lemon Dream$50.00Brooks
Lemon Dream$50.00Swenson
Little Darlin'$65.00Song Sparrow
Lollipop$45.00Solaris Farms
Love Affair€120.00Peony Shop Holland
Love Affair$150.00Adelman
Love Affair$150.00Brooks
Lunar Glow$100.00Adelman
Magical Mystery Tour$75.00Solaris Farms
Magical Mystery Tour$95.00Brooks
Momo Taro (Peach Boy)$48.00Fina
Momo Taro (Peach Boy)$75.00Solaris Farms
Morning Lilac$52.00Fina
Morning Lilac$70.00Adelman
Morning Lilac$75.00Swenson
New Millennium$120.00Solaris Farms
New Millennium$175.00Swenson
New Millennium$180.00Hollingsworth
New Millennium$200.00Adelman
Norwegian Blush$150.00Swenson
Old Rose Dandy€13.00Peony Shop Holland
Old Rose Dandy$35.00Brooks
Old Rose Dandy$40.00Adelman
Old Rose Dandy$40.00Solaris Farms
Old Rose Dandy$40.00Swenson
Oriental Gold$119.00Cricket Hill
Pastel Splendor$35.00Solaris Farms
Pastel Splendor$40.00Swenson
Pastel Splendor$42.00Fina
Pastel Splendor$45.00Adelman
Pastel Splendor$48.00Hidden Springs
Pastel Splendor$70.00Song Sparrow
Pastel SplendorC$80.00Blossom Hill
Prairie Charm€15.00Peony Shop Holland
Prairie Charm$39.99Hidden Springs
Prairie Charm$40.00Swenson
Prairie Charm$50.00Adelman
Prairie Charm$50.00Brooks
Prairie Charm$70.00Song Sparrow
Rosy Prospects$65.00Adelman
Rosy Prospects€65.00Peony Shop Holland
Rosy Prospects$75.00Brooks
Rosy Prospects$125.00Swenson
Royal Blush$125.00Swenson
Saffron Innocence$200.00Swenson
Scarlet Heaven€15.00Peony Shop Holland
Scarlet Heaven$35.00Solaris Farms
Scarlet Heaven$40.00Adelman
Scarlet Heaven$44.00Hollingsworth
Scarlet Heaven$50.00Brooks
Scarlet Heaven$79.00Peony's Envy
Scarlet Heaven$89.00Cricket Hill
Scarlet Heaven$125.00Song Sparrow
Scrumdidleyumptious$75.00Solaris Farms
Sequestered Sunshine$48.00Fina
Sequestered Sunshine$75.00Swenson
Sequestered Sunshine$95.00Brooks
Sequestered Sunshine$125.00Song Sparrow
Shining Light€13.00Peony Shop Holland
Singing in the Rain$40.00Adelman
Smith Family Yellow€65.00Peony Shop Holland
Smith Family Yellow$99.00Adelman
Sonoma Amethyst€40.00Peony Shop Holland
Sonoma Amethyst$65.00Adelman
Sonoma Amethyst$65.00Fina
Sonoma Apricot€45.00Peony Shop Holland
Sonoma Apricot$50.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Apricot$80.00Adelman
Sonoma Blessing$75.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma By the Bay
(Tolomeo Itoh #L61)
$135.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Floozy$75.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Halo$250.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Halo$350.00Adelman
Sonoma Kaleidoscope$200.00Adelman
Sonoma Rosy Future$100.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Sun€45.00Peony Shop Holland
Sonoma Sun$65.00Adelman
Sonoma Velvet Ruby€40.00Peony Shop Holland
Sonoma Velvet Ruby$45.00Adelman
Sonoma Velvet Ruby$60.00Solaris Farms
Sonoma Welcome€40.00Peony Shop Holland
Sonoma Welcome$65.00Adelman
Sonoma Yedo$275.00Solaris Farms
Strawberry Blush$150.00Swenson
Strawberry Blush$200.00Adelman
Unique€45.00Peony Shop Holland
Unique$60.00Solaris Farms
Viking Full Moon€19.00Peony Shop Holland
Viking Full Moon$40.00Solaris Farms
Viking Full Moon$40.00Swenson
Viking Full Moon$45.00Adelman
Watermelon Wine€65.00Peony Shop Holland
Watermelon Wine$125.00Adelman
Watermelon Wine$125.00Swenson
White Emperor$150.00Swenson
Yellow Crown€11.00Peony Shop Holland
Yellow Crown$35.00Solaris Farms
Yellow Crown$44.99Hidden Springs
Yellow Dream$60.00Brooks
Yellow Emperor$35.00Solaris Farms
Yellow Emperor$45.00Swenson
Yellow Emperor$85.00Song Sparrow
Yellow Heaven$75.00Brooks
Yellow Waterlily€15.00Peony Shop Holland

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 First Winter Weather on Peony Beds

Winter Weather on Peony Beds

Earlier this week I took advantage of a 65 degree (and wet) day we had to cut back most of my remaining peonies. I squeezed the last bit of daylight out of a couple of days, and I was able to finish cleaning up several peony beds. Good thing I did too, since our first winter weather of the season was right around the corner! I awoke this morning to a light layer of snow covering all of the peony beds and some of the grass too. It has started to snow again this morning, and the final result will likely be much whiter! It is rare to get snow here. Some years we go without any snow at all. The last few years, we have seen at least one or two snow showers, though. Since it doesn't come around very often, I am happy to see it, and the peaceful calm it lends to our natural surroundings.

Peony Beds 2 Days Before the Winter Weather

As you can see just two days ago, I had just finished cleaning up the peony beds, and everything looked so neat and tidy. The old peony foliage was a bit wet when I was cutting it back, which I find very helpful to get the job accomplished. It is much easier to cut and bag the dead foliage when it is soft and pliable from a rain, rather than stiff and dry from winter winds. It makes the job quick and more effective when you are able to get the dead peony foliage into the bag without it crunching and breaking into so many bits all over your garden. When the goal is to remove the foliage to help prevent disease, it helps when the foliage stays in one piece instead of breaking up into a thousand tiny bits. No, I am not throwing away good garden soil. I always save my old soil bags to reuse them as trash bags for dead peony foliage. I hate paying for garbage bags. It is like throwing your money away... literally. Also it is so much better for the environment to reuse things. If these bags were going to get thrown away anyway, why not use them for trash?

Reuse Old Soil Bags for Dead Peony Foliage

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Intersectional Peony Centers - Can You Guess???

If you haven't noticed the centers of your intersectional blossoms before, then you are definitely missing out! These beautiful blossoms are more than just a bunch of colorful petals. The centers are full of an abundance of goodness. Even though these peony parts are mostly useless for hybridizing, they possess a curious, intimate, almost other worldly center in miniature. My imagination sometimes finds myself wondering what small sprites could inhabit the stately, castle-like stigmas. The tips of the stigma "castles" come in bright hues of fuchsia lavender, lipstick red, baby pink, golden yellow, and ivory white. The petals are decorated by contrasting colored flares in reds, burgundies, whites, and shades of purple. The golden yellow crown of stamens stand guard around the castle. I have purposefully left the names off of these flowers to see if you already know the names of these intersectional peonies by looking at their centers. If you'd like to guess, you can leave a comment below or here on Facebook. I will reveal the answers to the flowers' identities next week! ;-)

Intersectional Peony 'Bartzella'

Intersectional Peony 'Scarlet Heaven'

Intersectional Peony 'Cora Louise'

Intersectional Peony 'Sonoma Amethyst'

Intersectional Peony 'Takara' 慈悲 (Treasure) - Smith Opus 2

Intersectional Peony 'Sequestered Sunshine'