Posts Tagged ‘peony varieties’

Peony Madness in the Garden

May 15, 2012

Cora Stubbs, a raspberry pink Japanese form peony

You say Pee OH Nee, I say PEE Uh Nee – however you say it, Peonies are an early delight for the cutting garden. Answers.com says both pronunciations are correct and depend on which region you come from. “If you said pee un nee in the Southern United States you would get strange looks from the locals.” Oh – That’s why!

Scott’s favorite is Cora Stubbs. He planted six plants some years ago and we were quite smitten with them, the way they hold their color and the contrast of textures and colors. Of course, there isn’t a peony we don’t like. Bartzella is a rare yellow peony that Scott is also fond of.

The Bartzella, with lemony yellow blooms and small red flares

Peony Meadows northeast of Charlottesville in Keswick, VA has a huge peony garden, which owners Jim and Sandy graciously let you wander through. I dare you to walk through and not make plans to order some peonies in the fall! You must look at them soon though, as they are blooming right now. Last year Rachel, Scott, and I wrote down the names of the peonies we liked best (we like them all really) and in the fall Jim dug out the eyes and we picked them up. Jim doesn’t have Cora Stubbs though. Paradise Garden usually has them, but they are available in limited supply and have to be ordered early. Paradise Garden also has “Karen Gray”, which got rave reviews from guests in our tasting room this weekend.

Karen Gray, an unusual wine red Japanese flower with a creamy center

After peonies finish blooming the foliage is pretty. I cut off all blooms – either as cut flowers, when they finish blooming, or if it rains and they fall to the ground. That way, the bush keeps it shape and looks perky.

–Martha

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