Sunday, 7 October 2012

Roots Arrived!

The roots that I ordered have started to arrive.  There were some last minute substitutions that changed things a little, some last minute purchases, and all of the roots from the Internet were lovely.  My collection in growing.  Some of the roots took a long time to arrive so I soaked them in water before planting.  They came with lots of eyes to bring flowers in the spring. The soil is still warm and wonderful to work with. This is the right time to plant the roots.  The roots will send out the small hairs to secure the roots into the soil. I will wait one more year for the seedlings before transplanting them in the test beds.  It will be a long time before they bloom.  They are already 2 years old.
It is time to cut down the foliage of the plants from this season.  Some of the plant leave have turned a lovely fall colour.
I have the entire winter to dream of the new plants and how they will look. I still need to add some yellow and white peonies to the collection.  The pinks, reds, and coral beds are all full now.  I have already picked the flowers for next year.  I will be trying some new growers again.  North America has lots of growers to pick from.  They vary in size of growers, but the plants all have the same good quality.
Happy planting.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Plannning for the fall

I went to growers to pick the flowers for next year, taking pictures to remember the flower and the name.
I have been looking for flowers to add to the collection.  I have decided on a couple of paths to go down.  I have been looking for plants with family member's names in the plants like: Helen, Robert, Dad, Margaret, Mr. Ed, Lauren and Lovely Louise.

The second path is very old heritage plants. Looking at the Internet, old books researching the names and where they might be available.  I am also trying to find out the names of some of the plants I have.

I did buy some plants for the colour to complete more of the garden.  I expanded the garden to fit more plants.  It also will help with the tulips I planted last year.  The idea was to have a flower that would bring interest to the garden before the peonies, but they did not look nice when the flowers were finished.
Now the tulips will bloom and then the peonies will come out and distract your attention away from the tulips and concentrate on the beautiful peonies.  The soil will be well prepared for the roots to arrive this fall, and hopefully bloom next spring.
Gardening has always been about planning and preparing the soil.  These plants will live longer than me, if they are properly planted in good soil.  I hope not to loose as many this spring.  Today is hot and windy.  Not a good day to be in the garden, so planning is the thing to do.  In three years, this garden will be breath taking.

Red Charm

We survived the heavy winds.  There are leaves everywhere, bird feeders flung across the yard, tree branches on the ground but most of the peonies are okay. 
Red charm and Coral Charm are blooming. Red Charm is a bomb.  The American Peony Society describes a bomb as the outer ring of guard petals are larger than the center.  The center forms a closely rounded ball.  The heavy winds damaged some of the guard petals, but it could not stop the sweet aroma. This is a lovely red flower and well worth having.  This one came as a bare root in the fall from Peonies From the Field and has 5 blossoms on it.  It was a last minute choice, but I am so glad that I have it.

The flower is small this year, so next year it should be just spectacular.

So in the garden there are five different flowers blooming.  Prairie Moon, Bartzella, Coral Charm, Red Charm, the pink single from my Aunt's house.  Soon the rest will be blooming too.  It is an unusual year and everything is early.

Thanks for stopping bye.

Monday, 2 July 2012


This plant started out strong with 4 buds, but all of the buds died and now there is only one leave left. I am hoping there is enough to keep the plant alive and next year it will bloom. It was a bare root that came in the fall.
Let's talk about the ways to buy peonies. You can buy the bare roots for a fall delivery. This was the first way that I purchased flowers for the garden. This is the best time to transplant peonies. I lost 5 plants due to the early spring when the buds appeared and then the frost killed them off with the entire root. I tried to purchase roots that came in the spring. Unlike the roots that came in the fall, none of the plants bloomed this year and one arrived dead, many were out of stock. I bought plants for the local garden centers. They were weak compare to the bare roots and lots of them were damaged in the high winds we had in the spring. Some of them were planted too deep in the pots. They are guaranteed by the garden center, but you must have the bill and the tag identifying the plant. The garden centers did have more varieties than ever before. The internet has way more to choice from.  Some of the potted plants had a soil that some animal here liked and dug up the newly planted flowers damaging the root and the leaves.  I almost cried when I found the plant in the morning.  It was very discouraging.
I will again be purchasing bare roots in the fall, since this was the best results for plants that were strong and bloomed the first year. Who has time to wait for the plant to grow 3 or 4 years before it blooms? There are many places on the internet to purchase peonies. Placing the order early is the only way to get the plants you are looking for. Now in June many of the plants are already sold out. If you can, visit the grower when the plants are blooming to see the flower up close. I found they all did not look the same as the picture on the internet. I was very surprised with Chocolate Soldier on how close it was to the ground. Surprises are sometimes fun, they can be the spices of life. I would have made some changes if I had know what I was getting. Buy plants that have different blooming times. I had plants blooming from mid May until the end of June.
Happy shopping.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Le Cygne

 This full white flower is also know as the Swan in English. It bloomed on June 10th and has a trace of pink in the middle. It has a very strong stem to hold the flower upright.  The aroma is one of the strong early cultivated peony.  This flower oringinaly was cultivated in France in 1907.  This was again a bare root from a Canadian grower.

Black Swan

  Black Swan bloomed on June 10th.  It has a wonderful aroma.  It is a stunning deep red.  There is a strong stem to hold up the flower.  This plant survived even after the damage to the first leaves in the early spring.  Not sure if it was birds or the rabbit.  This a rare peony and I am very happy to have it in my collection. I love the center with the edges of almost white around the red.  I am looking foward to the future, when there will be more blossoms on the plant.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Double Pink

This pink double also came with the house.  The bud on this is lovely even as a cut flower.  This fills the house with the wonderful sweet smell of peony.


Soft pink almost transparent pedals.  This is in the white garden.  There is not much of a scent.  There is only one bud this year.  It will be interesting to see how it does next year. I have not seen much information about flower on the Internet.

Unknown Pink

This is not in the new garden.  It has a ugly bud, but a beautiful flower.  The scent has a slight Cinnamon smell to it.   It is one that came with the house 30 years ago.

Ada Niva

This lovely flower came from the USA and is available in some nurseries in Ontario.   It just started to bloom today.  There are two blossoms.  It has a pleasant scent, not too strong.  This would make a great cut flower.  On the weekend the Peony Festival will be in Oshawa.  I hope the weather is great.  On the past weekend we went to another Peony garden and saw 160 different varieties.
I have picked a few for the garden next fall.  Now it time to weed.  Happy gardening.

Sunday, 10 June 2012



This is a lovely flower that starts out with slight pink pedals that fade to white with yellow centre.  The flowers a heavy for the stems and need support.  It came from Kinsway Gardens in a pot.
I some how ended up with two of these.  The second came from Home Depot in a pot with no name and a different picture, but they are both the same.  They are side be side in the white garden.  I think that I will make a change this fall.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Heritage Pink

I do not know the name of this pink flower,  it came from the house that I was born in over 50 years ago.  My mother brought a piece of it with her when we left the house and planted it at the house in the country.  When I bought my own house she brought me a piece.  I have been here for 30 years and moved the plant three times.  Last fall when I moved the plant into the pink garden I gave a piece to my sister too.  With all the pink flowers available it is hard to find the name.  I do know the flower was common in Ontario in the 50's.  It is a lovely flower with a story.  The shape is similar to Mme Ducel, but all the pedals are one colour.  This is very fragrant.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Raspberry Sunday

Raspberry Sunday is a new addition into yellow garden.  It has a pale pink guard pedals with a soft yellow center.  All of the new plants will be much better in the years to come.  This year the weather has been hard on a lot of the plants, with the early spring, followed by deep frost, then warm weather, then frost, then warm weather with little rain.  Finally warm weather came with rain, but it brought high winds.  Some of the roots from last fall were damaged by the first frost after the warm and did not survive.  Many of the trees in the area were damaged by the high winds.  I wonder what the rest of the summer will bring.

Mme Ducel

This was one of my first flowers that had more then one colour.  There is the pink in the middle, the salmon pedals surrounding the center and a deep pink in the guard pedals.  This is a very fragrant flower.  I have it in the new garden and around the gazebo.  When I sit in the gazebo for my lunch and a breeze comes by gently wafting the sweet scent into the gazebo, it is wonderful.

Neilie Saylor

We  are now into June.  I have several different peonies blooming now. Neilie Saylor bloomed this week.

I have a heritage white that came with the house is also blooming.  I split it last fall to have it in the new garden, and both plants are not happy.  There are several blooms per stem so that the flower fall over and need support.  They have a lovely fragrance.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Coral Charm

Coral Charm has been blooming for a few days, but never really opened.  There were three lovely blossoms on the new plant with large buds.  This was one of my favourites.  I first saw it at the Oshawa Botanical Garden and loved the colour. Here are the pictures from my garden.
Here is a picture of the flower from the Botanical Garden that I feel in love with.  My flowers are not nearly a nice.  I hope that next year it will be better.  It must be this strange weather or my long hours at work.

Friday, 1 June 2012


Today is raining outside so I have time to share another peony from the yellow garden.  Bartzella opened yesterday.  Bartzella is an intersectional peony.  I have to share the story behind this plant and some of the disappointments in creating this new garden. 

I designed the garden after visiting Germany and my favourite garden in Hanover.  I love peonies and how easy they are to take care of.  I took the design of one of the gardens, made it smaller and put in easy to take care of plant.  I wanted to put flowers of similar colours together. I had eight pink flower varieties already, one white, one red and one yellow before I started.  I went shopping to increase the varieties and build my new garden.  Bartzella I bought from Spring Garden catalogue with delivery initially promised for April.  The delivery changed 3 times until finally in May in came.  I had seen Bartzella in the local garden centres for the same price and was tempted to buy again, but waited.  Mid May he came by mail dead!  I went immediately to buy a new one from the local centre and most of the plants were gone.  There was one left.  I bought that one and now it is blooming!  It is a lovely yellow making the Prairie Moon very pale in comparison.

All gardens have some success and some failures.  It is all part of the process.  Lets rejoice in the triumphs and learn from the failures.  As a good friend told me, I am a Gin and Tonic gardener.  Let the plants that want to be there strive and the ones that do not, do not force them.  Stop each day to smell the flowers, and let them bring you joy in this world.  Happy gardening.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Prairie Moon

Rain and warm weather have brought more peonies in the new bed.  Today the Prairie Moon is blooming.  It is in the yellow garden and has three blossoms with one open today.  There is a light scent, but beautiful flower.  Prairie Moon is from a supplier in Ontario and came as a root in the fall.  I am very happy with this pick for the yellow garden.

Today also brought one of my favourite flowers from the peony garden that was moved into the pink garden.  I do not know the name.  It came to me twelve years ago from my Aunt Helen's house.  It is very fragrant, and strong stem.  It is a dark pink and makes a lovely cut flower.  The flowers and plant are smaller than normal but there are lots of flowers this year.

I just found the name.  This is Imperial Red!  Next year I will have many plants of this flower.  I am so happy that I was able to finally identify this plant.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

High Noon

My High Noon Peony is now in bloom.  This was my first tree peony. I was enticed with the yellow colour many years ago.  I split the tree this year and now have it in the new garden in the yellow section.  This is the mother plant.  The split was successful.  The new tree is doing well but not blooming yet.  There are buds, but they are still very small.  This peony also has a wonderful fragrance that fills the air around it.
The lack of rain is effecting the performance of the plant.  I have well water, so watering plants is not an option.  That is one of the reasons I love peonies.  They come back every year and bloom so beautiful, the do not need much care for our busy lives.  They are very hardy and do not need to be watered.