Friday, December 27, 2013

Micheal George Stewart Denny 1941 - 2013

"Esse quam videri"
Professor, economist, peony specialist, husband, father and grandfather.

Michael Denny passed away Friday Dec 27, 2013 surrounded by family. Loved by Judi, his wife of 49 years, plus children Chris (Jennifer), Sean (Sara) and grandchildren Rachel, Cate and Jasper.  Brother to Peter (Marion) Denny, Sally (and the late Michael) Adamson and Joanna (Christin) Primavesi.  Uncle to Tory, David, Lisa, Diana, Anne and Ellen.

In keeping with Michael's wishes, there will be no funeral service.  Cremation has taken place.  Plans are underway for a celebration of Michael's life in the summer of 2014.

Micheal lived his life without reservation or apology.  Born in Toronto to Denison and Joan (Eve) Denny, Michael attended Upper Canada College and Trinity College School.  He graduated from the Massuchusetts Institute of Technology, where he played varsity ice hockey, in 1963.  His highlight from Boston was meeting and marrying Judi.  Together they moved to California, where Michael completed his PhD in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1969.  They then returned to Toronto, where he taught for over forty years.  Respected by colleagues and students, one described him as: "Humble.  Plain spoken.  A ready laugh.  A skeptical style.  An independent spirit.  A quick mind behind twinkling eyes."

He approached the world from a stance of curiosity and playfulness.  Micheal's wide-ranging interests included blues and gospel, ice hockey and Danish silverware.  Later, he focused on nature (especially trees and peonies) which reflected his wonder in the world.  He would often combine his passion with his profession, for example, in applying social science to the study of peony blooms:

Michael was and is our family compass.  He allowed us to be ourselves, giving us space to grow, while challenging us to 'think different.'  His sons, now fathers themselves, value Michael's ability to sit on his hands and let them find their way in the world.

In lieu of flowers, please consider planting a tree in your yard or neighbourhood (Micheal's favourite was the Red Oak)  Donations to the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation appreciated at

Online condolences welcomed at

Our condolences to Judi and family.  Micheal you will be missed.  Rest in peace.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Presidents Message/Message du président

By David Maltby

The year 2013 was a successful year for Society with the Oshawa Ontario Regional Peony Show on June 8th and 9th followed by the Canadian Peony Society Show at Rosemère on June 15th and 16th, the June 21st and 22nd Prairie Peony Show in Regina, and the Québec Peony Society show on June 22nd and 23rd at Saint-Georges de Beauce. Each of these shows was well attended.

There have been a number of interesting and good news developments in Ontario and Quebec. Whistling Gardens in Wilsonville, Ontario is putting in new display beds of peonies to add to their collection of conifers and extensive perennial plantings. They are planning on excess of 300 different varieties in the gardens and are well on the way to achieving that this fall. The addition of the peony gardens adds to Whistling Gardens’ extensive collection of conifers, in excess of 2300 varieties. I live close to Wilsonville and have had the opportunity to tour the gardens and they are certainly impressive.

The Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario are renewing their peony collection. The peonies have been moved from the periphery of the Spring Garden, where it has been for some 20 plus years, to the central display garden area. The Curator and the Director of Horticulture contacted me and requested the input of the Canadian Peony Society members to enhance their peony collection. This fall an extensive number of new varieties were acquired and over the longer term, they hope to increase the varieties to create more botanical diversity and interest in the collection. The peony collection had been in the same location for quite a number of years and there had been no new acquisitions. It is a welcome development that the Royal Botanical Gardens are continuing the enhancement of the horticultural displays.

Serge Fafard and Martinus Mooijekind have been coordinating and organizing additions to gardens in Quebec including at La Chute, Québec City, Rosemère, Saint Bruno, Trois-Rivières and Valleyfield. While at the CPS show in Rosemère, I had the opportunity to view the initial planning at Maison Hamilton and there were plans for extensive expansion of the peony plantings this fall.

The public plantings of peonies and display gardens and the ongoing contribution of our members volunteering doing the laborious work of dividing and maintaining the peony collection are most productive and an important part of our Society’s activity, whether that be in Rosemère, Ottawa, Oshawa, Burlington or other public or private gardens across Canada.

It was not possible to have our annual general meeting in Rosemère for the lack of a quorum. The AGM is important to conclude the Society’s business and was re-set for October 27th, 2013. The AGM was conducted by way of a conference meeting. The advantage of a conference meeting is that members have to travel no further than to the phone in their home. Thanks to those who participated. A report on the AGM will be printed in the February newsletter.

Trust you had a happy dividing and planting autumn and are now eagerly anticipating next year’s blooming season..


Par David Maltby

L’année 2013 s’est avérée un succès pour la Société grâce à l’Exposition régionale de pivoines de l’Ontario à Oshawa les 8 et 9 juin suivie de l’Exposition de la Société canadienne de la pivoine à Rosemère les 15 et 16 juin, de l’Exposition de pivoines des Prairies à Regina les 22 et 23 juin et enfin de l’Exposition de la Société de la pivoine du Québec les 22 et 23 juin à Saint-Georges de Beauce. Chacune de ces expositions a été bien achalandée.
Nous avons reçu de bonnes et intéressantes nouvelles de développements en Ontario et au Québec. Les Jardins Whistling de Wilsonville, Ontario, sont en train d’ajouter un nouveau parterre de pivoines à leur collection de conifères et leurs vastes plantations de vivaces. Ils comptent planter plus de 300 différentes variétés de pivoines dans les jardins et ils sont bien partis pour compléter ce projet cet automne. L’ajout de jardins de pivoines accroît la collection étendue de conifères des Jardins Whistling, une collection de plus de 2300 variétés. J’habite près de Wilsonville et j’ai eu l’occasion de visiter les jardins. Ils sont certes impressionnants!
Les Jardins botaniques royaux de Burlington, Ontario, sont en train de renouveler leur collection de pivoines. Les pivoines ont été déplacées de la périphérie du Jardin printanier, où elles étaient depuis 20 ans, et placées dans le parterre central. Le conservateur et le directeur de l’horticulture sont entrés en contact avec moi et ont demandé la participation des membres de la Société canadienne de la pivoine pour améliorer leur collection de pivoines. Cet automne, ils ont acquis un grand nombre de nouvelles variétés et, à la longue, ils espèrent en ajouter d’autres pour augmenter l’intérêt botanique de la collection. La collection de pivoines est demeurée dans le même site plusieurs années et il n’y a eu aucune nouvelle acquisition. Nous accueillons favorablement ce développement entrepris par les Jardins botaniques royaux qui continuent à renouveler leurs intérêts et à améliorer leurs présentations horticoles.
Serge Fafard et Martinus Mooijekind ont coordonné et organisé des ajouts aux jardins du Québec à Lachute, Québec, Rosemère, Saint-Bruno, Trois-Rivières et Valleyfield.  Au cours de l’exposition de la SCP à Rosemère, j’ai eu l’occasion de voir les plans initiaux à la Maison Hamilton. On planifiait un vaste agrandissement des plantations de pivoines cet automne.
La plantation de pivoines dans certains endroits publics, la présentation des jardins et la contribution constante de nos membres - qui font bénévolement le dur travail de diviser et maintenir les plants - sont les composantes les plus importantes et les plus productives des activités de notre Société, que ce soit à Rosemère, Ottawa, Oshawa, Burlington ou dans d’autres jardins publics ou privés à travers le Canada.
Il nous a été impossible de tenir notre assemblée générale annuelle (AGA) à Rosemère par manque de quorum. L’AGA est importante pour mener à bien les affaires de la Société. Elle a donc été remise au 27 octobre 2013. L’AGA a eu lieu par conférence téléphonique. L’avantage de ce mode de conférence est que les membres n’ont pas à voyager plus loin que le téléphone dans leur maison. Merci à ceux qui y ont participé. Le rapport sur l’AGA sera présenté dans le bulletin de février.

Bonne chance dans vos divisions et plantations.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Report from the American Peony Society

     Fall is officially here, the time of year to dig, divide, share, and plant. I know a number of APS members are preparing ground for their new peonies, which they won bids on at the APS auction at Longwood Garden. I have two waiting for my attention

     This summer APS members contributed generously to the growth and improvement of a public garden.  Spearheaded by APS Director, Adriana Feng, members donated over 40 peony varieties to the JC Raulston Arboretum located in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Mark Weathington, the assistant director/curator at the Arboretum, and Adriana carried out discussion, which resulted in the request for donations focusing on APS Gold Medal winners, Award of Landscape Merit winners, and Itoh Hybrids. Projects of this nature place more peonies into the public view in order to educate and encourage gardeners to plant better landscaping peonies.  I would like to thank those who donated: Don Hollingsworth, Adelman Peony Gardens, Jim and Lore Sampson of Rarity Gardens, and Adriana Feng.
     As I write this article I have been busy preparing forthe APS Fall Auction. This year, we have 47 peonies up for grabs, including some very desirable plants, such as the newly registered ‘William E.B. Du Bois’ (Peter Waltz 2013), the beautiful suffruticosa ‘Ambrose Congreve’ (Smither 1994) and the quite rare ‘Noémie Demay (Calot 1867). APS members have a great opportunity to latch onto some wonderful plants this year. I would like to recognize those making donations this year: Adelman Peony Garden, Adriana Feng, David and Linette Sorrentino, Song Sparrow Farm, Fina Gardens, Gold City Garden, Hollingsworth Peonies, Tim Stanek, and Eleanor Tickner.

Top 10 Peonies / Les dix meilleures pivoines

By Blaine Marchand

Two years ago, I was glancing through an on-line issue of The Telegraph and one article popped out. The piece contained a list of the top 10 garden peonies recommended by one of Scotland’s leading nurserymen, Billy Carruthers.

Mr. Carruthers’ choice peonies are as following:

  1. Bartzella – Anderson, 1986 –  (“best intersectional”);
  2. Miss America – Mann/van Steen, 1936 – (“two APS gold medals, 1956 & 1971”);
  3. Soft Salmon Joy – Klehm, 1995 – (“copes well with the Scottish climate”);
  4. Bowl of Cream – Klehm, 1963 – (“APS medal, 1981);
  5. Coral Sunset – Wissing & Klehm, 1981 (“breakthrough variety, early season, APS gold in 2003”);
  6. Buckeye Belle – Mains, 1956 – (“sultry red single immortalised at the 2009 Chelsea Peony Show, APS landscape merit award, 2009, gold medal 2010, 2011 peony of the year”);
  7. Nice Gal – Krekler, 1956 – (“deep pink, sturdy habit, late into flower”);
  8. White Cap – Winchell, 1956 – (“misleading name for raspberry red to beetroot red confection, APS gold medal 1991, landscape merit award 2009);
  9. Jan van Leeuwen – van Leeuwen, 1928 – (“very upright, fragrant, excellent cut flower”);
  10. Prairie Moon – Fay, 1959 – pallid yellow, perfectly formed flowers’).

Will you, like me, check the list against the peonies in your garden and immediately decide next year you have to order those you don’t have?

I would be curious to see what are the top 10 peonies recommended by our members across the country. Send your lists for inclusion to the CPS blog: or contact Margaret Sequeira, our Blog person, at

(Photo Credit:John Milligan)

Par Blaine Marchand

Il y a deux ans, en feuilletant en ligne une publication du “The Telegraph”, un article me sauta aux yeux. L’article contenait la liste des dix meilleures pivoines recommandées par un des pépiniéristes reconnus d’Écosse, Billy Carruthers.
Les choix de M. Carruthers sont les suivants :
1.    Bartzella- Anderson, 1986 (meilleure intersectionnelle)
2.    Miss America- Mann/van Steen, 1936 (2 médailles d’or de l’APS (American Peony Society) en 1956 et 1971)
3.    Soft Salmon Joy- Klehm, 1995 (résiste bien au climat écossais)
4.    Bowl of Cream- Klehm, 1963 (médaille APS en 1981)
5.    Coral Sunset- Wissing & Klehm, 1981 (variété qui a fait une percée, tôt en saison, médaille d’or APS en 2003)
6.    Buckeye Belle- Mains, 1956 (rouge sensuel, simple, immortalisée à l’exposition de pivoines de Chelsea en 2009, Prix de mérite de paysage APS en 2009, médaille d’or en 2010, et la pivoine de l’année en 2011). 
7.    Nice Gal- Krekler, 1956 (rose foncé, habitude robuste, fleurit tard en saison)   
8.    8. White Cap- Winchell, 1956 (nom trompeur pour une confection de rouge  framboise à rouge betterave, médaille d’or APS en 1991, Prix de mérite de paysage en 2009).
9.    Jan van Leeuwen- van Leeuwen, 1928 (très verticale, parfumée, fleur coupée excellente)
10. Prairie Moon- Fay, 1959 (jaune pâle, fleur d’une forme parfaite)
Faites comme moi :comparez cette liste aux pivoines de votre jardin et décidez d’ajouter celles qui vous manquent.

Je serais curieux de savoir quelles seraient les dix pivoines les plus recommandées par nos membres à travers  le pays. Envoyez-nous votre liste pour que nous puissions l’ajouter à notre blog ou envoyez un courriel à Margaret Sequeria, notre responsable du Blog, à

Sunday, November 10, 2013

CORAL SUNSET du jour 2 au jour 26

Par Martinus Mooijekind

étape par étape, des photos du coucher du soleil CORAL partir du jour 2 jusqu'au jour 26

Coral Sunset 48 hours

Coral Sunset Day 6

Coral Sunset Day 8

Coral Sunset Day 10

Coral Sunset Day 12

Coral Sunset Day 16

Coral Sunset Day 20

Coral Sunset Day 26

Saturday, October 19, 2013

atelier de travail à la Société d'horticulture de ST-JEAN sur LE RICHELIEU un atelier sur la division d'un plant de pivoine
et un atelier sur les semis  ( 60 amateurs de pivoines )
La pésentation de la collection DESJARDINS plantation en avril 2014
présentation par Martinus

Monday, September 2, 2013

Rosemere continued

Here are more photos from Rosemere
submitted by Hazel C
Rosemere CPS 2013

Staging area
Grand Champion Hazel C

Thursday, August 15, 2013

American Peony Society Report
By Dana Tretheway, President 

The American Peony Society Board of -Directors and members recently met at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA, for the 2013 Convention and Exhibit. The entire affair was a wonderful
experience for all the members who enjoyed behind the scene tours of the daily operation at Longwood and casual strolls through the many individual gardens and conservatory. Flowers, unusual plants, water fountains and features were just everywhere on the property. 
On Friday the 31st of May, the members enjoyed their tours followed by a wonderful lunch in the “Founder’s Room” of Longwood Garden Restaurant. During the afternoon, many of the members just wondered  the gardens and conservatory taking in all the beautiful sites and scents. The APS Board of Directors met for their annual meeting. As an interest to all, the board voted for ‘The Mackinac Grand’ to be the 2013 Gold Medal Peony. In the evening we all met at the Longwood Gardens picnic area for our  “Taste of Philly” picnic, hosted by Eleanor and Bill Tickner. Everyone enjoyed sandwiches and drinks while catching up on all the “peony” stories. Many thanks to Eleanor and Bill for all the ground work they did preparing for the convention and exhibit. 

On Saturday, it was a busymorning for the exhibitors with set-up starting at 7am and judging starting at 11am. I was very impressed with the number of stems that made it to the show. With Design and Seedling classes included, we had  over 430 exhibits that made it to the tables. I could only imagine the vast amount of flowers we would have had if our more northern members would have had an opportunity to bring some along; unfortunately, it was just too cool of a spring in Minnesota and Wisconsin. After all was said and  done, ‘Boreas” came out as the “Best of Show”, presented by none other than Carol Adelman from Oregon. A listing of the entire results will soon be published at our website. 

Saturday evening was perhaps the most outstanding convention banquet I’ve attended, hosted by the staff of Kingwood Center in the highly ornate ballroom of the conservatory. After cocktails in a private courtyard, prior to dinner, we found our way to the dining area and were greeted by Dr. Jim Harbage, Director of  Floraculture at Kingwood Gardens. I won’t go into to details of the meal, but to say the least, it was  marvelous, well presented and very tasty indeed. 

On Sunday, many of the members headed out to Winterhur Gardens and Museum for a tour of another du Pont property while others stayed back at  Longwood to discuss peonies with the multitude of visitors to the exhibit. The exhibit was cleaned up  just after 6:00 pm and those members still around said their farewells and headed home.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Don of Peonies
By Reiner Jakubowski
For those who don't know, Don Hollingsworth was awarded the Bertrand H. Farr Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Peony Society (APS) Convention held in Longwood Gardens in early June.  Don has been an influential person in the peony world for over 40 years. Here is a bit of his history.  Elected to the Board of Directors of the APS in June 1976, he continues to this day in  that capacity. He was the President of the APS from 1986-88 and from 1993-95. Don has contributed well over 100 submissions to the APS Bulletin, beginning in March 1970, has written material written specifically for "The American Hybrid Peony."

He is an active contributor and plays a leadership role in the hybridizer's group "Paeonia." Don is the originator of 60 registered peonies, beginning with 6 in 1984, which included 'Garden Treasure', still a serious contender for the best of this type. He has been a registrant of a dozen originations from  other breeders' work in which he found value.  Then there are all those activities that can't be tabulated but include being a mentor and an adviser to up-start peony breeders as well as supporting their efforts with pollen and breeding stock from his garden. He is a strong supporter of the APS and the regional peony societies through donations of peonies for fund raising sales and auctions.

It is good that Don intends to keep his hand in the game. As A.P. Saunders, also wise, wrote many years ago:  "I have spoken elsewhere of the longevity of peony growers, and I truly believe that there is an influence that comes into our lives through a close and loving contact with the plants of earth, which keeps us sane and calm amid the uncertainties and the inevitable griefs of life, and which may very well tend thereby to lengthen our own days as well as make them happier." (A. P. Saunders, March, 1922.)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

With many thanks

By  Rose Mary Mason, City of Oshawa

The focal point of this festival – the Peony Garden – would not have been possible without two special people. Michael and Judi Denny are the reason we are here today.

When a long time Peony collection was being dismantled, they offered to take in the orphaned plants, keep them on their property and to find a permanent home. The Wally Gilbert Collection was the basis of today’s peony garden and Judi and Michael have had their hands on each and every one of the plants. In addition, the Denny’s have donated, from their own impressive collection, many plants over the years to enhance Canada’s largest contemporary collection of peonies.

Once the collection was established in Oshawa, Michael Denny has been instrumental in the production and up keep of the map listing all 308 varieties. He also visits the garden regularly throughout the growing season to document the bloom times of each variety. He has written an easy to read guide to What’s Blooming in the Garden that can be found on the City’s web site at

Avec beaucoup de remerciements

Par Rose Mary Mason, Ville d’Oshawa

Le point focal de ce festival, le Jardin de pivoines,  n'aurait pas été possible sans la participation de deux personnes spéciales. Michael et Judi Denny sont la raison pour laquelle nous sommes ici aujourd'hui. 

Quand une vieille collection de pivoines a été démantelée, ils ont offert de garder les plants orphelins sur leur propriété et de leur trouver une maison permanente. La collection de Wally Gilbert est la base du jardin de pivoines actuel et Judi et Michael ont pris soin de chacun des plants. En outre, les Denny ont offert de leur propre et impressionnante collection beaucoup de plants au cours des années pour agrandir la plus grande collection contemporaine de pivoines du Canada.

Une fois la collection établie à Oshawa, Michael Denny a été un artisan important dans la production des plants et la mise à jour des fiches décrivant chacune des 308 variétés. Il visite également le Jardin régulièrement tout au long de la saison de croissance pour établir les temps de floraison de chaque variété. Il a écrit un guide facile à lire de ce qui fleurit dans le Jardin. On peut le retrouver sur le site Web de la ville à

Monday, August 5, 2013

President’s Message / Message du président

By David Maltby

Our annual Show of the Canadian Peony Society hosted by the members in Quebec at Rosemere was a tremendous success.  Martinus Mooijekind did a wonderful job getting the City of Rosemére on-side and the city widely advertised the show.

The show was held in the hall of the Rosemère Memorial Church.  Both on Saturday and on Sunday, it was well attended and my conservative estimate is that there were between 900 and 1,200 in attendance each day.  In terms of publicity and exposure for peonies with the public, Martinus deserves substantial congratulations for all his efforts in Rosemere and in other municipalities throughout Quebec.  It appears, he has been a whirlwind of promotion.

I have to thank all the exhibitors who cut their peonies and brought them in.  There were a total of 653 stems entered by my count, including 67 seedling entries.  Serge Fafard brought in the vast majority of these and showed a wide range of wonderful new peonies that he is working on.  Special congratulations to Hazel Cook who won the Grand Champion with a stunning flower of ‘Garden Treasure’ and special congratulations to the other members who were in the Court of Honour: Lucie Pepin, Jocelyne Boulanger, the Central Experiential Farm and Serge Fafard.

It was a wonderful time, not only seeing the show and the exhibitors entering their stems and the public attending, but also because of the warm hospitality received from the Quebec members organizing the show and the staff of the City of Rosemère, who were there both days providing assistance and even a champagne reception on Sunday. Merci à tous.

A heartfelt thanks is extended to Martinus for all his services in promoting peonies.

In 2014, the show and AGM moves to Winnipeg at the Assiniboine Gardens. The Assiniboine Gardens are definitely worth the trip. June 14th 15th, 2014, it is; so mark your calendars and plan to attend.


Par David Maltby
L’exposition annuelle de la Société canadienne de la pivoine tenue à Rosemère, au Québec et organisée par les membres du Québec a connu un très vif succès. Martinus Mooijekind a fait un travail fantastique  afin d’encourager la ville de Rosemère à participer à l’évènement, à le faire connaître et à le publiciser.
L’exposition a eu lieu dans le hall de l’église Rosemère Memorial United. L’exposition fut très appréciée le samedi et le dimanche, et selon mon estimation, nous avons accueilli chaque jour entre 900 et 1 200 personnes. En termes de publicité et de visibilité à l’égard du grand public, Martinus mérite de sincères félicitations pour tous ses efforts, tant à Rosemère que dans les autres municipalités à travers le Québec. On peut dire que ce fut une publicité tous azimuts!
Je tiens à remercier tous les exposants qui ont apporté leurs pivoines pour les partager avec nous durant l’exposition. D’après mes calculs, un total de 653 tiges ont été exposée, dont 67 provenaient de nouveaux croisements. Serge Fafard a apporté la grande majorité de ceux-ci et nous a montré un bel assortiment des pivoines sur lesquelles il travaille. Nous adressons des félicitations spéciales à Hazel Cook, le gagnant du prix Grand Champion pour une fleur de « Garden Treasure » ainsi que des félicitations aux autres membres qui furent dans la Cour d’honneur: Lucie Pépin, Jocelyne Boulanger, la Ferme expérimentale centrale et Serge Fafard.  
Notre séjour à Rosemère a été très agréable. Nous avons apprécié la visite de l’exposition, la présence des nombreux participants qui ont exposé leurs fleurs, ainsi que celle du public qui a visité l’exposition. Et que dire de l’accueil chaleureux des membres organisateurs de l’exposition et des employés de la ville de Rosemère qui nous ont assisté durant ces deux jours et même organisé une réception au champagne le dimanche !
Un grand merci à Martinus pour ses efforts et son soutien à l’avancement des pivoines.
En 2014, l’exposition et la réunion annuelle auront lieu aux jardins du Parc Assiniboine, à Winnipeg. Ça vaut le voyage de visiter le Parc Assiniboine. Inscrivez ce rendez-vous sur votre calendrier ; il aura lieu les 14 et 15 juin 2014.