I cannot believe that I'm starting this thread a month earlier than I did last year. It's amazing that despite the fact that we've had some cold weather, that these newly planted peonies continue to grow in this weather. The older plants also have pips that continue to increase in size.
Here is Lois' Choice, and Cheddar Surprise. These were only planted on December 15, 2012. Lois' Choice already has a bud, I hope it doesn't blast. I had these plants protected with pine straw mulch until today. I've left the mulch off since we're expecting some daytime temps in the 60's this week. I wonder if the groundhog is right?
The peonies continue to grow here in GA, despite the cold, wet weather. Cheddar Surprise is about 4 in tall today. Bowl of Cream and Gardenia have huge pips, and the noid is starting to leaf out. I had Festiva Maxima planted in the garden last year, but it was not in a good spot and kept on getting stepped on. It was pulled up and planted in a pot, which was left sitting in the peony bed all winter. I checked on it this week, and it has pips. I'm going to have to find a better spot to plant it in the garden this year.
I still have some tree peonies in pots, that I didn't get a chance to plant last fall. Here is Shimadagin and Hanakisoi still in pots today. Shima Nishiki which was planted in the garden in the fall of 2011, is only about 1 ft tall but appears to have 4 buds.
I am so envious. I also have Hanakisoi which I planted last summer. Got it from Cubits. Don't know how it will do here but hope it 'takes' along with the other one I bought. I planted nine (I think that was all) last fall. I am so excited to see how they grow and also to see how the second year ones do. I had to move two but as you noticed with yours they were simply not in a good place. They have full sun now and better drainage. Yours will be blooming before you know it. If mine make it, they will bloom (the tree peonies) the end of June. Well, maybe not this year. Three years seems to be the bloom year up here for trees.
I'm excited to see how many blooms Lady Orchid will have this year, she's put out so many large pips. Itoh Hillary and Green Lotus from Brook's garden were planted in mid December. Lemon Chiffon was started in a pot in September, (thank you again M.) and also planted in mid December when I could get back into the garden. It's going to be a great peony year.
I wasn't able to put down any composted manure this past fall, I only used Bulb Food around the plants, and they seem to like it. I'll be interested to see how everything blooms this year. Annette
Hi Mary, we crossed posts, LOL. My tree peonies still in pots also came from the Cubits co-op. 4 of the 5 tree peonies were left in pots on my deck this winter. It seems I've lost Kinshi. I was able to plant Kaoukaman in the garden on December 15th, and it does have pips. I hope yours do well. Annette
When you plant out the tree peonies you need to plant them deeper than they are in the pots. You can see the graft union's in the picture with the two pots. The stem above the graft union MUST be below the soil surface in order for the tree peony graft to establish it's own roots.
Thanks for the advice ah, I will do that when I get a chance to plant them, hopefully in the next week. Please keep all the good recommendations coming, I really appreciate it. I may have to get the DH to help me dig the hole, it's hard getting deep into our red clay here. Hopefully alll of the rain we've had this week will have softened the ground. Anette
It was beautiful here today, a balmy 62 degrees, so I had a chance to finally put the composted manure around the peonies. I found quite the surprise. Several years ago, I had peony Primavera planted in one of the garden beds, but I had to move it because it was being crowded out by hostas. I must have left part of the tuber behind, because I found 2 actively growing stems in the area where Primavera was previously planted. I may have to move this as well, since this bed gets pretty full when the hostas have leafed out. Annette
Hi drthor, I'm glad you're starting to see some peony growth. The count down to who will have the first bloom starts ;-)
Mary, I'm also glad you're also seeing signs of early spring. Today, while I was out running errands, I saw many robins. I've never seen that many together before. I wonder if these groups are migrating further north?
Hey Donna, how are your northern peonies doing? I've had some newly planted peonies that seem to think it's spring, and they've started putting out leaves. I'm going to have to cover them again this weekend since we're going to have temps in the 20's for several nights.
Drthor, I can't believe you're already seeing butterflies, lucky you. We probably won't see any of them here for a few more months. We just have a lot of birds that have been around all winter. The bird feeders are out all winter, and I keep the bird bath filled to keep them happy.
My peonies showed pips weeks ago, but they are not putting out leaves. I experienced the same thing last year, with peonies showing pips prematurely. Some of them have a lot of pips, as many as 14, so seeing 5-6 is probably not a big deal. None of mine are in pedestrian areas, so I actually covered them with just a bit of soil.
Starting a peony thread in February. That's just amazing. Last year my first peony bloomed a month early. We have a had a winter with very little snow, but we are getting, relatively, buried now, so they are back in hiding.
drthor, which new Itohs did you get, and how huge was the sale? I read your post and got excited for you ;~). Isn't it wonderful when you have new plants, with blooms you've never seen before, to look forward to. My 2 new Itohs are Hillary and Pastel Splendor. I'm hoping I see some blooms on them this year. Annette
When I went to my garden store they were priced $89 ... huge plants - 3' tall and wide, in a 5 gal. container.
I recognized their names right away and thought that it was a decent price, considering that you could buy a bare root Itoh for that price on the web ... but I didn't buy them.
I passed by again one month later and they went on sale 50% ... so I bought 2 of them. After 2 months their price dropped to maybe $25/each and I bought 2 more !!
It was amazing that no-body did recognize this deal ... I guess if the peonies are not in bloom people don't care.
I called around some of my garden friends and told them to go buy those amazing peonies. I just cannot wait !!
I got Misaka, Keiko and Yumi in pots in spring of 2011. They bloomed beautifully last year. I wish I had gotten the deal that you got. They are beautiful Itohs.
This year I told my DH that I didn't want candy or flowers for Valentine's Day, I wanted tree peonies, the gift that keeps on giving. He ordered Black Dragon and Pink Coral for me. I'm so excited about these plants, I believe they should come next month, and hopefully as they mature over the next few years, I'll get some beautiful blooms.
The weather here is crazy this weekend, we're going into the 20's at night, with a 30% chance of snow on Saturday. I had to run around the garden this evening, and cover the peonies that are leafing out with pine straw. At the end of next week we'll have temps in the mid to high 60's. These plants will be so confused.
40% chance of snow pretty much every day for the next week. Still dipping into the teens at night but the days are warming up. We will be starting sugaring in a week or so. This was a very cold winter here. Combination of subzero temps plus 60 mph winds. Could not keep heat in the Dinning room. Two frozen pipes. Yikes! But the good news is we had snow cover all winter so I am hopeful for the perennials. That snow at the bird feeder is about 4 feet deep. More in the woods.
I have a flyer from a place called Cricket Hill Garden in Connecticut. Look like they have some nice things and they are only 2-3 hours away. They claim they can ship now for spring planting and the peonies will do just fine. What do you think?
Cricket Hill is the nursery that my DH ordered the 2 tree peonies from. I wonder if they have a lot of snow there? Their site states the peonies are freshly dug for shipping, but I would think the ground would be frozen in CT at this time of year.
I have planted herbaceous peonies in the spring with no problems in the past, they just didn't bloom the first year. I've also started them in pots, where I could ensure that they got a good start, then planted them in the garden in the fall, when the ground cooled down.
drthor, your peonies are coming along nicely. I can't wait to see your blooms. I've also noticed that the lilies here have started coming up, but they're not as far along as yours
Mary, I see what you're talking about in the first picture, it looks like some of the tubers are exposed. I've had the same thing happen here, because the peonies are planted so shallowly, my soil over the tubers washes away and leaves them exposed.
Isn't that bad for them? They are Itoh's (intersectionals) so they die to the ground. I usually cut down the stems to the ground to make room for new growth and to remove potential fungus spots. Don't have that problem here -- just sayin'
Hi Mary, I hear ya. However, last year my Itohs had pips that grew along the stems, as well as pips that came from the ground, their tree peony ties were showing :-) this made for a really full, lush plant. However, my stems were cut low enough to remove the leaves. This year I don't have as many pips along the stems. I also ensure that all the peony leaves are removed from the garden beds, to help reduce fungi from overwintering here.
The exposed tubers I was referring to are the herbaceous peonies, and when I find this, I cover them back with soil, but no more than 1 inch, so they're close enough to the surface to get their winter chill.
you are right. My Itoh in the picture has buds along the stems too
Normally my peonies bloom at the end of March, when we will have the last windy/wet spell of the season.
I cut them and use as cut flowers ... otherwise they will be wet in the ground.
drthor, those blooms are sooooo pretty, is that Keiko, I love that Itoh.
Here is an example of the exposed tubers of the herbaceous peonies, and pips on the stems of the Itohs. The 1st picture is of Many Happy Returns, and and # 2 and #3 Bowl of Beauty. This is the second spring for MHR, I think I need to replant this one. BoB has been in for many years, and 3 of the 4 plants have been growing like this and bloom fine every year. I believe I got these tubers from Sams, and they certainly have increased well, it took them 3 years to start blooming after they were planted.
Picture # 4 and 5 shows Itoh Keiko with the pips growing way up on the stems. This is the second year that Keiko has done this. Misaka is doing the same thing, but not with as many pips on the stems.
Now for a growth update. My noid has taken off and is full of buds, and I'm looking forward to seeing these blooms in the next few weeks. Paula Fay, Blaze, and Green Lotus are also growing nicely, and it looks like Green Lotus also has a bud.
Cheddar Surprise has survived, despite the temps in the 20's at night, and Bowl of Cream, Gardenia, and the potted peonies are also doing well. The tree peony Hanakisoi is the furthest along, with Shimadagin leafing out as well. Renkaku still has pips with no leaf growth yet. Finally, Festiva Maxima that I potted up is starting to grow as well.
The lilies planted in the same beds with the peonies are also staring to break ground. It's a gorgeous day here today, sunny with temps in the 50's (56 right now) , so I'm off to do some garden work. It looks like our warm up is starting, so I expect I'll have some significant growth in the next coming weeks, with no further temps below freezing, for at least the next 10 days. I'm truly thankful for the cold weather that we did get, to chill these peonies so that they will bloom properly. Annette
Well it is comforting to know that you all are emerging from winter. We will follow the end of March (about the time the pond is show free as is the little hummock next to it warmed by the rock in the pond on the west side. I can hardly wait to start seeing the little pips. I remember also the pips on the lower stems of my peonies now that you mention it. Course, I am sitting in Oahu right now. lol. Go home tomorrow night. Just a quick trip (four days) to see my son and family.
I am headed home tonight. Arrive at 5 am tomorrow in Anchorage. Weather has been nice for three days but now we are having a gully washer. Everything is damp and clammy. paper is wrinkling. Anchorage is starting to look good. lol. Besides I miss my husband, daughter and dog --- not necessarily in that order. ;)
It has been a good visit. They seem to be happy and adjusted to Jimmy being home after a year away. I did some container gardening for them. Son had planted some herbs that were doing poorly. No water. No rain. I got some new ones and some lettuce, plus new selfwatering pots so they will stop top watering and flooding. DIL isn't much into plants. She likes them but just hasn't had much practice. I also planted some cala lily bulbs and gladiola bulbs they bought. I will send instructions on which plants to let dry out sometimes (Rosemary) who to check the water resevoir on so it doesn't dry out (lettuce) and reminder to liquid fertilize every two or three weeks. I bought a good granular time release fert but somehow it got lost on the way home from the store. I was going to mix it into the bottom middle of the pots. Oh well.
Mary, you've got them on a good start to gardening. I'm sure they'll really appreciate the fresh spices and lettuce when they mature. Have a safe flight home tonight.
Today, we're sitting at 69 degrees. The peonies seem to be almost growing daily. We have more rain in the forecast for tomorrow, and cooler temps or a few days, but nothing below freezing. Spring seems to have arrived early.
I did notice that the bud on my Lois' Choice has dried out, and a few of the leaves got nipped from the freezing weather last week. Oh well, maybe it'll put up another bud. I plucked off the damaged areas. All of the other peonies seem fine. Annette
I have peonies that are leafing out now at the same time, but they don't all bloom at the same time. Also, last year, my peonies bloomed earlier than they had in years past, due to the early warm up that we had. This year our winter has been colder, wetter, and for longer, so the peony growth is behind.
The weather forecast has changed yet again. We're having close to freezing temps tonight, and temps in the 20's tomorrow night;~(. It's going to have to be survival of the fittest here, I'm not covering them again with pine straw. We had temps in the 80's last year around this time, crazy, crazy, crazy!!!!!!
I bought 20 hybrid peony seedlings from a hybridizer last fall. 16 of them have sent up growth, 5 with two inches of growth and the remainder just eyes poking through the soil. I just wonder whether the earlier the growth, the earlier the time of bloom. The only named peony I have that have sent up about two inches of growth is Coral Charm. The Coral Charm grows really fast. There was nothing last week, then two inches in 4 days. None of the lactifloras have shown any growth but the hybrids are coming along real early.
I put a lot of thinking and effort building this garden. Now plants and bulbs come and go by them self.
Today I found a lot of FREE plants in my garden ... I replanted them in a good spot and some went to the neighbor ...
Now that my garden is going all by itself ... well it needs me once in a while ... I might be moving ... oh no and start all over ...
Karen, you've got peony fever, I wish you all the best with your new plants, and hopefully some of them will bloom for you this year.
kwanjin, welcome to the thread, don't be just a lurker, please keep posting with us. I'll be enjoying your blooms when mine are long gone.
drthor, your peonies are doing very well, and your Itoh's are much further along than mine, which haven't started growing yet. I hope you don't have to move and leave the beautiful garden that you've created. I told my DH, I'd have to be burned out of this house after all the hard work I've put into building this garden. There's no way that I could create what I have here somewhere else, I don't have the time, the energy, or the strength to start over. I don't even care about the house, it's that garden that I would miss. I still miss the garden at my old home that I had built up over 8 years, and we moved to where we presently are in 2004. I also have the red sage, the hummers love it. Mine has stayed green all winter, I haven't trimmed it this year.
Here's my GA peony update. A lot of the plants are putting on good growth despite the nights in the 20's that we had this week. We've also had more rain, which is helping them along. I'm amazed at how fast these peonies will grow.
Here is Do Tell, Early Glow, Green Lotus which has a bud, the Bowl of Beauties, and Bowl of Cream.
Tree peony Koukaman is also leafing out nicely, it's further behind in it's growth than the potted peonies, go figure!
Finally, my new babies arrive from Cricket Hill today, the Valentine's gift from my DH. Tree peonies Black Dragon Holds a Splendid Flower, (what a mouthful, LOL) and tp Coral Terrace, the smaller of the 2 trees, but it has six visible buds, ohhh my! Cricket Hill may be my new best friend ;~)
I'm going to prep the planting holes and get these planted this weekend. Annette
You are right, Annette. These little plants are really addictive. I check on them everyday and my family just does not get why I am so into them. I have looked at all the threads with pictures of peony blooms. Wow, those tree peonies look really nice. I think you get what you paid for. Can I ask you, how many peonies do you have?
Hi Karen, I have probably greater than 80 peonies, I haven't done a recent count. the addiction started when my mom sent flowers for my birthday one year, and I saw a peony bloom for the first time, and fell in love. I decided to try my hand at growing them. My first tubers came from Costco, and I started with Sarah Bernhardt and Bowl of Beauty which took 3 years to start blooming. I also got tubers from GH Wild, and would buy them 3 of a kind at a time. These also took several years to start blooming. It wasn't until I joined Dave's Garden that I found out about the nurseries that specialized in growing peonies. BIG mistake, LOL, and the addiction took off.
Kwanjin, I'm sorry your Hanakisoi got damaged. The bud on my Lois' Choice got damaged here as well, so it's not going to bloom and Cheddar Surprise and some of the other peonies were also affected. Hopefully you'll see a warm up soon, and new growth on your plant.
Today I visited one of our local nurseries, and they had their potted peonies out. This is one of my favorite local places to get the plants, which are grown by Monrovia. I got another Festiva Maxima, Buckeye Belle, and M. Emile Debatne. I'm heading out now to plant the tree peonies that arrived yesterday.
Annette, you have a lot of peonies. Your garden must be awesome when the peonies bloom. What is your earliest blooming peony? Please post your first seasons bloom! Drthor, those peonies look awesome. What are their names, the ones with the flower buds?
I am so bad about names. The one budding right now are Itoh peonies and some herbaceous.
I do have a problem with flowers ... I get excited about roses and I learn all about them and plant a bunch ... after I got excited about bulbs ... plant a millions ...after peonies ... after vegetables ... ohhh i am getting old I cannot retain all of those info ...
That's why I enter my stuff asap. I bought two new dahlias, and three flower seed bags. All entered in the dbase. Even if I just get the name and type I can always look up the other info later. Doesn't always happen, either the original entry or the followup. Course documenting where they are in the garden is another question. lol
Hello everyone. I'm excited to say we continue with our warm weather and the peonies seem to be growing visibly daily.
drthor, your peonies look wonderful, and are about to burst forth with blooms. I can't wait to see your pictures ;~)
Karen, my earliest blooming peony was Shimanishki last year, on 3/20/12, then my NOID pink on 3/31/12. We got unusually warm weather early. I started getting the GH Wild tubers in 2009, for between $5-15, and I've yet to see some of them bloom, partly because I didn't know what the heck I was doing when I planted them. I know that I've lost peony Carol for sure. Others after being planted in the garden settled, and must have gotten deeper than 2 inches below the soil, and have been struggling . Over the last few months, I've found them, removed some if the soil from over the tubers to get them closer to the surface, and fertilized them with composted manure, and Bulb Food. I'm looking forward to seeing if I'll get better growth from these Wild tubers, and maybe some blooms this spring, 4 years is a long time to wait.
I had several tubers from Hollingsworth that were planted in fall of 2011, that bloomed in April and May of 2012. Annette
LOL! You are normal! I'm not. I'm anal. Once I ORDER something I put it on a chart for date, name, supplier and whether I got it on sale. It's good because you will never again buy anything twice from a dud company.
Does it give you any more joy?
My peonies are starting up too. I am not surprised that I can see Burma Ruby and Burma Joy, since they are early blooming peonies. But Mrs. FDR has begun to develop (first picture), and that, for me, is a late bloomer. Especially since I put it in last fall - I thought that it would be delayed. It does have 14 eyes that I counted. But Burma Joy (second picture) normally blooms a month earlier, and it is much more timid.
Regarding keeping track of the names, I have a tendency to keep the invoices, thank goodness, on which I write the color of the plant blooms, size, etc. I also have a garden map that I keep, so it gives me a general idea of where individual plants are planted. This map and the invoice helped me realize that I had Walter Faxon, and Kelway's Glorious, which I had forgotten that I had, and I was able to find and label them last fall. When I first started gardening, I tended not to label anything, I've learned my lesson. At least I have the peonies identified now, but I have a lot of irises, daylilies, and some lilies that I need to tag. I'm also going back over my invoices that I've kept over the years and making lists of the different types of plants that I have, and the year that they were bought, and from whom.
Here are Edulis Superba, Lillian Wild, and Walter Faxon that had been buried too deeply in 2010, and are now doing better since they are more shallow. Coral Charm was planted in 2009, and I finally have 2 stems this year, since it's closer to the surface. Red Charm was planted properly in 2011, and has multiple pips this year. Let's hope I don't step on it like I did last year. All of these tubers are from GH Wild. It goes without saying that proper planting dept is important. I wish there was a way that I could prevent the peonies from settling too much.
Shimanishiki has 3 fat buds, I'm excited to see it bloom this year, it's second spring in the garden. Here's a front and back view.
Coral Terrace aka Shan Hu Tai, was planted on Friday, it has at least 8 buds. Black Dragon Holds a Splendid Flower aka Wu Long Peng Sheng also seems to have settled in nicely after being planted. It has at least 3 buds. I've learned my lesson about planting depths, and spent at least 1 hour digging and amending the holes for the new tree peonies. Cricket Hill was nice enough to tag how deep they should be planted. They also sent a free sample of Azomite fertilizer for the planting hole, which I used, along with composted manure, and amended the soil in the planting hole well, and watered as I was back filling the hole.
Thanks for posting photos. It is really nice and helpful to see the progression of growth of the peonies. It is so exciting! I can't hardly wait for warm weather to come. We are going to have a cold week ahead with some snow coming tomorrow, about an inch. I have been trying to cover the peonies with straw but I am afraid it is doing more harm than good as I have seen some bruising of the tender growths. Annette, you must be awfully busy trying to keep up with all the peonies this time of year.
I'm happy to post pictures, and it helps to go back and look at them over time to figure out what bloomed when. I keep going back to the Peonies 2011 and 2012 threads to compare the growth and bloom dates of the peonies.
You're right, the peonies do keep me busy. Yesterday the DH called me "crazy", and said he couldn't do what I do in the garden, (I ran around fertilizing with Bulb Food, and had been taking pictures). I kindly reminded him that he enjoys the compliments we get from friends and neighbors when the garden is in bloom, that he likes to take credit for, LOL!
I also have other plant addictions. Over the years I've planted thousands of bulbs. I'm also addicted to clematis, daylilies, irises, roses, and I can't forget my addiction to tropical plants, that I have to lug outside during the spring, much to the dismay of my DH and DS, and back inside in the fall. Oohh, and how cold I forget my epies addiction.
Hi my name is Annette, and I'm addicted to -----------, LOL.
Oh, yes, thank you Annette - a little fertilizer to the bulbs. Since I moved, I'm a little thrown off, although I have all my lists from years past of what to do when.
I had the nicest experience a few days ago. I got a call from the people who bought the house (and the garden) because Raulston Arboretum sent my plants there. They offer to send them to me but I said that I would happily come get them. I cringed as I drove but EVERYTHING was still there. Not only that, but on one side of the house there was a bird's nest in the viburnum carlesi, one of the crabapples, and in a young Cotinus Grace, where it had never been before.
I was stunned to find that NOTHING had been removed, and realized what a job they had. So I went home, thanked them, and said that I wanted to help by identifying a few things - a paperbark maple, a pagoda dogwood, and the lilacs in the yard that are disease resistant, all with pictures. I got back from the an outpouring of gratitude because they love the yard and want to preserve it, and they need all the help they can get.
How wonderful is that? So I identified their trees by linden cultivar, (mentioning that the bees are benign but the bark should be wrapped in winter) told them which crabapple was disease resistant and wasn't, and told them to watch for the white chionodoxa that are going to appear under one of the trees. I also showed them the bloom on the yoshino cherry.
So I'm a bit distracted from what I'm doing - but oh so happy that they feel this way about my yard.
Donna, you were so kind to do that for the new home owners. I'm glad they're taking interest in the garden you so lovingly cared for. I've only ever moved into homes with gardens that were blank slates.
Yep, it's time to give those bulbs some fertilizer as they emerge from the ground. I'm glad I got it done yesterday, we had some serious thunderstorms this afternoon, with hail. I'm going to have to check the plants to make sure they didn't sustain any damage.
Can peonies young shoots sustain low temperatures in the low 20's without damage? I have a couple inches of growths on my peonies and temps are going down to the low 20's tonight. I wonder if I should cover them. They seemed to be ok with temps of 28 so far.
Hope you don't mind me butting in but wow, it seems like everyone is so ahead of me. I'm in zone 6a and have about 25-30 peonies from last year and 12 from this year. I still need to get 6 in the ground but the weather is so finicky here, suppose to get snow again this weekend. This is my third year gardening. My husband and I bought our first home them and the yard was pretty much a patch of weeds and burmuda grass. I now have one itoh, Bartzella, that I got on sale for $20. All the rest of my peonies I have ordered from a peony hybridizer in Wisconsin for less that $2.00 a piece. You never know what your going to get but it kind of adds to the excitedment. I had two bloom last year on their first year and hoping to have a lot more this year. If not I'll be spying on how everyone elses peonies are doing:) Well I probably will be anyway. So jeallous of people with established peonies. Hopefully mine will be pretty some day!
I asked my favorite nurseryman in Michigan (Scott Reath) about that last year as we had late cold. He said they had actually had snow on their fields from time to time and it never hurt the peonies. So I would assume 20F would be okay. Depending on how many you need to cover, you might consider a floating cover which could go a long way to coverage and keep any frost away. Just in case
My Mrs. FDR, 2 Burma Midnights and a Burma Joy have been exposed in the single digit night temps we have had recently and are continuing to develop.
This may be heresy, but I have had so many bad experiences with peonies that were planted to deeply that I started planting them shallowly a couple of years ago, such that they are visible early in the year, usually by February. It seems to do no harm. I have no issues with people stepping on them, and wow, I know where the new ones are! Which was great, because I installed three new ones in fall and was able to give them some very diluted fertilizer, which may not be necessary, but which I do each year upon emergence.
I popped on his site and noticed that he has a minimal charge for shipping to Alaska. Nice!
Are you the lucky creature who had Mackinac Grand?
I am. I like Michigan so couldn't resist. I planted mine fairly shallow from the git go because of the warning about planting too deep. I was really concerned when some had ice pools around them (bout the size of a pie plate) in the spring. Didn't faze them. They are really a tough plant.
PS. The postage to Alaska is $30 so consider yourselves lucky you live down south. Still, his tubers are huge and he has been very generous with freebies. Perhaps to make up for the postage, don't know. I am just grateful. He doesn't just send a root or two. I think I got complete clumps sometimes. lol
I do consider myself lucky. We're considered to be in the middle of the country (we're relly not) so we never have to pay extra postage either east or west. Forest Farm out of Oregon charges us much lower rates than the east, but Brent and Becky's Bulbs charge us standard rates.
I'm planting mine shallower and shallower. Sometimes the roots are weird and jut out of the ground with the eyes lower down, so I just concentrate on the eyes. Sometimes it looks like my peonies are half out of the ground but it works. Here is Lois last year. It was dug up, put into a pot and replanted. And it was better than ever.
Donna, I was going to say that I can see the tubers exposed in the several pictures that you posted. I am glad to hear that they all do fine. Thank you so much for your and Mary's responses. I am going to let them go without covering. Sometimes when I fuss over something too much, they perform worse than when I leave them alone. Everyone's really wonderful and I am glad there are forums like this to help the beginners. Mclowdis, I too ordered from the midwest hybridizer this past fall. They are the earliest of the peonies that I planted last fall to emerge. The above pictures in the previous post are two of his peonies.
Welcome mclowdis, we're a friendly bunch so please keep posting away, you are not butting in. This forum has taught me so much about growing peonies, I've learned from everyone's experience here.
Karen, we've gotten cold here again, we had temps in the 20's early this morning, and we stayed below freezing for several hours today. I checked on the peonies and they seem to be fine. I only covered the newly planted peonies that grew rapidly this winter, the other more established peonies I've done nothing for, and they've been fine. I haven't bothered covering the new peonies anymore in the past 2 weeks, and they're ok too.
We're expecting a wintry mix, with temps at or below freezing again tomorrow. It's going to be survival of the fittest here, especially with all the cold weather that we're getting in the next week. I had peonies blooming this time last year when it was much warmer.
I've been reading reading about AZOMITE recenty, and Cricket Hill sent a sample with the tree peonies that I received last week. I had to have some, so today I drove to the one and only place in the state of GA that sells it at a farm waayyy up in north GA. I got 4 bags that weigh 44 lbs each, and I'm going to put some around each of the peonies this spring , and again in the fall, which is supposed to help with bud development for next years blooms.
Karen, so glad to help. I had peonies that did not bloom for several years because I followed the 2 inches down advice and then mulched. I am very pleased to save someone else the frustration and disappointment. You look for them and look for them, and they simply don't show up!
But they don't give up. I posted this elsewhere, so please forgive me if you have read this before, but I was digging in the yard of a house friends of mine had bought 20 years before from a colleague of one of them. They had never planted a peony. I came across this thing that was clearly a tuber and was budded out. It was about six inches deep - it had been planted more than 20 years ago in a spot that once must have been in sunlight before the now towering maples in my yard grew - and then it had been pushed further and further into the earth. I dug it up, put it in a pot, and am overwintering it in my yard. Here it is last December, fresh from the earth. Little guy didn't give up. Can't wait to see what it looks like in bloom.
Wow, you got a bumper crop of Azomite Annette. I can only find small 8# boxes. I don't have as many peonies as you do but I like to use it on my lilies also. I first heard of it from Crickett Hill also and whether Azomite is responsible or not my peony bushes are just huge and full of flowers, at least after the first three years. They generally reach about 43-45" across and tall. Julia Rose and Red Charm are my biggest and I guess oldest.
I have a bout 1- 1/2 feet of snow to melt to see my peonies. Can hardly wait. I am amazed at your weather in Georgia. I thought you would be in the 70's by now.
Donna, your post made me smile. I sure would also like to see the bloom on your mystery peony. I am amazed that the peony tuber was still alive when you found it. As to planting peonies, I followed the instructions that came with the peonies last fall. But from now on, I will just plant the eyes level with the soil. Because when the mulch is added, the peonies will be under an inch layer of mulch. Annette, it is amazing that you had flowers at this time last year. That's really early. Please let us know when your peonies begin to bud. Hopefully, Dthor will post some photos of her peony blooms.
I can't wait to see what everyone's mystery peonies are going to be. Karen and mclowdis, who is the hybridizer in Wisconsin that you order your peonies from? We can always use a new source ;~)
Mary, the funny thing about the Azomite is, when I put the address in my GPS for the farm, it said it was 2:15 away, so I figured I would stock up and get the 4 bags so I wouldn't have to drive that far to get anymore anytime soon. Well, it only took me 45 minutes to get there, and I was over an hour early, so I went to Walmart to get some plant tags and other garden supplies. They had bulbs, and tubers, and a portion of the purchase will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I got some calla lilles, begonias, siberian iris, and how could I resist, they had tubers for peonies Vivid, Sarah Bernhardt, and a noid pink. I got 2 bags of the Vivid that were $5.38 each, with 2 tubers in each bag. I had to support the cause ;~)))). They have multiple stems growing per tuber in each bag. I think I'm going to pot these up, and give them a chance to settle down before planting them in the ground this fall.
Last year, Festiva Maxima came as 2 small tubers in a box from one of our local nurseries, it struggled, and didn't do well in the ground, so it was pulled up and put in this pot last year, and it has leafed out beautifully this past week, having spent the entire winter outside in one of the garden beds. I also got Vivid and Blush Nymph last year, and the Vivid in the ground is so tiny, and I see no sign of Blush Nymph. I'm going to have to go digging around to see if the tubers have settled too deeply.
Do Tell and Lady Orchid are starting to wake up, and Gardenia has put on more growth this week. Many Happy Returns was replanted last week, and it's already starting to grow, despite the fact that I broke a part of the tuber when I dug it up. These plants are really resilient, and tough to be surving the swings in weather that we have been having.
Donna, I can't believe you managed to even find that peony that deep in the ground. Who would have thought. Cem, I've been surprised with some walmart plants this year but I had to buy them very early and they were already growing in the bag. No peonys but purchase a few daylilys that I have potted up in the house. There is one that is about ready to bloom. The hybridizers name is Bill Stephani, he is out of Krakow, WI. He is currently a 73 year old man that has been hybridizing peonies for 40 years. He said he was trying to get a varigated leaf pattern on peonies. I found him on e-bay last year and was impressed with his story and with his peonies.
Hi Annette, I did ask the hybridizer about the parentage of his hybrid peonies. this is his response,
"These are all from seed of my own crosses, out of my own crosses of many original named varieties of herbacious peonies [did back to the ground each winter] So you can name any species and there will probably be some of its background in these. There is no background of tree peonies in these. i have been selling out of this seedbed for the last 2 yrs and have many, many reorders. Hope this helps.
I was hoping he would be more specific with species names of the parents as I was interested whether he had crossed a fernleaf peony or the Mlokosewitschi peony with the lactiflora. Anyway, some of his peonies are the earliest to emerge and some have rather woody stems with the eye on the stem, very unusual. He is offering the same deal right now on Ebay: 10 for $20 or 20 for $32. I got the latter deal last fall and received 5 peonies with 4-5+ eyes, 11 peonies with 2-3 eyes, 4 with 1-2 eyes plus 3 extras with 1-2 eyes. 20 of the plants have eyes or growths emerge right now.
With regards to your peonies with buds, I learned this interesting fact from Adelman Peony website. You may already know but I find it interesting. Peonies plants that emerge with the buds already formed and have only one bud per stem will most definitely have p. Offinalis as its parent. Your Bowl of Cream looks like it has this characteristic. Your Noid peony has the nicest broad leaves! How come your Walmart carry such wonderful selection of peonies. I wish my Walmart offers the Vivid Peony. I would have liked to purchase it for that price.
I am sorry this post is rather long. But if anyone is interested in getting a Kirinmaru peony from Springhill, it is on sale for $11.99, regularly priced at $49.
Dear Kousa, speaking as someone whose posts do get a little long, I love long posts from the people on this thread. Between the experts (I know ZERO about tree peonies) and those who are just starting out, I think this is a great group of people. I know that bit about peonies with one bud per stem was news to me.
Cem , I was digging there to put in trumpet and Orienpet lilies, which can tale shade and semi shade. It's really something of a miracle that I stumbled across that root, and that I didn't mistake it for a tree root (plenty of those!) I thought I was dreaming when I saw the eyes. I realize now that the pot is actually in the garage. And bravo for putting the peonies that struggled in a pot.
In the first pic is a struggling Moonstone from Adelman that I had for years that never produced more than one bloom. This is at my previous house in 2010. It had been in since 2003. A real dud.
In frustration, I pulled the root out of the ground and put it in a pot in my transitional apartment (one year) between houses. Pic 2. June of 2011. Not a happy camper.
March of 2012 in the ground at my new home. Is this, or is this not, the most grotesque root you have ever seen? Pic. 3
May of 2012, fuzzy duckling to swan, with beautiful, graceful leaves. Pic. 4.
And only one huge bloom, which toppled over, but the fall color was lovely. Pic. 5
What abuse! I rip you out of the ground, I throw you in a pot, I replant you, and you're the best you've ever been. I'm actually coming up on year TEN!
Karen,thanks for the info about billstep545, I wish I had known about him when I first started collecting peonies. I unfortunately don't have room for 10-20 more plants, but that's a great deal, getting the peonies so inexpensively. Your garden is going to be lovely. I glanced at his site on eBay. Some of those blooms look very familiar, like Hot Chocolate and a Do Tell type of bloom.
Thanks also for the information about the bud types, I did not know that. Your peonies with the buds on the woody stems sounds like they may be Itohs. That's how mine grows.
You should ask your Walmart if they're going to get in the Susan G. Komen plants, I would think that this is being done nationwide. The Walmart that I purchased these tubers in was in a rural town in north GA. I plan on potting up the Vivids this weekend. I want to see how they'll do in the pots. The Vivid that I planted in the ground last year is struggling, it may get yanked out and potted as well. The tubers planted last year were smaller than the ones I got yesterday, and certainly didn't have as many stems actively growing.
Donna, thanks for the pictorial demonstrating the peony abuse, we now have evidence, LOL. It's so true that peonies are tough, resilient plants. My Many Happy Returns that was yanked and replanted last week, even with the broken tuber, has pips that continue to increase in size.
Karen, sorry I missed your post earlier about purchasing from the same hybridizer. I was reading on my phone earlier and don't always notice everything. I would love any updates on any differences you notice with with Bill's peonies than your other peonies since I don't really have peonies otherwise besides my Itoh. I was surprised that I had two bloom last spring a month or two after I bought them, I have been told that is really rare. It was two of the smaller ones too, not the ones with more eyes.
Hi Michelle. I am glad to find someone on this forum who made a purchase from Bill. Last year, I saw some peonies blooms and suddenly got really interested in peonies. I bought a bunch and when I saw Bill's deal, I could not pass up. Last year, I had no idea that peonies come in different forms such as tree peony or Itoh peony or herbaceous peony. I have learned a lot since then. It is so interesting and the flowers are SOOO beautiful and some smell so good. I also bought some Itohs. I cannot believe I actually spend $45 on a root but I did for Bartzella. All of a sudden, the budget for plants and gardening increased 20 fold! :) If I get any blooms from Bill's peonies, I will post their photos. Hope you get more blooms this year from your peonies.
That's a great price for Bartzella. I got mine for $65 through a coop in 2011, where the tubers came from Hollingsworth. A lot of websites are still selling it for $90 or more.
Well, the crazy weather continues. We've had rain daily for the past 3 days. Our daytime temps won't be getting out of the 40's for the next 2 days, with night temps below freezing for the next 3 nights.
Aarrrgggg! Where the heck is spring. I don't remember us being this cold at this time of year for years. Despite the nutty weather, a lot if the peonies are still growing. Annette
Annette, that is how I feel too about the weather. Snow and sleet is forecast for my area tomorrow. I have never paid that much for a plant but the pictures on the web just made it really hard to say no to. I bought it from Solaris Farms last fall. He sent me really nice peonies roots. there are 4 eyes emerged so hopefully I will get a flower. I am so confused about Itoh peonies. Some website say to plant the eyes at soil level. Others say 1-2inches below soil level like herbaceous, Solaris website says to plant 4 inches below soil level for a productive plant. What is the right depth? .
Hi Karen! I plant my my Itohs like like I plant my herbaceous peonies. Because I'm in zone 7a/7b, I don't have the eyes more that 1-2 inches below the soil if that. My problem in the past is that I planted my previous peonies too deeply, and they would settle further into the ground, and I had no blooms. Now that I've uncovered a lot of them, I see more pips this year.
Tree peonies should be planted with the tubers at least 4-6 inches below the soil. When I planted the 2 new tree peonies I showed above, I spent an hour digging the hole and amending the soil. Thank goodness we had previously had some rain, so I wasn't digging into the soil, that at times is like concrete. We have this "lovely" GA red clay, that can be a challenge to work with.
Here are Pastel Splendor and Lemon Chiffon this week. They are very shallow, and the reason for that is so they get the chill they need to bloom properly. Although we've had cold weather, it has not been cold enough for the ground to even freeze here.
Misaka and Keiko were bought as potted plants, that DH planted for me in 2011. The pips also form on the stems, so I'm careful not to cut them too low to the ground. I don't recall seeing this much root being exposed last year, I'm sure all the rain we've been having has washed some of the soil away, and the pips have also started increasing in size this week.
Bartzella is also waking up, despite our cold weather. It had 1 stem with a bloom last year, this year I've got 2 stems, and hopefully I'll get 2 blooms.
Hi Annette! Your Keiko and Mikasa look really established with so many pips. I can't believe that you have them for only 2 years. Between Keiko and Mikasa, which do you like better? Please help me to narrow down my purchase. Did you buy them as Monrovia potted plants in the spring? I just got Cora Louise two weeks ago from Lowes. It was a good size root. I hope that I may get a bloom next year. The weather is going to be awful tomorrow - 2-4 inches of snow. But it is supposed to be really nice toward the end of this week. Hope to see your photos of peonies in bloom
Karen, they came in 3 gallon pots, grown by Monrovia from a local nursery called Pikes. I wish our Lowes carried Itohs. I went there to get some bulb food, and their plants were pretty sparse. They've only carried herbaceous peonies in the past, and not many varieties. Pikes only had Misaka this year, I was hoping they were going to get Kopper Kettle, but they said that it was unlikely.
I like Keiko and Misaka equally, I can't choose a favorite. The problem is I haven't seen a peony I didn't like ;~))))
Michelle, Lowes in my area offers Bartzella, Cora Louise, and Canary Brilliants for 29.98. They were available about two weeks ago. The Cora Louise I got was a bareroot with many eyes. If you go to Lowe's website, type in the Itoh peonies in the search, they will show up. Select the plant and choose pick up at store and it will show up if store in your area has it available. Annette, I know you were going to say that you like both equally.
I am sorry to hear that, Michelle. Perhaps your area is colder than mine and they may come later at your Lowes location. Not all Lowes in PA have them in stock either. Erie PA Lowes apparently do not have them either. I am in southern PA. Mary, I am sure your Cora Louise root was much bigger and fresher than the one at Lowes. I am noticing that the specialized sellers of peonies sell a much better quality root. But because my budget is limited so I just have to buy an inferior root at Lowes. There are so many on my peonies want list. :)
Our Lowes does not have the Itohs either. I got Cora Louise from a coop in 2011 for $70 which I thought at the time was a bargain. It came from Hollingsworth.
Karen, check out GH Wild's website for some of your peonies on your wants list. They're tubers are smaller, but with time and patience, they do bloom, and I've only lost 1 tuber from them, peony Carol, but that was due to my care. Also, some nurseries have sales in the fall, Brooks Gardens is one of them that I ordered peonies from as late as November 27th, when other nurseries were no longer shipping. For the peonies with smaller tubers and eyes, be sure to amend your soil well, and you'll be amazed at how well the plants will do. I've learned from my mistakes with planting peonies in the past, and my plants are much better for it. I hope my smaller peony tubers that have been in the ground since 2009 give me some blooms this year.
Well, the weather man just said we're going to have several more weeks of unseasonably cool weather into mid April. Oh well, guess the groundhog was really wrong this year. We've been having snow flurries intermittently all day, with more expected tonight. I'm keeping a list of the peony growth this year, which is going to give me an idea of what is truely early, mid and late bloomers.
Hi Annette. Thanks for the info. I did buy some peonies from Gilbert Wild last year. I have to wait until these peonies bloom to determine whether they sent me the right cultivars. I have heard from a few people who had received roots from Gilbert Wild different from what they ordered. Right now, I am interested to acquire some earlier blooming peonies to extend my bloom time as well as some Japanese tree peonies to expand my collection. I have too many peonies with bloom time in the Mid season. I hope to have some peonies bloom this year but I am not expecting much as all of them are in their first year and some have just been planted this year. I will look forward to see everyone's blooms on this forum. I am also planning a couple of trips to NYC to visit the botanical gardens and Scotts Arboretum in Philly to see peonies in bloom. The APS is having their conference in Longwood Gardens in Delaware this year and right now I am still debating whether I should go. It is a 3 days event! Well, there is still a layer of snow on the grass from yesterday, but temps are going to be in the 50's at the end of the week. Yippee!!
If you only want to see the flowers and listen to the speakers on Saturday activities are normally free to the public. However you may have to pay admission to Longwood. You can view the peonies after the judging which is normally about 1.
Cem I really appreciate you posting a picture of your itoh. I purchase mine last year and was a little concerned on how the hard growth was cut down since I wasn't sure how it should be done. I had two blooms on it last year. Here is a picture of it blooming last year and a picture of it just starting to sprout this year. (I had to post pictures of the blooms because I am so ready to see flowers again this year even though it is still early.
Those blooms are beautiful Michelle. I hear ya about being ready to see flowers. Except for some of the bulbs blooming, there's nothing else going on here, and even the bulbs are behind in their bloom schedule.
It looks like we're heading for warmer weather this weekend with daytime temps in the 60's and in the 40-50's at night. I guess I won't be seeing any peony blooms until April.
I found it on the Vermont Wildflower website for $37.50 but they offer a coupon for 10% (wildvt) off and free shipping over $40. So added a few post cards and have it down to 35.10 with shipping. They are offering 4 different Itohs for that price, Bartzella, Hillary, Canary Brilliants, and Pastel Splendor. Just disapointed that they don't state how large they are and I have no experience with the company.
Be sure to check the Garden Watchdog for any bad reviews about any of the companies that you order from. Sometimes, some of these companies make offers that are too good to be true. However, that's a really good price for Hillary.
I did get tree peony Shimanishiki in 2011 inexpensively. It was really small when it arrived, but I potted it up and babied it for several months before I planted it in the garden, and I was rewarded with a bloom last spring. Sometimes some of the smaller plants can really surprise us.
Here are the Vivid tubers that I bought from Walmart last week. I potted them up this weekend, and put them outside on the back deck. They seem to have done okay outside in the freezing weather we've had the last 2 nights. The 2nd picture is from Sunday, right after they were potted and watered, and the 3rd picture is from today. It looks like tonight is our last night below freezing for the next 10 days, I hope that's true.
Shimanishiki and Bowl of Cream seems to also have handled the freezing temps fine, without damage to the buds so far. The lily leaves are also doing fine that are growing in the peony beds, and I can't believe how the lily bulbs have multiplied, I certainly did not plant this many bulbs last year.
I have been to several of the APS meetings, some were better than others. The best part of the convention is that you get to really talk to some of the growers. I would suggest that if you go be there on the 30th since the 31st normally starts with a bus to other gardens and sites. The bus normally leaves the hotel 8 to 8:30 in the morning and you need to pick up your packet before boarding as there is generally lunch tickets in the packet. The main speaker on Saturday is Walter Good. The information I received shows that he will be talking about Daphinis peonies and Walter's trips that he guides. Walter makes a most beautiful calendar every year but is very high priced so hopefully he will bring several. The peony pictures make you want to keep the calendar for years.
Then there is the member dinner followed by an auction on Saturday. Since I have been collecting for years and do not care for the intersectionals I rarely bid to win except when I have someone that wants a particular one.
The best day for non-members is Saturday afternoon for lectures and viewing of judged peonies. If you go you should take your camera. Several others on here have been to the meetings and perhaps they can tell more of what their favorites were.
I went in 2010 when the conference was held in Janesville, and one of the highlights was a tour of the Klehm peony fields. Imagine, if you will, being surrounded by thousands of peony plants. He was also selling his fiendishly expensive plants to attendees at a discount.
As a member, I actually got to sit and have dinner with the Adelmans. The real fun was that, with some intervention (I'm a member) I was actually allowed to help some of the exhibiters carry their peonies to the display table. If, as a member, you try to do that at a rose show, they act as though you are trying to steal their flowers.
These pics will show you how close members and non-members can get to the flowers.
Hi everyone! Those flowers are huge! They all look beautiful and perfect - I wonder how they determine a winner. AH, Donna thanks for sharing your experience. I will take up your advice and attend the event as a non-member. Otherwise I will be overwhelmed! Annette, I am not an APS member. I have not researched enough to know what the benefits are.
Just catching up on the threads as this has been quite a winter. So much work just cleaning up the winter debris I think we have a twig farm!
THRILLED to see that the peonies know what time it is. The tree peonies have been showing sprouts for more than a month. A little cleaning exposed these pips of great encouragement.
Karen, cold weather has never affected my peony growth, and I think we're about the same climate; you might be a bit warmer. This was proved last year when March was warm and April was terrible. I notice the two shoots on your peonies (2 eyes), and your root structure is probably fairly small.
Shortly after we moved here 7 years ago I bought lots of peonies from a warehouse store at a very reasonable price. They had 1-2 eyes at most. It took about 3 seasons for them to have a healthy bloom and another 2 years for them to have multiple shoots and blooms. Like everyone here, we learn lots as we go.
The earliest to have pips and growth is not necessarily the earliest to bloom. Variety is a factor and so is location. You can have healthy growth without blooms if the crown is too deep or if there is not enough sun.
The first is a tree peony was taken May 1 of last year. It is a Shima Nishiki, which is a bi-colored pink and dark red. It is always a guess which ones will be all pink and which will be pink and red, and they are always large blooms. They close at night and reopen in the morning. The second was taken May 9th. Same tree peony; different camera.
The third is a herbacious single peony. I think it is called Nymph, taken 5/17. Cant remember the next which is Japanese bombe, taken on 5/26. The last one may be Celebrity. I need to check the names of the peonies.
I expect all of these to bloom this year and will post a few additional. There are a couple of Bow of Beauty peonies. One was bought as a little twig with a couple of eyes from Costco abut six years ago with about 4 others all in the same bag. One was purchased from a nursery for $25 and has never done well, but I expect to move it.
Karen, here are a few others. All taken last summer. The only peony that did not bloom last year is an intersectional that should produce this year. My first Itoh so I'm not sure what to expect but there are other peonies doing well in that garden.
The deep red in photos 1 and 3 is very pretty up close because the gold petioles and flecked with burgundy. The fourth one is a bowl of Beauty. The fifth is not fully open. I think they were all photographed on May 26th of last year. I will look for a few more.
ah, thanks for sharing the info for the APS meeting.
Donna, all I can say is WOW! Thanks for posting those spectacular blooms from the APS meeting. They are beautifully displayed, and I'm happy to see the bloom of Many Happy Returns in your 4th picture. It's one of my newer peonies, and now I can't wait to see it bloom.
Marcia, I need to show my Shimanishiki your blooms, and show it how a tree peony is supposed to behave ;^0 I'm thankful that it has 3 buds this year. Hopefully with the warmer weather coming, I should see some blooms.
Hi Donna. Thanks for the info. I can find the APS website. I will think about the membership. Right now I just have too much on my mind. I went to my Walmart to look for Vivid Peony. They did not have it and I ended up buying 5 rose bushes. I am crazy but they are so cheap. Thanks again.
I'm already seeing the color on the blooms on my noid, and in the second picture of the noid you can see how much growth Bowl of Beauty has put on on the background.
Gardenia and Bowl of Cream have also grown beautifully as well, and are full of buds.
Finally, Salmon Dream which bloomed at the same time as these daffodils last year, is nowhere close to blooming. . It only has 2 stems again this year. I thought peonies were supposed to increase the number of stems each year? For whatever reason, this plant didn't.
Two new members have been added to my peony family, Jan Van Leeuwen, and Nancy Nora. I went Pikes yesterday, the nursery where I buy the Monrovia grown peonies, looking for Kopper Kettle. Well, they didn't have it but I found these 2 beauties. I've got multiple spots in my back bed where I've planted daylilies, which haven't thrived. I'm planning on pulling them out, and planting the new peonies there, now that i now know how to amend the soil to let the plants thrive. It's been a great spring so far, cool and very rainy, which has made the ground easier to work with.
Cem, it's lovely to see your progress. Many of mine have appeared (not all) but they are not ready for the camera.
And bravo about removing the daylilies. I look at them like big beds of lawn - to be removed to put in something different and interesting. Peony foliage is really quite beautiful, and I would surround it with annuals, perennials and bulbs.
the first gardening class I attended in Dallas 7 years ago was with the director of the Dallas Arboretum (www.dallasarboretum.org)
It was listed something like "great perennials for Dallas". When I got there the titles was changed to: "How to garden in purgatory" !!!!
I think he said that we have 245 active growing days ...
Do those days include temps over 100. Not sure I would consider them active growing days -- more like survival of the fittest, like cactus. lol. Our growing season is "slightly over 100 days". So I use 30-60 days toward maturity starting in the garage. Get's me to 160 (if I am lucky).
It is seldom above 100 degrees here, but if it is, I don't grow and bloom. I stay inside till sunset.
They generally figure our last frost date is May 15th which would give us 120 days, but we try to cheat on both ends and squeeze out at least 2 additional weeks.
Crocus, reticulated iris, daffodil, scilla and muscari plants are in bloom, and tulip and allium have foliage, but it is still too cold to work outside for more than a few minutes. I expect next week will be much warmer and so will I.
It really is amazing. Our last frost date is around 5-31, but like you we push the date. But here you have spring flowers up and blooming and I still have 2 feet of snow not counting the huge mountains in the front where D shoveled or blew the snow off the driveway.
I received Crickett Hills catalogue and almost gave in and ordered some Chinese tree peonies and at least one Rockii. I did resist though. I need to see how the things Iplanted, including three tree peonies, do this summer. Plus I have to leave room for new lilies and dahlias.
Donna, I'm glad your peonies are making an appearance.
drthor, your peonies look amazing, so much closer to blooming than the plants in GA. LOL about "How to Garden in Purgatory". There are several weeks during the summer that I feel I live there ;~)
Cathy166, I'm happy to hear your spring bulbs are blooming.
Mary, I just wanted to let you know, our temps here are colder than Anchorage, AK, and Detroit, MI right now. Scary, huh!!!!
I love the Cricket Hill catalogue, oh the possibilities. My DH came home with new clothes for our son this evening, so I asked where was mine? The DH said "you have plants!" the DS said "you have dirt!" , both in unison, LOL. I HAVE emailed the DH my list of the other peonies that I want from Cricket Hill. Guess I won't be getting any new clothes.
While I purchased a gazillion bulbs locally, I am still awaiting deliveries from online orders of caladiums and some lilies. I have shopped vicariously from the loveliest catalogs, and it seems that the fancier the catalog, the worse the reputation in the Garden Watchdog.
I thought the yellow tree peony planted last year did not make it while the rest of the tree peonies have shoots, but I see one of the small "sticks" has a small red node, so I guess it is okay. Now to see if the Itoh from last year will do its thing. I remember that it had started growing when planted, but cannot recall what kind of root came with it.
Ironic that Cricket Hill gets a good review and is only about an hour and a half from here. I will have to take a trip up north.
Despite lots of raking and cleaning, there is still lots of debris from winter winds, so I don't really know how many of the peonies have pips already up. (I think we have a twig farm.) As we pull off leaf insulation, we expose those front garden peonies. Yay!
Has anyone seen Cornelia Shaylor available from a company that will ship it to me? There is a French company that will not ship a single peony. A&D used to have it but no more. I actually got a fantastic one from the Peony Superstore years ago. Horrible reviews but he (the late owner) provided me with two of my best peonies - Mrs. FDR and Cornelia Shaylor. I got a great FDR from Old House Gardens last fall (14 eyes, can't wait to see it in bloom) but although Cornelia flopped she is the one I miss most. She was HUGE! Has anyone come across her?
I have avoided the doubles because we seem to have rain about the time they are in full bloom. I bought umbrellas from Crickett Hill. That is what they use to protect their peonies from sun (bleaching) and rain (crushing.) I got tired of having my peonies laying on the ground. The last few times I looked they (Crickett) was out of the umbrellas plus they are as expensive as some peonies. So I stick with singles or Japanese form. Red Charm is the exception. A freebie from Scott Reath. Lovely. I bought three hoops last year as a test. Super skookum with only one stake in the ground but it really holds up heavy peonies. Coral Sunset is another I have that needs it. Actually even Cora Louise and Julia Rose get so heavy with branches and flowers that they benefit from support also. I know that some let the branches bend gracefully to the ground. Looks beautiful. Perhaps I should consider that.
Oh wow! Under the name of Peony Superstore, that is where I got it in the first place! And I paid $15 for the certificate. But when I search I don't find Cornelia Shaylor on their site. Am I missing something?
I was able to take or replace every peony that was special to me: Mrs. FDR, Festiva Maxima, Lady Alexandra Duff. I acquired some new ones (well, really Steve gave me a bunch and I was able to take them with me because they were young). But I couldn't find Cornelia Shaylor. I would love to get her back. She's so over the top.
The first picture shows the stems of the two peonies I got from them. CS is on the left. This was in June of 2011. The second picture shows how tall she was (on the right).
On the second picture she is second from the left, towering over Lee Valley peony supports!
The fourth picture was taken 16 days after the first.
Silly Rabbit, Tricks are for kids. lol. So you use the Lee Valley supports also. I love them. Spendy but really great. I will let you know the very minute I hear (assuming I do_) from them. Will keep my fingers crossed.
And no one, but NO One, here considers me a 'sweet creature." Curmudgeon is as close as it gets. lol...
Donna, I think you've got it right. Mary, you're no curmudeon!
I think I've tried almost every peony support sold around here. The two best were one that is a circle with a grid of wires in each direction. The only way I can use it is to lay it on the ground while the shoots are coming up and raise it on the supports as they grow taller.
I bought a bunch of spirals at a garden show a couple of years ago. They have to be put in before the plant gets too large. All my other peony supports have been green via paint or plastic. These particular supports have no paint and tend to rust. I still have other supports, but they are a pain to put away and store. Kudos to the garden centers that stock and display them so neatly.
The photo shows my favorite supports of all time. They are 2 trellises, hinged in the center as one, and they can be opened or closed to any angle. I use them mostly for tomatoes and cucumbers where I can pull them through the "holes" and wind around. They are 6 feet tall and fold completely flat for storage. I have also used shorter but sturdy trellises for peonies. When finished with peonies, they become supports for taller dahlias.
Let's see, do we spend more on plants or garden supports, decorations and utensils? Hmmmm.
I would almost vote that the accoutrements we buy for gardening exceed the cost of the plants. I like all of your supports Cathy. They look like the real deal. Here is the url to three that I bought. Terribly spendy but boy do they offer support. And you can add them even after the bush is grown. The hoop slides up and down the post which sinks well into the ground and is really strong. Hoop opens on a hinge.
thank you. My, they are a bit pricey, but you can raise and lower by choice, and that is nice. It is not just the doubles that need support. I find that they all do. It will be interesting to see if the Old Rose Dandy Itoh blooms and has a stronger stem as promised.
I saw only the lovely umbrellas on the front page of the Cricket Hill site. Out of frustration I sometimes cover the blooms with a plastic bag when rains threaten. I love those large umbrellas!
Looking good drthor. Your blooms will be opening any day now. I walked around the garden this afternoon, I also saw a wasp on one of my peony buds, and the ants are out too. Do the wasps also like the sap on the peony buds? I see them on the hummingbird feeders too.
Mary, I'm sorry to hear that your winter has returned. I hope you get some warmer weather soon.
Oh, it's warm enough. I just shoveled the side of the driveway to make it easier for D to get the snowblower out. Wet heavy snow. Where I first shoveled is already melted and the driveway is nice and shiny black.
Drthor, she's going to be a beauty. I think my Itoh is about a half inch high but it does not have the pointed pips of the herbaceous peonies. It is however sort of burgundy red.
Mary, I hope this is your last snowfall. Gardens love to soak up the moisture slowly. it was supposed to be 60 today, but started out at 35 and doubt it ever got to even 50. My Dad used to say we wish our lives away, but I always wish for an early and long spring. My energy is usually gone by the time it gets hot anyway.
Once the peonies start opening, there are usually blooms through the middle of June. The doubles are the last to open. The first photo shows what happens when a storm is imminent and we can be quick. These were taken June 4, 2009.
The second photo was taken June 12, 2009. These peonies never had a chance to open before the rains ruined them. This is why I don't plant doubles if I can help it. Vigilance is the key. Without photos I never would have remembered this disaster, but we really to avoid this with a little ingenuity.
cathy, the blooms in the first picture are just divine, the second pic, oooohhhh the devastation. Isn't it frustrating to love and take care of a plant, anticipating and waiting patiently for the blooms, only to have them destroyed in such a short period of time ;-(
It takes only one day to look like weeks of neglect. Those double peonies always bloom last but I think it is not because they are doubles. There were inground when we moved here in 2005, and I think that spot is cooler. She put the tree peonies in the right place but not these.
Over the years I have dug up peonies that failed to bloom. In a better location they have done well. They DO like sun.
Hi! It looks like everyone's peonies are doing nicely. With the warm weather that we have had this past week, I was able to do much needed planting. I learned something interesting about Itoh peonies today and like to share with everyone. If anyone is interested in propagating itoh peonies, you can root stems with eyes in the fall. Just cut off the stems with buds/eyes and stick them in the soil in a location where the eyes are not exposed to freezing temps. According to this hybridizer, he gets 50% success rate of rooting the stems. Though you probably get faster results by dividing the root of a mature peony plant. Has anyone here grown an itoh peony more than 5 years? I wonder how their itoh peonies flower production after 5 years.
Donna, I got an answer back on Cornelia Shaylor. The website was set up... well here is the response:
redmoosedesign.com/treepeony.ca is not an active website. My father-in-law set it up before he passed away and we do not have access to it.
I mentioned to them that you were looking for this peony rather desparatly. Who knows. Maybe they have a contact.
The peonies are really growing rapidly now, due to the warm days that we're finally getting. We're forecasted to get into the hight 70's to low 80's several days this week before we cool down and get more rain, so I have no doubt that the peonies will just love this. It seems like they grow inches daily. The ants are also out in full force, I could barely see the buds on this peony, due to the number of ants covering it.
Oh, Mary, that's a shame. I actually spoke with his father on the telephone when I was ordering peonies. He was a very cool guy. The Peony Superstore did not grow them, but rather aggregated them. As a result, they could get you virtually anything, which is why I ordered from them. The only other company that had Cornelia was A&D - for twice the price.
You know, I have found little correspondence between the size and quality, and price of herbaceous peonies. My very best peonies (the ones with seven plus eyes) all cost about $17. Expensive ones from very well known vendors (OK, I'm talking about Klehm, which I don't buy but I have gotten several as gifts) will have the standard 3-5 eyes. I suspect that lesser known peony vendors have a harder time selling their peonies until they get quite big. My Old House Garden Mrs. FDR has 14 eyes, and I think it was $17.50. Klehm is selling it for $36. Come on! The $22 Bannister peonies (bought for $11 each) have 14 and 9 eyes.
My worst were Adelman peonies, which were spectacular at the peony society shows. 2 of the three never appeared, and the third has never reached the potential of a peony of its age. Some people swear by them, but they have bad years. A person who shall remain nameless who used to live in Fort Worth bought a bunch of them last year and they were duds.
Donna, thanks for posting the information about the different vendors. We need to start a thread about reliable vendors and make it a "sticky". Can we do that, or does it have to be approved by DG admin?
BTW, where is our peony friend, formerly from Ft. Worth? I miss his posts, and it was his pictures of his blooms that inspired me to get a lot of the peonies that I own today. He posted some amazing blooms and I refer back to the 2010 and 2011 threads frequently to look and them. I hope he's ok.
Steve moved outside of Indianapolis, transferred by his company to a job that is very, very difficult. He is so highly valued that they helped him sell his house (at a considerable profit). I correspond with him from time to time, but he is really swamped. He is very happy to get out of the heat of Texas, and he has family nearby, which is great. He wants me to come visit but he is really, really overworked.
And yes, he is quite well. Thank goodness.
Admin would probably not be happy with a thread of this kind outside of Garden Watchdog. In fact, I think they'd have a cow. Then there is an issue with certain individuals who love certain vendors and keep praising them to the skies. I like the Adelmans. They are very nice people. But between Steve and I, in different years (last year for him), you are talking about more than ten failed peonies. I didn't post about my problems with their peonies, and neither did Steve, because it didn't occur to me at the time, and when you see really good reviews you think you did something wrong.
And while we are talking about vendors, I must mention White Flower Farm. Fabulous peonies, but you don't get what you ordered.
Several years ago, they had a bumper crop of Festiva Maximas, and offered three for $19.95. Those were my first peonies. I had a vision of putting them on a triangle and getting an astounding effect. Except that they sent me one Festiva Maxima, one Ann Cousins, and one Kansas - the latter being red, for heaven's sake. FM matured quickly, but it took me a few years to figure out what the others were. I called them up, and looked at their other peonies. I NEVER would have ordered the other two, but they were healthy. Their peonies are quite nice, and they used to be very reasonably priced.
Then it occurred to me a couple of years thereafter that I had not gotten what I ordered. So I contacted them. I didn't want to be difficult and ask for two FM's. I just asked them to send one. What did they do? They sent me a Lady Alexandra Duff. Because LAD is formed very much like FM, it took a couple of years to realize that they had botched the order again. But I did love Duffie, as I call her, so that was OK. But of four peonies, three were the wrong ones! Healthy and strong, but the wrong ones.
So if you are willing to take a chance, your peonies from WFF will be great.
Thanks for reminding me to contact Steve. He is almost never on these forums. I write to his private email, and I will let him that you asked about him.
Here is Lady Alexandra Duff, by the way. Anywhere from semidouble to fully double. I think you can see why I fell in love. Interestingly enough, the second picture was taken a year earlier.
I guess I will find out this summer about Adelman's. I have ordered from them before and it turned out okay. But I ordered quite a few last year so I will keep my fingers crossed. I also miss Steve's posts and had wondered where he was. He had such a stunning collection of peonies, in Texas of all places. I have to keep reminding myself that Texas is not all sand and cacti just as Alaska is not all polar bears and igloos.
Now, mind you, the bad year would have been the year before last. Yours are probably fine. He wrote me in April of 2012 that, as he put it "a total disappointment", "small and sinewy and look really anemic". He said that he was happy about the way they handled his complaint but said he was disappointed at their poor quality and performance and that they resembled the kind of cheap performance that you would expect from a Walmart peony.
And Steve worked magic! he was, and is, an amazing gardener.
But those would have been peonies from 2011. I am optimistic for your 2012 peonies.
Donna, I also bought my peonies from many different vendors last year. I agree with you entirely about Adelman's peonies. I bought 3 from them and their size roots were small compared to other vendors. In fact one of the root, Lancaster Imperial had only one eye showing albeit was a large one. The other ones just had 3 eyes max. I guess I have to see how they perform relative to others with more eyes. I must say that the vendors that I am most impressed with are Solaris Farms and Bannister Gardens.
Donna, thanks for the update about Steve, I'm glad to know he's doing well, and yes, please tell him I said hello. I use gardening as my therapy when I've had a long, hard day at work. I love catching up on the posts. I spend more time here than I do emailing, calling, or texting my friends. LOL! They don't understand my gardening passion ;~)
Oh gorgeous!!! It starts...well, we are expecting 4-7" of snow today, and more the next two days. Well, back into the garage to check on my growing garden. Cupid's Dart, Scabiosa, Love in the Mist, and straight necked squash have all germinated. They are the latest plantings. Peas, beans get planted next in about two weeks. Have the PVC to make the green houses over the raised beds --- as soon as I can see them. Sigh. Thanks so much for the picture. It is so lovely. Can hardly wait to see mine, around the middle end of June.
drthor, that bloom is magnificent!!!! I've never seen a peony that color before. Which one is it?
Mary, say it ain't so, not more snow ;-( I have to say I was too warm today, we're sitting at 78 degrees right now. We've gone from temps in 30's, right past spring, and into summer temps. This weather just makes me nuts!!!!
Ah, a poet in our midst! 'Tis sadly so, but this too will pass and very soon. 75F is about my comfort limit. Visited my son in Portland, Oregon once and it was 90F. Arghhhh. No way, not this kid. My blood is too thick after 60 years in Alaska.
I'm wafting some warm weather your way, but not too warm, so that you can get outside and play in the dirt. I'm waiting for it to get a little cooler, so that I can plant some lily bulbs this afternoon.
I actually am getting a lot of dirt time in the garage watching the tubers grow (or not), making sure seedlings are wet enough, checking temp on the propagation mat. I am propagating three dahlias that I am down to only one tuber on just in case. I have shipments coming from Dan's Dahlias and the Dahlia Barn yet. I am also fitting the tin cans I wrapped (about a 1" strip) copper around over the larger dahlias before they get too big to fit. It should be interesting to see how that works in defending them from slugs and how well they do with the cans. I am trying to keep down to one stem with lots of bushy growth. Oh. Opsss. I am in the wrong thread for this. sorry.
Oh, don't apologize, I now have 2 new vendors for dahlias, LOL. I bought some tubers from the local nursery where I buy my potted peonies from, and I need to get them planted.
I bet the dahlias would look fabulous behind some peonies. See, peonies and dahlias can be spoken about on the same thread. Do you have pictures of your dahlia blooming, I would love to see it.
I spent some time in th garden this afternoon, I put down pine straw in the front yard, planted my OP lily Ormea, and finally got another tree peony planted. Hanakisoi is finally in the ground. I also fertilized all of the lilies that have emerged with bulb food.
Finally my Peony started to bloom.
I cut them and I am enjoying them in the house. They smell so good.
Rain is forecast tonight ... so they would have been down to the ground and wasted ...
#1 and #4 Peony Tree
#2 Mikasa Itoh Peony
#3 Keiko Itoh Peony
#5 bouque in the house
On February 24 you posted a picture of what you identified as a peony Primavera that you found in your yard.
I posted in the forum I have linked here about a mystery peony I found in my yard while digging. It was about six inches down. When I contacted the people who had owned the house for 20 years they said that they had never planted a peony, so it must have been the previous person. I imagine that it was put in a once sunny position, and as it got shaded out by maturing trees, it was ignored and got buried.
Koshi suggested that I put it in a pot and see what came up. I put it in a fairly large pot and tucked it into the garage. I checked the other day and it has sprouted! It looks like yours, a little pale.
I'm thrilled! Talk about coming back from the dead. It was there for a minimum of 25 years, faithfully sprouting, waiting to be discovered.
I found it in the ground on September 16 of last year. I couldn't believe it was budding. Underground for all those years. What a little fighter!
It was in the garage, unexposed to sunlight, so the emerging plant was a little pale - a very light pink. Now exposed to light, the little sprouts are turning darker pink, but not as red as, say Mrs. FDR.
I think that I am more excited by this than anything else in my garden. I have it on a cold south facing patio to make sure some chipmunk or squirrel doesn't dig into the pot. And, frankly, so I can go say hi every morning.
We just had a day that started at 65 degrees in the morning and ended in the 20s with high freezing wind. Now about 5 to 6 of my peony's are bowing over. Many had buds form ready to bloom. I don't care if they bloom or not but will they be ok?
Oh boy. They are tough plants, can stand being snowed on. I don't know how they fare in such a cold wind chill. I would think that the plant above the ground might get bitten badly but the tubers should be safe. May send new sprouts???
Hi Donna, that is amazing, and wonderful that you found the peony after such a long time. I hope it continues to do well for you. The stems on mine have darkened up, and it seems to be doing ok. The Primavera that I moved looks like it may bloom this year. I'll check it this weekend for buds.
I've got some peonies that I planted when we first moved to this house that never grew. The box was labelled peony Muskoka, 5 tubers in the box. They were planted at the same time as Sarah Bernhardt, and Bowl of Beauty, all three from a big box store. The sad part is I don't even know where to look for the tubers, it's been so long since they were planted. Also, there is not much info about this peony on the internet. I wonder if that was truly the name?
Michelle, my peonies have tolerated some frost, Cheddar Suprise, and Lois' Choice took the biggest hit. I clipped the dead looking leaves on CS, however the stem with the bud on LC is dying, but it has put up a new stem.
I had two that never bloomed - Tourangelle and Paul M. Wild. I could never find the tubers, and I knew where they were. I dug and dug, and there was nothing there. They were from Adelman. What a disappointment, since all my other peonies, planted before and after, came up nicely. And so much time went by that it never occurred to me to ask for replacement.
I thought it was weird that they just vanished, and though there must have been something wrong with them. With another company a peony didn't appear for about three years and when I dug down I found it and replanted it. And from that company I got some of my best peonies.
I'm finding that planting them up high guarantees my success. I find that even two inches down can be too much. Some peonies have so much woody growth that the eyes end up too far down in the soil if you put the whole tuber two inches down. So I put the eyes two inches down, even if it means that the woody portion juts out of the soil. It appears to work well. I just like to make sure that the peonies are not in an area in which they can be stomped on by people walking through your yard with their dogs!
The stems of the ones that were bent turned to mush. I went ahead and trimmed them off considering it didn't look like it was recoverable. I hope they produce a new stem like yours. I just wanted to make sure it wouldn't kill them.
There's no telling how deeply I planted the no show peonies, and the tubers probably rotted in the red clay. I had to remove dirt from Sarah Bernhardt and Bowl of Beauty to get them to bloom and if I remember correctly, my DH helped me plant the first set of peonies I grew, and I know he had no clue what he was doing, neither did I for that matter back then.
Michelle, I sorry to hear your peonies sustained some damage. Let hope you get some warm weather soon to help spur their growth.
This came up from the root the mystery root I told referred to. This is what I found in the ground.at appears to be a peony. Now this is coming up, and I wondered whether anyone can recognize it. It's a little weird, and there appears to be more in my yard. I'm wondering if I'm nurturing some weird plant.
I excited to say that my Shima Nishiki has started opening it's blooms today, thanks to all the rain we had yesterday. It had 1 bloom last year and 3 this year. The blooms are mostly fuschia without much variegation, but much bigger than they were last year.
Donna, I'm glad you had your plant identified. I would have sworn that it was a peony based on the tuber and the pips.