Passion for Peonies

It seems like with the anticipation and waiting for the peonies to bloom, the month of June just whizzed by.  Got really busy photographing the different varieties of peonies as they blossomed,  anxious to get the pictures posted on my website:  I wanted visitors to the site to have the most updated news on what’s happening at the Peony Farm.

Learning the techniques of uploading a picture so that it doesn’t cause the website to crawl, wanting the best viewable picture at the same time.  Anyway,  the thing that I forgot in all this – the nice visits I have with people who came to the farm.

Just yesterday, Keith and Carol came with their friend, Susan.  I was bowled over by how passionate Keith is about peonies.  They both love peonies as much as I love peonies.  In all this excitement,  I had to drag them to my personal garden and show the latest blooming peonies.  They oohed at the sight of Paula Fay, exclaimed at Red Charm,  wowed by the fragrance and beauty of Mons Jules Elie and defilitely loved Festiva Maxima.  But, when they saw Coral Charm, O la la!  They have to have all these beauties!   And how fun it is that Keith have read the information I provided about peonies on the website.  He’s a most thorough reader!   And how generous of them to share this passion with Susan, for whom they bought a Coral Charm for her birthday present.  I look forward to visiting with them again to talk and exchange notes and ideas about that one thing we love – Peonies.

Here are some of the peonies they purchased:
Paula Fay at Peony Farm, WA
Paula Fay

Festiva Maxima at Peony Farm, WACoral Charm at Peony Farm, WA
Festiva Maxima                                                                                 Coral Charm

Red Charm at Peony Farm, WA
Red Charm                                                                            

Mons Jules Elie at Peony Farm, WAMons Jules Elie

And, here are a couple of pictures my husband took of me.  Had to showit to you all,  I think how I look reflected how I enjoy working at my Peony Farm and being surrounded by the beautiful, fragrant peonies.  And if you can just imagine that I have 24 more new varieties coming in this fall!!!!!

Amy Hall with Paula Fay at Peony Farm

Amy Hall with Mons Jules Elie at Peony Farm

And here is a small overview picture of the farm.
Peonies growing in the field at Peony Farm, WA

One of my customers, dear Paul, happened to be a woodworking craftsman.  Discovered this by accident in our conversation about things I’d like to see at the farm.  He mentioned projects he had done for his daughters and the things he is working on now for the home he and his wife is building here in Sequim, Wa.   And as this conversation goes on, I found myself blurting I wish I can have a hand carved sign for my farm.  Wouldn’t you know it?  Out of the goodness of his heart,  he offered to carve it for me.  AND, AND, AND, he worked on it at Superman speed.  Beautiful work!  My husband is painting it for me now and I can’t hardly wait till it’s up where my product board is at.  It’s in the garage right now, wet with paint or I’d have taken a picture of it for this blog.  So, dear Paul who wouldn’t take a penny for his effort – guess what he’s going to get?  Give you a hint:  he loves peonies!   I mean, expensive ITOH peonies.  I just know he’d be thrilled to get his present. 

And then, there’s Dina.  Talk about someone passionate about peonies.  She has 100 peonies on a city lot and still found 3 more from my selections at the Peony Farm.  Her husband speaks glowingly of her garden and actually helped her find additions for her garden  How sweet is that?  I just feel so grateful to witness love as couples come to the farm.  Their love for each other shows in how they express through the selection of peonies for each other (or how willingly the guys pays for his wife/girlfriend’s purchases).

And one last thing as I can’t close this narrative without mentioning Craig with his boyish enthusiasm to find that very special peony that lined the walk to his childhood home.  He had to have it.  Just must have it!  I love it.   And he tried ever so gently to have me part with a peony that I’m babying.  I’m sure he went on another merry scouting to find this one that he couldn’t have.  I must say that he really is very good at endearing himself.

Well, that’s all for now and hope you enjoyed this narrative until the next time I blog.  And to all of you who visited the farm that didn’t get mentioned,  I love you all for the stories you bring in the conversation, your passion for peonies and for sharing yourself.   Thank You!   . 

A month of growing at the Peony Farm

Blooming Peonies

In the past,  by mid May,  my garden is full of blooming peonies.  Lovely, fragrant, big peonies.   So,  I was waiting for May with lots of expectation.  Well, May has brought us hail storm, days and nights that felt like winter was here to stay on, rain galore.  My peony buds are so little.  You’d think they got frozen in time from the first time they showed up last April.  

Tree Peonies

Some of the tree peonies like Hana Kisoi, High Noon, and Koukamon did blossom and gave us a wonderful display of big blossoms. Some are just now budding. The itoh Morning Lilac blossomed while the development of 4 buds seemed to have gotten arrested by the recent hailstorm and winter freeze. Visitor (graciously concurring about the weather), still walked away disappointed at not having seen a big display of blooming peonies.  And I share their feelings. 

Closeup of May Lilac

Itoh Morning Lilac

A close up of High Noon.  Am having fun taking a real close shot at the centers of the flowers.  A new way of taking pictures for me. Hope you like it.

A tree peony – Hephestos.  Lovely velvety red!

Hana Kisoi, tree peony, when it just began to open.

Broken down chair with Hat showing parking direction at the entrance of the Peony Farm

Sales at the Peony Farm

Since opening the Peony Farm on May 1st,we were blessed with lots of visitors (from all over the country) who also purchased plants and made roots reservations. I was surprised at how many people do want to create a peony garden and were so gratified at the large selection of varieties and colors we carry. This makes me happy because it validates my decision to have a peony farm.One visitor even said, “I don’t have to go as far as Salem, Oregon tofind  choice varieties of peonies!”. My sentiments as well when I first started my hunt for a greater selection of peonies for my own garden.

The Garden

The garden, however, is a “park like” vision. Visitors kept commenting on how beautiful the garden looked.The lawn has not looked as green as it did this year!  And the rest of the perennials have grown big it seems like.   The shrubs are bushier.  Is it the rain? or is it the fact that they are at that stage now where they shoot up?  You know – the old truism – first year sleep, second year creep, third year leap! My flowering cherry “Mt Fuji”, with its umbrella like branches, was loaded with flowers for the 1sttime. The daffodils, crocuses and tulips are now faded and regenerating.   The alliums are waving in the air with the hummers zooming in and out of it. The rose bushes are loaded with buds,  the poppies are glorious in colors of orange, salmon, red and pink!  The hostas are growing healthy,and  the ligularia growing taller.  The poor Japanese Maples’ leaves are heavy with rain water. And of course, I can’t hardly keep us with the wildly growing weeds! 

Although the plants in the  vegetable garden are still trying to grow,  the strawberry plants are sporting little tiny fruit buds.  The blueberries have little flowers, the raspberries are full of new growths and the grape vines are doing well.  Oh, and the potatoes and the asparagus are doing very good.  I wish I can say that my fig tree is doing well. 

Overall, the garden is doing good.  Now, let’s hope for a sunny June.  We’ll be enjoying peonies well into July, I think.  That’s a big plus, isn’t it?