Thursday, May 15, 2008

George Vorauer

We note with great sadness the passing of a very special peony-lover. 
Peony Walkabout at the CEF
Visitors braved frigid temps (8 degrees with a vicious wind) to attend the Peony Walkabout. George Vorauer - in hat - explains the history of the collection and tells people about the Friends of the Farm who help maintain the peony beds.
George Eric Vorauer age 79 passed away on Thursday, May 15th, 2008. Beloved husband of Regina Abreu. Loving father of Andre (Marilia) and the Late Christina (Bruno Poirier). Cherished grandfather of Eric and Nicolas. Dear brother of Herbert (Maria Luiza). Lovingly remembered by niece Barbara and Maria Regina. George Vorauer was a member of the Peony Group of the Friends of the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, and the Canadian Peony Society.  A beautiful Ménard/D'Aoust peony was named after George in 2007, but he did not live to see its first bloom in his garden.  A Mass In Memory of George will be held Tuesday, May 27th at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 1758 Alta Vista Drive at 10 a.m. In memoriam donations to the Friends of the Central experimental Farm appreciated.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stealth Coon

An old, loose clothesline in our backyard was perfect for hanging feeders. The line was so loose that even squirrels were deterred. Then mysteriously, the feeders were being emptied on the ground. As well, the feeders were being moved about on the line. One day I spied a young raccoon navigating the line upside down, hand over hand. He jumped off the line when I ran out of the house screaming at it, confident that I had scared him well. About 10 minutes later I was alerted by the squeak, squeak of the clothesline. There was that rascal standing on the deck railing, reeling in the feeders!

Irene Bouris
Sparta, Ont

Friday, February 15, 2008

Ken Clare

It was with surprise and much sadness to hear recently of the death of Ken Clare last October.  Ken was the owner of what he liked to call "The Ultimate Peony Super Store" also known as   He was quite a character and a legend in Canadian peony history.

Ken undoubtedly had the largest collection of peonies in Canada.  He started out growing them in pop bottles but later moved them to several area fields he was borrowing when his collection had outgrown his overwintering facilities.  Pop bottle culture may have sounded a little odd to many peony growers but it was an innovative solution that worked very well.  I was lucky enough to see Ken's tree peonies when they were in bottles and displayed on a wooden stadium structure.  They were a beautiful site to behold on an early spring day.

Hard work, a sense of humour and a generous spirit are what I will remember Ken for.  When I was learning to graft tree peonies, Ken invited me to take as may scions as I wanted from his plants.  He would take nothing in return.  Each time I visited he would offer me some rare cultivar to take home.  The 'Renown' tree peony I received in the pop bottle many years ago still grows well in my field.

Ken Clare began in 2003 in the little town of Frankford, Ontario after retiring from the cabinet business.  Ken grew many hundreds of varieties and it could only be described as a private peony museum.  He had a true passion for flowers and imported peonies from all over the world including Europe, China, Japan, even New Zealand.  After his illness and passing in 2008 the business was moved to Alberton, Ontario to a two acre farm run by his son Mike and his family.

Lindsay D'Aoust