Peonies are without a doubt our very favorite perennial flower here at The Flower Paddock. Surprisingly, peonies have always done well on the farm, even with the strong winds that blow diagonally across the farm, from the north to the south and year round. In our house gardens, we currently grow Sarah Bernhardt, Duchesse DeNemours and Alexander Flemming varieties on roots planted 7 years ago.
This coming fall we will be expanding our selection of peony varieties with a new peony and rose garden located behind the greenhouse. The land is cleared, the walkways and planting rows are in and we are ready to go! We are hoping that the L-shape formed by the greenhouse and storage barn will block some of the winds and create a sort of micro-climate back there. Fingers crossed.
The 11 new (to us!) peony varieties to be planted in this new garden will expand the colors we are able to offer in our spring bouquets, while extending the length of time during which we will have peonies available. We took special care in to include a balance of very early, early, mid-season and late season bloomers. With reference to color, the new roots will include tons of color variation from white and pale yellow, to the palest pinky-white and light pink, to corals and bright/hot pinks. These new 3/5 root plantings will specifically include: Class Act, Sunny Girl, Shirley Temple, Nick Shaylor, Brother Chuck, Nora Nora, Dinner Plate, Pink Hawaiian Coral, Coral Sunset, Etched Salmon, and Kansas. And, probably a few more that I collect before planting time! The majority of our bare roots will be coming from Little Farm House Flowers in Jay, New York, with the Etched Salmon roots sourced from Mountain Flower Farm in Vermont. Yes-we could go through one of the big brokers for our roots, but we really like to support other small farms in their efforts.
Wish us luck and hope the winter weather is kind to these new additions! And, hopefully in a few years we will have a dazzling array of peonies in every color out there to share with all of you!