What’s happening at the Peony Farm

     I decided to use the blog to update my customers on what’s happening at the farm, especially during the Spring-Summer months when peonies are in bloom and they want to know which peonies are blooming, etc.  So, I’ll commit to journalling these events.  Topics will also include what to watch out for during certain months,  things to do in the garden such as time to fertilize?, time to cut back the leaves?, when and how to subdivide your peonies, or  just post some peony flower arrangements.

     In the meantime,  I just posted on my website: www.ilovepeonies.com   the blooming times of different peonies.  I hope that this helps you in your selection of peonies.  Living here in the Pacific Northwest,  one of the things I decided is that I will have flowers and color during all 4 seasons.   I didn’t want to face fall and especially bleak winter with nothing going on in my garden.  And so, I chose plants and trees that would provide color during these seasons.  Here is a of picture of how the garden looks right now.  


   Thus, the Blooming Times for Peonies. It takes a little bit of time to download because it has a lot of pictures to show you the colors of the peonies in bloom during specific times.  This guide will help you choose cultivars that will lengthen the time to enjoy the peonies! 

Fall at Happy Valley Grower

Sssh, sssh!  The plants are asleep.  At least that’s what it seemsFall in the Garden
like. And yet,  this is the time of the year when the garden is ablaze with colors.  Literally.  With golds, rust, yellows, brown purples, orange,reddish green.  Wonderful mix of colors – transformation that happens when fall is here.  

This is also the time of the year when some plants are storing energy to re-awaken come spring and burst into yet again, another display of vibrant colors.  Just wait.  Your peonies will give you a riot of colors come spring!  And you don’t even have to treat it tenderly like roses (and I have over 30 varieties in my garden).  All the spraying, and cleaning, and pruning, and fertilizing, and on, and on.

By the way,  Benjamin, thank you for giving us CZ, our cat.  This is her first year anniversary with us.  My home is totally transformed from absolutely no cats to having CZ sleep in my bed!  She occasionally lets me pet her, but for the most part, she is a very independent cat.  Here she is.

How does a Healthy bare root peony look like? and fall care.

The other day, during my driftwood sculpting class, one of the ladies asked what do I do for a living. Of course, I simply had to tell her about my Peony Farm. She eagerly pursued the conversation and related the fact that she purchased a bare root peony a couple of years ago and is wondering why it didn’t bloom.

Having ruled out all the other reasons why it didn’t bloom, (planted too deep, competing with other roots, bad location, not getting enough sun, etc) – we narrowed it down to “the roots we received were not healthy”. So, I described it to her and also suggested she log in to: www.ilovepeonies.com in the About Peonies page so she could have a good picture of how it should look like.

And, just like other plants in our garden when we do what is commonly referred to as “putting to bed your plants for the fall season”, there is one thing we have to do for peonies as well. When the foliage starts yellowing, cut the foliage down to about 1-2″ from the ground. This eliminates the possibility of any disease overwintering and affecting your next year’s bloom. By the way, if you are thinking of transplanting any peony plant, this is the time to do it. Remember, peonies must be planted to within an 1″ or 2″ from the ground.

See picture below.


Starting our Happy Valley Grower Peony Farm

     We started the Peony section at our Happy Valley Grower Peony farm this year and have made a lot of progress as you can see from the photo.

    We have now virtually completed our peony planting.. There we were (my husband, my garden helpers and myself) in the intermittent rain and sun digging holes, moving soil, mixing compost, laying out the rows for the peonies, dividing tubers, and then planting a total of more than 150 peony root tubers – herbaceous, itohs, and tree peonies.

    There are 2 sites at the Peony Farm – one for the plants we are growing for propagation and the other for the peony plants for sale.
It is so exciting , looking so beautiful, and the flowers aren’t even in bloom yet. As a matter of fact, there is nothing showing yet other than my signs,. a few tubers barely breaking ground and the muddy footprints. 

    Dirty as we were, we are excitedly looking forward to Spring. Just imagine the mass of vibrant, colorful, and amazingly huge Peony flowers in bloom come May. What a sight that will be!

    Tomorrow is reserved for my own garden where I will tend to my plants and do the fall chores of cutting back plants and preparing to put to bed the plants for fall.

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