Calling all "judges" for the annual DG County Fair! Vote for your favorites here!

fragrant peonies ?

Elkhart, IA(Zone 5a)

I've ordered peonies from dealers that claim they are fragrant. So far only one out of eight have any real fragrance. If you have a favorite fragrant peony please post the name of it so that I can try to order it. The catalogs aren't always truthful. :(
Many thanks!
Ann

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Hmmm....I actually did the sniffer test first hand this spring....I need to find where I put that vendors card with the names of the two that were delightful...

Chantell

Elkhart, IA(Zone 5a)

Chantell, I sure would appreciate it. : ) I love peonies but want them to be fragrant. Thanks!

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Ann...I will try to find that vendors card I wrote the info on...sorry for the late response...it' hit or miss when I sign on to DG...

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Ann...My all time fav is Duchess de Nemours (sp), very fragrant. Most of the older and common varieties are fragrant. Mrs. FDR is fragrant. Got a web sight for you and have personnaly ordered 30 plants from them, check out web site for pix and full descriptions. Gilbert Wild and Son. They sell mostly daylilies, peonies, iris, ( minor catagories: hosta,grasses, lilies). I was very pleased with this company as plants were huge, hope that helps. Good Luck, Kathy. Pix is Duchess.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Chicago, IL(Zone 6a)

In my experience, Festiva Maxima, Edulis Superba and Duchesse de Nemours all have a strong and wonderful fragrance.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 8a)

Sarah Bernhardt has always smelled LOVELY to me, even in different gardens.
I am not saying anything about anyone's gardening, here, but if a plant is low on its water, it won't be as fragrant. Fragrance is 'expensive' to manufactur & if you want it, you've got to be on top of your watering & feeding. Learned this the slow way!

Fairfax, VA(Zone 7a)

Just want to second the recommendation for Festiva Maxima. What a spectacular smell!

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

A third for Festiva Maxima. I have had it for many years. It is a reliable bloomer and the fragrance is strong. Anyone who wants a fragrant peony, this one should not be too hard to find.

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Dabney - you are so right re the watering. I've not been so consistent in the past. This year I've been faithfully watering (course God helped a LOT) b/c I wanted to be able to harvest many herbs I was growing for medicinal/culinary purposes...and let me just say that I've had multiple flushes with my night blooming jasmine - my brugs have ALL been blooming (no blooms last year) and FINALLY blessed with the scent of the Butterfly Ginger. My yard may not appeal to everyone on a visual level but let me tell you I have THE best smelling yard (esp at night) out of probably 40+ town houses and proud of it!!

Greensboro, NC(Zone 8a)

You go girl!!
For years i also gardened under the erroneous belief that if my plants were in the ground (as opposed to pots) they had access to all the food they needed...and i did NOT have a garden i could brag about!
Other than this looks like the next peony i'm buying is Festiva Maxima!!
thanks all

(Zone 5a)

Well,, live and learn. My peonies will now get ample water! I dug three old timers from a friends yard and last year noticed more fragrance.

Lizella, GA(Zone 8a)

mmmm, love those butterfly gingers!!!

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

For those not sure on the water needs of peonies: Once established peonies are quite drought tolerant, however in the spring they love the extra moisture. If the weather holds a bit longer for me, I have 24 peonies to get planted this fall. If I don't make it they will spend the winter in pots, gosh I sure hope I have enough time......I would love to see them bloom in the garden preferably. The above patch of peonies I was talking about got shared with others when I moved 15 years ago and now am replacing them where I'm located. If I could just get ahead of the weeds, seems like it has taken too many years to get my yard planted. 'Course I started out with just fields, (I live in the country), but gosh come on, lol. Just finished planting most of the perenns. in the main border, now onto a section of the backyard, debating with myself if I want my peonies there or in a border for just spring bloomers ( peonies, iris, centranthus , trumpet lilies, and bleeding hearts; is already established, sort of, would have to clear the ground again as the pesky weeds took over while I was working on other areas of the garden). Still doing repairs from my July rain/hail of 5", am still trying to figure out how to divert the heavy rain water from above and behind me so I can quite replacing the washed out soil and plants that went God knows where. Anyone else starting their yard from scratch? Whew, should be nice when I finish tho, lol. And for those that have or can get aged manure, peonies just love the stuff , use it as a side dressing in the spring but not too close to the stems. Yeah, only 8 more months here til the peonies could begin blooming!!!!! Kathy.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I just got one peony this season so far. 'Pillow Talk' from Wayside Gardens.

Thumbnail by evelyn_inthegarden
Greensboro, NC(Zone 8a)

hi Kathy...i am starting a garden from scratch but i sure don't have a view like THAT!!!
i am having to dig all new beds out of southern red clay 2 miles deep. I have managed to outwit the deer but after catching 5 groundhogs in traps, # 6 got wise.
As of this week i have a beautiful new glass greenhouse and i garden almost exclusively for fragrance...

Thumbnail by dabneyrose
Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Wow Evelyn that's a beauty!!!! Looks like a bourbon rose, hope it's a smelly for you,(lol) Danbey, really a greenhouse, how could you tell me that, (sniff..sniff), what a wonderful addition, what will you grow? Are you starting seedlings or will you grow tropicals? And how in the world did you outwit the four legged things (d--r)? Love fragrant flowers, I read books for years trying to figure out what I can grow that is fragrant...trees, shrubs and flowers and am trying to include as many as I can, don't even care if they are common. If it's hardy and I can afford it it will probably be included in my garden (the whole yard will be one big garden, hopefully 1 acre planted, that's the plan.) I buy mailorder bareroot where possible, also the state extention office has seedling tree and shrub programs (.50 cent each, have to live on acrerage is the only catch), got 80 some common lilacs to surround the yard as a barrier from those 4 legged (d--r), I grow most of my perenns ( which is cheapest and scour the seed catalogs for unusual and fragrant). I start most of my seeds indoors, had a stand to start all my seeds (which I built), did it in a spare bedroom til my brother moved in. Then I took over the tub area of my bathroom, hanging shop lights over the tub, which has a piece of plywood over it. Hoping one day to have a better set up again,lol. I use to start thousands of seedlings every year but am down to hundreds now, still have alot of ground to cover with something other than (w--ds). Oh and pix above is not a close view of mountains for me, my veiw is approx. 24" above horizon line as I live in a valley. My best view for a mountain is Pike's Peak to the south ( 'bout 50 miles away tho). Oh ya Iowa Ann... forgot to tell you a great mail order for peonies is: Gilbert Wild and Son (.com), they have a catalog of Daylilies, Peonies, Iris, Hostas and Lillies, they breed the first three. It's been years since I got peonies from them but they were huge and worth every penny. They give very accurate descriptions of peonies, height, bloom time, fragrance and breeding info. hope ya alll have a wonderful day, Kathy.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

here's a pix of 1 of my two stands that i had made. sure is a great winter hobby. Kathy.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Greensboro, NC(Zone 8a)

80 LILACS ?!?!?!
omg can i come visit you when they bloom to do some enfleurage?? (laying flowers down in fat for perfume making)
i've got 5 hardy cyclamen & 2 primula on the way for the greenhouse ...& i have a lemon tree, parma violets, sweet peas, daphne, osmanthus, ginger lily, brgumansia, i', sure i'm leaving out a few...AND i'm going to grow micro-greens for eating. all is is for smelling.

my daughter will be moving to the Ft Collins area in about 9 months so maybe i will get to really smell those lilacs some day!

(Zone 5a)

Kathy, drooling over 24 new peonies!! Drooling over starting beds from scratch!

I hope you had a tractor or rototiller for making all those beds! I made all mine one by one over the years, with just a shovel, and spade for edging. Each year they just got a little bigger. I was also much younger.

My neighbor had about as many peonies to plant and she planted hers in front of her pine trees in a semi-circle. It looks great!

It sounds like you need to make a rock garden where the rain washes out, starting by burying big rocks a little.

Awesome photo! Is that close to you, or your view across the road? It's just beautiful. We need a winter picture right in the same spot!

Evelyn, Pillow Talk is beautiful! It was sure named right. I could lay my head on them!

Dabneyrose, I don't envy you the clay and I believe it's two miles deep, LOL! Oh those dang deer and groundhogs. I hope # 6 wisely just goes around your place now.

Oh! I am so envious! I don't mind washing windows, I might get a bit tired of doing those, but, oh, to have one! You are sooo lucky!

I'm going for fragrance too, as much as I can. I still like color :o)

Kathy! You're killing me with the 80 lilacs! WOW!

Another beautiful picture!

I vote you Queen Of All Gardens, LOL! But seriously, you are! And.... you work with a hammer too! Love the plant stand!

Dabneyrose, I see your love of scents carries to making them. That's a word I never heard of. What does it entail and how do you use the finished product?

Dahlonega, GA

Bump me into this thread

(Zone 5a)

:o)

Greensboro, NC(Zone 8a)

enfleurage is a french perfume term utilized w/ the flowers that do not distill (lilacs & peonies being 2). Fat, traditionally lard but you can use coconut butter is laid down in sheets & you layer the flowers on the fat which soaks up the scent, then they are replaced every 24 hours for as long as they bloom. You can use the coconut butter as is...it makes a Heavenly body butter or you can wash it with alcohol & then into a liquid perfume.
Nowdays everything is usually done w/ chemical solvents but there is a move by a lot of natural perfumers (me being one) to use the 'olde methodes' : )

Dahlonega, GA

I have to try that next spring . My butterfly ginger isn't going to bloom this year . I should have watered more .Here they bloom just before frost anyway .I'll have gardenia next year too .

(Zone 5a)

Dabneyrose, that is so neat. I'd never heard of it. I keep lard on hand. I might have to give it a try. It's a great moisturizer, and to smell of a flower. YUM!

Greensboro, NC(Zone 8a)

right now i have a sample of some ginger lily enfleurage a friend in S. Africa sent me & it is S U B L I M E

(Zone 5a)

Dabneyrose, such a simple thing to do for something so wonderful. I'll really have to try it.

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Kathy - Dabney is right...your view is simply breath taking...I'd never leave home. Wow do I have view/space envy.

Dabney - your greenhouse - looks wonderful...I give everyone a giggle in a day or 2 and show you mine...I lovingly also refer to it as my 'living room'...LOL. All of my favorite babies put on SO much growth this year...not complaining mind you BUT the NBJ is taller then my ceiling - luckily she already was imitating the weeping willow form...sheesh!! Not only did my Butterfly Ginger bloom but another stalk has buds on it now...right along with the 30 some degree night time temps...go figure. My tea olive is covered in bitty blooms - that one may over winter in my bath room...LOL.

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

Kathy ~ Where do you live? It is SO beautiful! I really like your light stand. Mine is too narrow, but I will use it anyway. I started quite a few things last winter and now I am sorting my seeds out again as they kept changing boxes...for the changing categories. First I sorted them into annuals, perennials, biennials, warm season veggies, cool-season veggies...etc. Once the sowing time started, I moved them into " sow-now" boxes, sow in beds...etc. They are mostly out of order as they have been sorted into the various boxes for each garden bed. I have a lot more sorting. Then I will wash my sowing pots, trays and all that and get busy again for the winter. Some are sowed outside either in beds, in situ, or in one gallon pots or other various winter-sowing methods.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 8a)

Chantell..i'm glad the butterfly ginger bloomed for you! I've been cutting stalks w/'buds' & bringing them inside where they continue to open up & scent the house for about a week!
How lovely...you can sit & chat w/your plants!

Middle of, VA(Zone 7a)

Ooooo you mean I can cut the stalk and put in water inside and they'll open?

Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Thanks evelyn and chantell, I can't take credit for that pix, is from my daughter's collection. When I'm babysitting grandkids and on their puter I just go into their pix and pick one, lol. Guess thats cheating, lol. My pix are mostly of flowers and since they don't have any pix of theirs I use the mountain photos. But the mountain pix are from all over colorado, so don't know specifically which mt is which. .... Dabney..where I grew up in S.D. they had 5 miles of lilacs planted in at a recreational camping site. The house I grew up at had a perfect view, and the fragrance in the spring was absolutely equisite. (the hedgerow also contained Russian Olive trees and the fragrance of those is also spectacular) .....Billy.. Had a tractor and have a rototiller to break up the ground, was a field of wild grasses, wild roses and other yuck (w**ds). If I had to have dug all those holes I'd be planting only a few plants every year. And by the way I am still fighting some of those things, trying to claim the ground. One thing I have found is if having to dig make sure the ground is moist and it cuts down on the work. Oh ya Dabney..am I guessing correctly..the flowers are cut first and then laid on the lard? Always wondered how to capture that fragrance, especially of peonies. Will be several years before I can do much with either my lilacs or peonies as they are small plants,(whips on the lilacs and 3 eyes on the peonies, lol. One of the other spring fragrances I just love is lily of the valley, how is that made into perfume? Snowing here tonight, talk is a blizzard is moving thru, I'd be happy to share, any takers? lol. Kathy.

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
Greensboro, NC(Zone 8a)

Hope you were not covered up in snow Kathy!! But pls keep it over there!
Yes, the flowers are picked, laid in the lard & replaced each 24 hours (or else they will melt into it & start to mold)
I hope to try that this spring w/ L of the V...but nowdays 'that scent' is synthetic : (

and yes Chantell, if it is not too late! bring them in as cut flowers & put them in a vase w/ water : )
i have only tried this w/ stalks that have already partially opened but this may be a good time to experiment if emminant death is close!

(Zone 5a)

Chantell,
Wow, you have/had great luck with your plants! We need pictures for sure!

Evelyn,
Grinning over your system. Mine are in all manner of old tupperware containers to coffee cans to to ice cream tubs. I list as, very old seeds, gathered seeds, I sort the garden fron the flowers and that's my system, LOL! Oh yeah, and a baggie for the empty packets I decided to not throw away any more.

Kathy,
The ground should be wonderful after you get it all chopped and weed free! I had dug a wild rose long ago and it spread along the 25' of the front of the house. One year it had rust that looked like Cheetos on it. I cut it all back. The second growth also developed it so we went ahead and took them out. One year of Roundup on the very few that re-grew, and this year I planted 10 daylilies there instead. The change will be nice since the roses were there for sooo long.
Oh my, we were so dry this fall that the shovel spun a couple of times as I tried to dig up lily bulbs. Dangerous! I got a few ankle bruises.
Oh yeah, Lily of The Valley!!
Thanks, but I'll have snow here later too :o)

Dabneyrose,
I just cut a thick iris stalk that I don't think bloomed this spring. It's a new one, looks to be yellow. The tag is missing, but I have it written down. I brought it in and it's soft. I think all 4 buds will open.

Greensboro, NC(Zone 8a)

my goodness billy! i have never heard of that done w/iris, but why not! pls post a picture when it does! Iris in Nov!!

(Zone 5a)

Boo hoo hoo, I was so happy that one iris bud opened! It was pale yellow with a bit of white. I was too busy to take a picture and am not sure any more will open :o(

I have two more buds but they don't look too promising :o(

I just cut another inch off the stalk, but the buds are browning.

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

A trio of Mrs. FDR, Cornelia Shaylor and Festiva Maxima with give you wonderful scent.

Here is Cornelia Shaylor. But get those peony rings ready!!!

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

And Mrs. FDR

Thumbnail by DonnaMack
Kiowa, CO(Zone 5b)

Mrs FDR is a real beauty, I had one years ago and loved it. Hoping to get my peonies in the ground in the next few days, fingers are crossed. Getting ready to plant more iris tomorrow, then roses and shrubs. Hope the weather keeps things nice for a while, PLEASE

Thumbnail by warriorswisdomkathy
(Zone 5a)

DonnaMack,
Cornelia Shaylor is so beautiful! I love the hint of pink.

Oooh oooh, so is Mrs. FDR!

Kathy,
I hope by now your peonies are planted!

That is a gorgeous one too!

I know next year mine are going to have full watering cans sitting by them and I think I'll dose with epsom salts in the early spring after they show a few leaves.

Or, is there a better time? I've never used the epsom salts, but I bought a brand new bag of them. The two old cartons I had, I sprinkled on the garden for the heck of it.

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