The peony bloom continues at Cricket Hill Garden. As we enter week 5, all tree peonies but one have finished blooming, while the late season herbaceous peoniesand a few cultivars of the hybrid intersectional or ‘Itoh’ peonies are still looking very good. Overall, this has been a good spring for blooms, though the very hot weather we had two weeks ago sped up the latter half of the season. Compared with last year, we are about a week ahead in terms of bloom timing. By next week, the first week of summer, most peony petals will have fallen, leaving us the memories of spring flowers and the anticipation of a new summer’s bounty. In the past few years here at Cricket Hill, we have expanded our focus to include growing many new berry bushes and edible fruits, so there is something to look forward to all through the growing season.
‘Riches and Honor,’ a Chinese variety of herbaceous peony with perfectly formed double blossoms on a compact shrub with strong stems.
Though the primary blossoms have passed on many cultivars, some like ‘Sword Dance’ have secondary side buds which are now blooming.
‘Garden Lace‘ is a cultivar hybridized by the great peony breeder and nurseryman Don Hollingsworth. This variety holds up well in the sun and rain. The blossoms persist for over ten days.
‘Best of Velvet Blossoms’ is a Chinese variety which we need to build up stock on before we can offer it for sale.
‘Garden Treasure‘ a long blooming, intersectional or ‘Itoh’ peony. Plants produce many buds and has a prolonged bloom as flowers take turns opening.
‘Bartzella‘ is another intersectional peony, a show stopper, with 8-9″ flowers.
After the blooms on your peonies are past, please deadhead the spent blooms. Cut the dead flower back to to first good leaf, usually trimming about 6-8 inches of stem. The patient and adventurous gardener may want to try growing peonies from seed, in which case you leave some seed pods to fully develop. See our article here on growing peonies from seed.
We’re about more than just peonies at Cricket Hill Garden. Summer brings the bounty of fruits and berries from our collection of landscape edibles. Right now our elderberries are in full bloom.