Articles about Peony convention
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Thursday, July 7, 2022

2022 American Peony Society Convention Exhibition Artistic Design Entries

2022 American Peony Society Artistic Design Entries

Inside the University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Garden's Auditorium, I think the Artistic Design entries got the best spot in the show, a beautiful spot right next to a wall of windows overlooking an outdoor patio surrounded by lush greenery! I should have taken a photo of the gorgeous peony arrangements from both ends of the Artistic Design table. In this shot, I got up close angles of the professional division, also known as the "Open Classes", Classes 6-11 this year.

Artistic Design Reserve Champion
Class 11 - "Helen V. Smith Woodland and Wildflower Garden"

Class 11 - "Helen V. Smith Woodland and Wildflower Garden"

Class 11 - "Helen V. Smith Woodland and Wildflower Garden"

Class 11 - "Helen V. Smith Woodland and Wildflower Garden"

Class 10 - "Sitting Garden"

Class 10 - "Sitting Garden"

Class 8 – "Marie Azary Rock Garden"

Class 8 – "Marie Azary Rock Garden"

Class 7 – "Gateway Garden of New World Plants"

Class 6 – "Great Lakes Garden"

Class 6 – "Great Lakes Garden"

The novice design classes where Classes 2-5 this year, with several first time entrants participating in the artistic design portion of the show. All of the designs in the show were so beautiful. I would take any of them home with me. If you've never tried your hand at entering the APS flower show, the artistic design category might be an easy way to get started! There was even a children's class this year, Class 1, open to people 16 or younger, which had good participation! I can't wait to try my design skills again at next year's APS Convention Exhibition!

Class 5 – "Bonsai and Penjing Garden"

Class 5 – "Bonsai and Penjing Garden"

Class 4 – "Medicinal Garden"

Class 4 – "Medicinal Garden"

Class 4 – "Medicinal Garden"

Class 3 – "Perennial Garden"

Artistic Design Novice Award
Class 3 – "Perennial Garden"

Class 2 – "Urban Pocket Garden"

Class 1 – "Gaffield Children's Garden"

Monday, July 4, 2022

2022 American Peony Society Exhibition Southern Peony Wins Artistic Design Novice Rosette Award

2022 American Peony Society Exhibition Artistic Design Award
Novice Class 3 "Perennial Garden"

After the judging is complete at the American Peony Society convention, all of the entrants are always excited to go see what if any ribbons they might have won. I was one of those people since I entered a few designs into the Novice category of the APS Artistic Design section of the Exhibition this year. I was thrilled to learn that not only had a won a couple ribbons on my designs, but I also won the highest award in the Novice category, the Artistic Design Novice Award!

2022 Southern Peony Wins Artistic Design Award

It looks like I actually won this "Novice Artistic Design" award before, in 2019 APS Convention Southern Peony Wins 3 Blue Ribbons in Artistic Division & First Rosette, but it looks like I wasn't awarded a Court of Honor for that Novice Artistic Design Award last time. I'm not sure if that was a mistake or they just started putting the Novice Design awards on the Court of Honor this year.

2022 American Peony Society Exhibition
Court of Honor, Artistic Design Novice Award

I was told, though, that this year they've changed the rules. Now anyone who has received a "Court of Honor" award must now compete in the professional division of that class going forward. It sounds like for any future exhibitions, I will be in the professional category for either flowers or artistic design! - since I've also placed on the Court of Honor 1 time in the cut flower division, 2015 APS Southern Peony Court of Honor Winner - 'Keiko'. That's a little scary when you know you have to compete with the likes of professional growers (in the cut flower competition) and professional flower arrangers (in the artistic design category).

2022 American Peony Society Exhibition
Court of Honor

Saturday, July 2, 2022

2022 American Peony Society Convention Flower Exhibition Seedlings

2022 American Peony Society Convention Flower Exhibition Seedlings

For the last few conventions at least, the Seedling category of the American Peony Society Flower Exhibition Seedling class has been judged by Don Hollingsworth (loves early double herbaceous) and Nate Bremer (loves tree peonies). You can check out my interviews with each of them on our Southern Peony Hybridizers page. This year did not change that judging practice, as they both judged the Seedling class again this year as well.

2022 American Peony Society Convention Flower Exhibition Seedlings

It seems like the Seedling judges really favored the anemone style peonies this year, and a couple of double or mostly double herbceous varieties. There were so many beautiful tree peony varieties on the Seedling table this year, but I'm not sure why none of them were awarded a pink Certificate of Merit ribbon. I guess they didn't meet the standards or bring anything new into the range.

Seedling entries in the APS Exhibition are not ranked with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons like the other show flowers. If they are deemed worthy, they are instead awarded a pink "Certificate of Merit" ribbon by the judges. It looks like this year Tim Stanek of Iowa took home lots of pink ribbons and almost swept the category!! Congrats, Tim! Check out this year's winning flowers below...

Peony "Crm #1"
Tim Stanek

Peony "SPECKS"
Tim Stanek

Peony "H3521"
Don Hollingsworth

Peony "PK OR JP"
Tim Stanek

Tim Stanek
Peony "DRK PK JP"
Tim Stanek

Thursday, June 30, 2022

2022 American Peony Society Convention Exhibition Flower Show Court of Honor

2022 American Peony Society Convention Exhibition Flower Show
Court of Honor

The American Peony Society Convention Exhibition Court of Honor was a bit smaller this year, perhaps due to the smaller size of the show overall. Being a smaller show, it fit the venue (the Univeristy of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Garden Auditorium) well and was a good step after a 2 year hiatus due to public health concerns. Peony 'Pastelegance' was the Best in Show flower this year, a repeat on the Best in Show list after first winning Best in Show in 2016. This is a happy coincidence, as Peony 'Pastelegance' is also the APS Gold Medal winner for 2022 as well!

2022 American Peony Society Grand Champion
Peony 'Pastelegance'

Congratulations to all of the exibitors on the APS Court of Honor!

2022 Novice Best Specimen
Peony 'Waucedah Princess'

2022 APS Reserve Champion
Intersectional Peony 'Sonoma Halo'

Best Blush Lactiflora
Peony 'Mrs. J. H. Neely'

Best White Wood Peony
Peony 'Koshina-yuki'

Best Species
Peony 'Anemonefolia Rosea'

Best Yellow Blend Woody Peony
Peony 'Jack's Point'

Best Maroon Woody Peony
Peony 'Maria Teresa'

Best White Lactiflora
Peony 'Henry Sass'

Best Pink Woody Peony
Peony 'Elemental'

Best Pink Lactiflora
Peony 'Monsieur Jules Elie'

Best Red Hybrid
Peony 'Commando'

Best Pink Hybrid
Peony 'Nosegay'

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

2022 American Peony Society Convention Flow Show Prep

The 2022 American Peony Society Convention isn't possible without the help of so many entrants and volunteers. Before the show opens to the public, APS members are busy as bees, hard at work creating the beautiful flow show the public sees. Flowers are selected for showing, stems trimmed, put into exhibition bottles with water, groomed for the show, tagged with variety and entrant, and then categorized into their show categories for judging.

American Peony Society Convention Prep

This year the APS Exhibition Committee made a change to have all entries submitted by Friday afternoon at 4pm. That way the judges could judge the flower show on Friday evening and have the show ready for the public first thing Saturday morning. Previously flowers were due by Saturday morning, while the judges tried to judge quickly late Saturday morning, often times delaying the opening of the show. I thought this change was wonderful for the show, although I did miss the time on Friday for group APS activities.

APS Novice Design Entries

Often times after entrants have selected the flowers they do want to show, they have leftover flowers that are not deemed to be "show quality". Usually those stems are made available for flower arranging. While a single stem may not be the perfect shape/quality for a ribbon on the exhibition floor, it can still be a valuable addition for a floral arrangement entry. I have entered the floral design categories a couple of times before. This year I had my Mom with me, and I got her to create a few designs as well. I entered four designs, and she entered three. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun!!

Sunday, June 5, 2022

2022 American Peony Society Convention

It was as lovely to see the people as it was the flowers at the 2022 American Peony Society convention this year. I will say that David Michener's dream finally came true, culminating in the 100th Anniversary celebration of the historic peony garden collection growing at the University of Michigan's Nichols Arboretum, comingling with the American Peony Society's annual convention. After not having a convention for 2 years, it was nice to be back in person.

2022 American Peony Society Convention
University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Garden

The convention started in the usual way with the welcome picnic, and of course the stalwart and ever-present peony show was held. The rest was a little different than usual. We joined a ticketed private garden tour with other members of the public. The University of Michigan's Nichols Arboretum and Matthaei Botanical Garden were available to tour at your leisure. All of these places were nice to tour, but it did make it a little hard to chat with other APS members during the tours/outings. Luckily I was able to tag along with a few other APS members for the garden tour, which definitely made the day much more enjoyable. Hopefully the APS will bring back the bus tours next year, as they really do make it so much easier to chat with old and new APS members.

All in all, I am so very grateful to have been able to attend the convention (with my Mom as well)! I just hope that all is calm and the convention is able to be held again next year!