Sunday, May 26, 2013

Make Your Own Itohs

By Reiner Jakubowski

240-07 (Rare China x Golden Era)
240-02 (Rare China x Golden Era)
The Itoh Group hybrids are peonies, which result from the cross Lactiflora x Lutea Hybrid.
Lactiflora here means the Lactiflora Group, which includes all the cultivars believed to have descended over hundreds of years of breeding from the wild species lactiflora.  It is the convention in controlled breeding that the female parent is listed first, therefore, Lactiflora (the seed parent) pollinated by Lutea Hybrid (the pollen parent).  The Lutea Hybrid Group peonies traditionally result from crosses between the Chinese and Japanese tree peonies (Suffruticosa Group) and the yellow-flowered Paeonia lutea, and later the dark red flowered P. delavayi. Today the taxonomists have decided that lutea is only a colour phase of delavayi.  Lutea hybrids were originally bred
for yellow flowers; but, today are available in a wider colour range.  The Lutea Hybrid Group brings into the cross distinctive characteristics, such as yellow or variegated flowers, rapid growth, good vigour and late flowering.
There is no magic involved, only perseverance, patience, and a little luck. Anyone can do it. The most important thing is to have a fertile pollen parent and initially one of the proven Lutea Hybrids will give more certain results. There are several choices; 'Golden Era', 'Golden Experience', 'Alice in Wonderland', and 'Alice Harding' are good choices if you want yellows. Try 'Boreas', and 'Chinese Dragon' if you want red Itohs. The colour of the Lactiflora parent also plays a role in colour and you may not get what you expect, so these are offered only as suggestions.
My experience has been that the Lactiflora side of the cross is not so critical and you probably already have something suitable growing in the garden. My preference is to use double or  semi-double flowers because these have given a higher proportion of hybrid blooms showing doubling tendencies than have the singles or bomb forms that I have used. I have seedlings from 'Fragrans' (bomb), 'Rare China' (semi-double), 'Adolphe Rousseau' (flower-in-flower doubling but usually so open a flower that it shows as a semi-double). I also have seedlings from other Lactifloras ('Glenny Carlene', 'Susan B. White', 'Doreen', 'Marie Crousse' and others), but these have not yet bloomed.
240-10 (Rare China x Golden Era)
253-01 (Adolphe Rousseau x Golden Era)
274-39 (Fragrans x Golden Era)
It is best to make protected crosses – that is, to take precautions to prevent contamination from unwanted pollen. This does mean having to strip the intended seed parent of petals and stamens before the flower opens, and then apply the wanted pollen on the stigmas, followed by covering the fertilized flower with either a paper bag or envelope. It is also essential that you tag the pollinated flower so that you know at harvest what the parentage was.  I use a number for each cross; thus #1022 is 'Susan B. White' x 'Golden Era'; #1116 is 'Glenny Carlene' x 'Alice Harding'; and #1229 is 'Fragrans' x 'Alice in Wonderland'. When the seeds germinate and I have seedlings growing, they retain the cross number until I decide whether I will keep them or will cull them. If I keep them for further observation, I just append a number to the cross number – for example, 274-45, 274-39, and 274-43 are all from the cross 'Fragrans' x 'Golden Era' made in 2003. Seedlings 240-02, 240-07, and 240-10 are from 'Rare China' x'Golden Era' also made in 2003; and, finally 253-01 is from 'Adolphe Rousseau' x 'Golden Era'.  The Itoh Cross (Lactiflora x Lutea"Hybrid) has become relatively easy to make, provided you use a known fertile pollen parent. Some years I have more seeds than other years for reasons I do not fully understand; but I usually get a few seeds every year. If you make enough of these crosses you should get some seeds.
descended over hundreds of years of breeding from the wild species lactiflora.
274-43 (Frangrans x Golden Era)
 If you want a bigger challenge, then make the cross in the reverse direction, using the Lutea Hybrid as the seed parent and the Lactiflora as the pollen parent. 'Reverse Magic' (Don R. Smith, 2002) is from 'Age of Gold' x lactiflora 'Martha W.' Also possible, but very difficult, is to use one of the Suffruticosa Group tree peonies instead of the Lutea Hybrid.  'Impossible Dream' (Don R. Smith,
2004) is from 'Stolen Heaven' x 'Martha W.' Note that this cross was made with the tree peony as the
seed parent.  If you make your own Itohs, always look for pollen from your seedlings. Pollen allows you to try back crossing to one of the parents, or to cross Itoh x Itoh. I have  
274-45 (Fragrans x Golden Era)
found two of my seedlings with fertile pollen and have seedlings from Tolomeo #22, Tolomeo #58, 'Fragrans', and 'Doreen', all pollinated with 274-39. (The numbered Tolomeo seedlings were raised by Irene Tolomeo in California and are the lactiflora parents of 'Sonoma YeDo' and 'Sonoma Halo'
Information on growing from seeds is available from the Canadian Peony Society, or contact Reiner Jakubowski at the Society’s mailing address or by email at should you have any question.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Controlled Germination Of Peony Seeds Indoors

Don Hollingsworth
American Peony Society Bulletin No. 214. June, 1975. (pp 27-30).
A peony seed germinates in response to the same sequence of environmental conditions whether
it is out of doors where nature has full sway, or is kept indoors in contrived conditions. In either case
the minimum requirements of a particular seed must be met or it will fail. Each peony seed has its
own individual variations, among which may be its inherent germination timing. This may present
an advantage in nature by increasing the probability that at least some of the seedlings are ready to
grow at the best time in the spring. For the same reason however, others may not be sufficiently
ready and are then lost.

The germination pattern of most peony species conforms to the same general sequence so that
most viable seeds can be successfully germinated indoors through the use of one general procedure.
Enough is now known about what must be done that an informed and attentive handler may proceed
with a great deal of confidence.

Several specific benefits make indoor germination an attractive choice:
1. A larger percentage of seedlings can be brought into growth the spring following harvest,
perhaps all viable seeds in most instances.
2. A greater percentage of surviving plants can be developed from some seed lots.
3. In hybrid crosses which use PAEONIA LACTIFLORA as seed parent there are numerous
varieties to choose among. Some varieties will produce better germinating seeds from a
particular pollinator than do others. The early germination process permits the hybridist to
observe these results and plan appropriate adjustments prior to the next pollinating season.
4. Every peony grower may gain the satisfaction of knowing first hand how the germination
process operates and become able to use this knowledge from which to provide instruction to
others who may be intrigued with the possibility of creating new varieties.

As with any technique, practice sharpens the skill of the operator. Peony growers who have not
already learned the process will probably enjoy a trial experience with it. The necessary materials
are easily acquired. I use polyethylene plastic sandwich bags or small freezer bags, the paper-covered
wire ties that come with the bags, and tags which are home cut from salvaged food packages. Lately,
I have purchased Twist-Tags, a one-piece combination tie and tag. I now use horticultural grade
vermiculite (Terra-Lite), exclusively, for keeping the seeds moist in the bags. In addition, I have
access to a salvaged household refrigerator that still refrigerates, which is a great help, making it
possible to simulate the winter period any time of the year.

1. Harvesting: Collect each pod of seeds when the dark color of the maturing seed coats has
developed, but preferably before the natural moisture has dried from them. In Missouri, this stage
will be reached during mid-July to September, depending on the species involved. Drought will
hasten ripening; humid weather will retard it.
2. Cleaning and watersoak period: Put the seeds to soak immediately in tap water and wash
them clean. I usually allow them to soak for several days, especially if they had become dry, but the
water should be changed daily so that it does not become foul. Remove any "mushy" or rotting seeds
as their condition becomes evident.
3. Packaging to retain moisture: Any time after the seeds have become fully plump and are no
longer taking up water, they should be transferred to a plastic bag containing a small amount of
moistened sterile medium, such as horticultural grade vermiculite. Avoid prepared potting mixes
that contain added fertilizer nutrients. It may be desirable to disinfect seeds before bagging by
dipping them for several minutes in a solution made of one part Clorox in nine parts water.
Tightly close the seed bag to preserve moisture, using a paper-covered wire closure that is
durably made so that it will survive repeated openings. Attach a tag on which may be written the
identification of the seed lot and inspection notes as germination progresses.
4. Incubation period: Place the bags of moist seeds in a warm area, preferably not less than 75
degrees Fahrenheit. Holding the seeds moist at this temperature will permit the necessary internal
changes to go forward, yet permit the control of the date at which root development gets underway.
If held in the 60's (degrees F.), the internal changes will still go forward but many seeds will initiate
root growth at random times, confronting the handler with the necessity of repeated transfers of the
rooted seeds to the cold period. Place a thermometer with the seed bags and read it regularly to be
sure that the chosen area remains warm enough. I find the garage to be satisfactory during hot
weather. Later, when outside temperatures are cooler, I move the bags to a shelf above the hot water
heater. Allow the moist seeds to incubate as much as four months if time permits. When seeds fail to
root at the next step it is probably due to the insufficient warm incubation.
Every two or three weeks during the incubation period, open the bags and inspect the seeds.
Some seeds will be dead and will eventually rot, whereupon they should be promptly removed. If
mold appears on the coats of seemingly sound seeds, this may also signal that they are dead. Also, it
may be that either the mold or I eventually destroyed their ability to germinate, for I've tried
washing them carefully and treating them with Captan, but cannot specifically recall germination
from any seeds that had become moldy.
5. Rooting period: Not later than four or five months ahead of the local time for spring planting,
move the bagged seeds to a cooler temperature, ranging from 50 to 60 degrees. In Missouri, this
should be no later than mid-November. After one week of the lower temperature, some seeds should
be found swelled with growth at the hilum (the scar left by separation from the pod) and may have a
tiny white root protruding. Some seeds will respond faster than others, and this perhaps is a sign of
inherently greater vigor.
6. Repackaging rooted seeds: Leave the rooted seeds in the bag with their slower mates for up to
another month. However, when rooted seeds have been inspected and are being repackaged, I prefer
to place them so that there is three inches or more of medium under them in the bag so that the root
has space to grow straight down. While experience does not show this to be necessary for the plant, it
cuts down on root tangling and permits easier separation of the small plants when next handled.
7. Cold period: Most of the seeds which have become ready to root during the foregoing sequence
will do so within a month after the first roots have appeared. It is now necessary to give the rooted
seedlings a period of temperatures around 40 °F which will overcome winter dormancy and release
the ability to grow the above-ground portion of the plant, just as is necessary for mature peonies. A
household electric refrigerator, cave, cold corner of the garage or possibly a covered window well may
provide the desired temperature. Again, keep a thermometer with the seedling bags so that you
know what the temperature is.
When the winter dormancy has been diminished for a particular seedling, it will signal its
readiness by commencing the extension of its plumule or leaf, comparable to the late winter
stretching of peony buds underground. A few seedlings will show this readiness within eight weeks
after root growth started, in which case colder temperature down to near freezing may be given to
hold them back. Others may take much longer, some requiring twelve weeks or more. If planted in
warm soil before this readiness has developed, a seedling is likely to fail. While the soil remains cold,
however, the reduction of dormancy can go forward and the seedling may eventually develop. Very
slow seedlings may sometimes be brought into planthood by leaving them in a refrigerator until the
plumule shows, after which they can be brought out and planted to grow.
8. Planting out: Germinated seedlings produced by the foregoing method are properly thought of
as transplants. When they are ready to grow they may be transferred to pots, greenhouse flats, cold
frame or open ground in a well-lighted area. The soil should be free of grubs or other root-feeding soil
insects and the area protected from animals by wire mesh or other guard. Squirrels will dig the seeds
and pets may break off the shoots. In the Missouri climate some shading from intense sunlight is
necessary to avoid sun-burning of the leaves in late June. A shade made of ordinary fly screen has
served well for this purpose.
9. Seeds remaining ungerminated: Seeds that did not root during Step Five, above, may be
returned to warm incubation and held for another attempt at rooting in early fall. Unless you are
curious to see first hands whether germination takes place, these will be about as well provided for
outdoors in a protected site where they are to grow as you can do for them indoors.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Don Hollingsworth
American Peony Society Bulletin No. 244. December, 1982. (pp 17-20).
The production of peony seedlings can give some of the most rewarding experiences which can be
found in pleasure gardening. The basic work of peony species hybridization has already been done and
the fertility barriers within the hybrid progeny are rapidly falling. Yet, the discovery of what new
breakthroughs can be found by mixing the species has only just begun. We are greatly encouraged in
seeing and hearing about the desirable new peonies which are coming from the work of the few people
who have been actively raising hybrid seedlings during the recent years.
Attempts to grow peonies from seed have been sometimes disappointing until a certain amount of
favorable experience has been obtained. Even then it is often frustrating. According to Western
translators of an ancient Japanese writer, "the seeds should be sown immediately after they are ripe. . .
(while still moist from the pod). . . when sown immediately after, no vital power will be lost. If, on the
contrary, the seeds are dried previous to sowing, hardly one in a hundred will germinate, and often not
even one." (See Bulletin No. 220, Dec. 1976.) Well, it turns out that, after a little experience in planting
peony seeds, one usually concludes the consequences are not quite so absolute. Yet, as with most rules
handed down by our elders, one does find a relationship in the results of current experience. When the
relationship is not clear-cut, one is challenged to sort out what there is in the rule which is meaningful.
Modern study of peony germination has benefited immensely from advances in the understanding of
plant growth and development in general and of the internal controls of growth processes which enable
plants to function in concert with their natural environment. These are the adaptations which have
enabled the species to survive in nature. As we select plants for domestic use and raise them through the
generations, we tend to break down those precise adaptations which work against our purposes.
However, in perennial ornamental plants, some of the characteristics are highly fixed and we have been
able to meet our purposes without making much change in processes such as the control of seed
germination. We can get along very well by simply learning to understand what are the inherent
environmental requirements for the particular species or strain we are working with.
We can now understand that drying of peony seeds does not very much affect their inherent vitality.
(This never did make any sense in relation to seeing peony seeds naturally dry in the pods of standing
stems over winter.) The effect of drying is to delay the internal development processes of the seed. The
prevalent method in the general handling of domestic crop seeds which are to be replanted is to collect
them and hold them dry until the chosen planting time. The seeds most commonly used tend to
germinate quite soon upon being planted. While some commonly grown seeds used in horticulture and
agriculture take a little longer, the information necessary to understand this is widely available, so few
handlers have any trouble and then not for long.
Most peony species, like several of the woody genera used in ornamental horticulture, have a
relatively complex series of developmental phases during the process of seed germination. In some
species this type of germination control assures that seedlings after seed maturation in nature do not
emerge for growth until the second spring. In at least some peonies (species, strains, individual plants) it
is found that by keeping the seeds moist and planting as soon as possible, some seedlings can be
obtained in the first spring. Since we generally find "sooner" more appealing than "later," we tend to
focus on how to improve the results of first year germination.
It can now be seen that a trap which peony seed handlers have often fallen into is that of holding
seeds in dry storage until harvest is complete, then going ahead with attempts to get them germinated
for the following spring. Drying delays development. When we harvest seeds and let them dry, then put
them back into moist environment while the environment remains warm in early autumn, we have
delayed their development, but not to the same extent as when nature allows them to remain dry until
cold weather. What this short delay does is to increase the probability that germination will go past the
point-of-no-return, but will not have enough time to get through all phases of development before the soil
becomes warm in the spring.
There are four phases of development in peony seed germination with respect to different
temperature requirements and these roughly correspond with the seasons of the year.
First is post-maturation growth of the embryo. When the peony seed is mature, the embryo is very
small—perhaps two millimeters long. When the seed is allowed to dry, there is apparently no further
development. This is the ultimate resting condition and is the best condition for storage of the seeds to
retain viability. When put into a warm, moist environment (growing season temperature) this resting
stage becomes broken, perhaps not immediately, and growth of the embryo into the endosperm cavity
takes place. This development runs its course and as long as the soil remains warm nothing further that
is obvious happens.
Secondly, when the soil temperature cools down in autumn to a level which agrees with the
genetically controlled requirements of a particular seed, root germination will occur – 55-70 °F,
depending on species. This is true germination, technically. The development process is now past the
point of being held indefinitely in a quiescent state. The root will elongate and the cotyledons will
elongate so that the bud area is extended outside the seed. The bud, however, is dormant. It requires a
long period of chilling in order to grow. If kept around 60 °F or above (perhaps lower), the buds will
never grow.
Phase three is the dormancy reduction period. Contrary to some belief, it takes place at
temperatures above freezing. Research with fruit tree species indicates that the most favorable
temperature for those species is 46 °F. In fruit tree research, the chill requirement is expressed in terms
of numbers of chill units. A chill unit is one hour at 46° or the equivalent. Chilling will go forward at
temperatures above 32° and up to 59 °F, but it takes increasingly more time to equal one chill unit as the
temperature gets further away from 46°. In peonies this is the phase where many late planted seeds fail.
They get through root germination, but fail to receive sufficient chill units before the soil becomes too
warm in spring.
Phase four is leafy shoot production. I have never deliberately separated phase four from three, for
most peony shoots will grow at temperatures under which chilling can still go forward. However, I had
some seeds of a Mediterranean area species once which, when germinated indoors-using a refrigerator
set at about 36° for dormancy reduction-took almost seven months before there was enough evidence of
growth in the little shoots that I was willing to try getting them to grow in outdoor temperatures
(August). If I had given these germinated seeds a higher chilling temperature, the shoots may have
shown advancement much sooner. However, the question would remain unanswered whether it was due
to more rapid chilling or to a more favorable temperature for seeing shoot extension. Because of the
overlap of temperatures at which phases three and four go forward, it is important to have indoor
germinated plants into the light for leafy shoot production. Otherwise there will be an extreme extension
of etiolated shoot stem (like potato sprouts in the dark).
Back to the question of how seedlings are lost by allowing seeds to dry after harvest, we can
confidently say the following. It is not the drying that hurts, it is the developmental delay. This delay is
only crucial if one then terminates the delay by putting the seeds into warm moist environment too late
in the growing season. If held until the following spring for planting, good results should be expected in
the second spring. "Too late" is the time after which the seed will complete phase one, because then
rooting is sure to occur, but after which it cannot make complete reduction of bud dormancy before the
soil becomes too warm in spring for any more reduction to take place. (We can only place this time in the
calendar on a probability basis.) If the seedling does not produce a leafy shoot, it cannot produce and
store food to support the second growth cycle which will be initiated with the onset of cool temperatures
the following autumn.
One other eventuality should be noted. What about the seeds which lay for a couple of years and
then germinate? I tentatively see this as a delay in post-maturation of the embryo. In seeds of hybrid
peony kept in warm, moist medium continuously for as long as three years, there would be a gradual
dropping out—death and decay, sometimes a germination—suggesting that they will eventually
deteriorate, possibly due to the deterioration of their barriers to invasion by organisms in the favorable
warm moist conditions. I mentioned hybrid seeds, although this isn't limited to them. I do expect,
however, that in the process of hybridization there is more chance to lose some factor critical to control of
some detail or another of the life cycle processes. These can be thought of as the casualties of the project.
So long as some desirable plants which also retain breeding fitness are obtained, the casualties are soon
forgotten. (If I wasn't doing indoor germination, they possibly would never have been noticed in the first
For a discussion of details of seed germination methods, see the articles in the Peony Society book, The
Best of 75 Years, in the hybridizing section.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Urban Guerilla Gardening

By Lynne Zeitouni

I quickly became enamoured with the peony world upon joining the peony team and Friends of the Farm at the Central Experimental Farm, here in Ottawa. Added to which, during my second year with the group, the Canadian Peony Society had their annual show at the Governor General's official residence. I spent the weekend helping out at the show. We had a breathtaking display of blooms
displayed in some of the impressive formal rooms. The then Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, was presented with a newly bred, yellow peony, named for her. I was hooked!
A little later, I joined the gardening group, Vanier Beautification which, amongst other things, tends uncared-for City planters and, generally try to keep my downtown area of Vanier (in Ottawa) looking as good as it can be. It's a 'colourful' neighbourhood within walking distance of Parliament Hill. Our community has a high francophone component and, in fact, was its own one square-mile little city,
with its own City Hall and Mayor until amalgamation with Ottawa. The selection of material for our
five, 1-meter square planters is a constant challenge, as are money and water. So, when the leader
of the peony gardening team, Bill Wegman, generously offered some of his peony seedlings, I jumped at the idea. After 3 years, we had our first blooms. What excitement! Bill is a peony breeder, so my peonies are beautifully miscellaneous. But they have lovely long, strong roots so are difficult to 'pinch'. Upon hearing about my local efforts and the success of my peonies, Blaine Marchand, now
the CPS Past President, offered me some mature roots from his collection that originated in the Ottawa River cottage garden of Lady Borden, the wife of Sir Robert Borden, Canada’s Prime
Minister. The peonies are either white or red and I obtained permission to plant some around our
small, small Vanier Cenotaph. The rest of the roots have either gone to other people looking after boxes or are in a holding area in the garden of my apartment building and will be distributed later.
We do struggle with our Vanier beautification as garbage and graffiti are a constant bugaboo; but, with the efforts of the Vanier Beautification gardening group and the generosity of members of the Canadian Peony Society, our little neighbourhood is certainly much improved.

A Yellow Peony

by Daniel Lessard
“I don’t believe you… that’s not a peony, there aren’t any yellow peonies.”  My neighbour was fixated. How could I convince her that it was indeed a peony? In fact, it is ‘Bartzella’, one of the most beautiful peonies on earth. The peony in question had cost me a small fortune in 2007 - it was so expensive in fact that I never confessed the true price to my wife.

The first time I saw a ‘Bartzella’ was in the Allan Rogers book “Peonies”. I immediately decided that I had to own one, but where to find it? I checked the list of vendors on the
Canadian Peony Society website and finally found one at the Pacific Rim Native Plant Nursery in Chilliwack, BC (a bit far to order a peony but all of my fears were soon abated).  The plant was a good size and it produced a flower – a single flower mind you – the following spring. All summer, I pampered ‘Bartzella’ to ensure it would survive though such
care is not really needed because this peony is robust and capable of enduring all conditions.  Two years ago, I bought a ‘Claire de Lune’ from a vendor who had convinced me, with photos as evidence, that it was a yellow peony. I was fooled, but I have never regretted

buying it. More ivory than yellow, ‘Claire de Lune’ is a beauty, which delighted my neighbour who was convinced that peonies were only available in pink, red and white.  Around the same time I discovered another yellow peony that had been chosen as the 1996 Peony of the Year by the American Peony Society. Once again my interest was piqued, and I acquired a ‘Garden Treasure’. Though it may disappoint you to hear it, ‘Garden Treasure’ is pretty but not nearly as seductive as ‘Bartzella’.
Despite this, I cannot imagine a collection of yellow peonies

Garden Treasure
without a ‘Garden Treasure’.  The third in my collection is a ‘Border Charm’. Lovely for sure, but
she’s sulking because I moved her twice. It didn’t produce a flower last year, but it is nevertheless comfortably planted in my rock garden in plain view for all my neighbours and I hope that she will be prolific once again this spring. I have also promised to never move her again…

I recently read that the authentic and true yellow peony - the mother of all the yellows - was a peony with an improbable name, which intrigued me: ‘Mlokosewitschii’. The English call it ‘Mloko the Witch’ or the sorceress.  She has taken her time to become established, but her delicateness

delights me. Unfortunately, she only visits briefly and last spring, a storm destroyed her first flower to my utter disappointment.  Next step: several of the beautiful yellow
Japanese and Chinese peonies even if I have no more space in my garden unless I sacrifice some of my old favorites such as
‘Mr. Jules Élie’ or ‘Festiva Maxima’.

Bring on spring! I almost forgot to mention that I gave a ‘Bartzella’ root to my sceptical neighbour. I hope that she gets at least one flower…

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Message from the CPS President

 From President David Maltby
Spring has finally arrived .... almost. In the mild climate of southern Ontario, daffodils are in bloom and finally it seems that the weather will be installed for at least two weeks. This should be the end of a long winter here and almost everywhere in the country. I spent a lot of time monitoring the plants out of the ground. A word of encouragement for our members in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba the warm weather will eventually happen!
This time of year is a favorite among gardeners. Like I said, I spend a lot of time monitoring the new shoots. These peonies have their particularity. Gratis is a bright red and remains so until the end of spring. Little Red Gem grows differently from their parents. Flower buds of Paeonia tenufolia are already trained, ready to hatch buried in the foliage. Peonia mlokosewitshcii flourishes so very delicate. Each cultivar grows differently. This time of year fills me with happiness. What a joy to find the spring after a long winter!
This year, the exhibition and the annual meeting will be held in Rosemere. I insist that all our members go there. The exhibition is a delight for gardeners and lovers of peonies. This is a good opportunity to exchange information and meet friends. Martinus Mooijekind and his colleagues have worked very hard to prepare for a festival that will impress you. Rosemere is located in the suburbs of Montreal and now has a garden of peonies which the Canadian Peony Society will offer some cultivars. The exhibition will see new cultivars Quebec breeders and meet our members in the Belle Province. I look forward to seeing you there all.
I wish everyone a wonderful gardening season throughout the summer.


Le message du président   par David Maltby

Le printemps est enfin arrivé….ou presque. Dans le climat agréable du sud de l’Ontario, les narcisses sont finalement en fleur et il semble que le beau temps se soit installé pour au moins deux semaines. Ce devrait être la fin d’un long hiver ici et presque partout au pays. J’ai passé beaucoup de temps à surveiller les plantes qui sortent de terre. Un mot d’encouragement pour nos membres de l’Alberta, de la Saskatchewan et du Manitoba : le temps chaud finira bien par arriver!

Ce temps de l’année est le préféré des jardiniers. Je vous l’ai dit, je passe beaucoup de temps à surveiller les nouvelles pousses. Celles des pivoines ont chacune leur particularité. Gratis est d’un rouge brillant et le demeure jusqu’à la fin du printemps. Little Red Gem croît de façon différente de ses parents. Les bourgeons floraux de Paeonia tenufolia sont déjà formés, prêts à éclore, enfouis dans le feuillage. Peonia mlokosewitshcii s’épanouit de façon très délicate. Chaque cultivar se développe de façon différente. Ce temps de l’année me comble de bonheur. Quelle joie de retrouver le printemps après un si long hiver!

Cette année, l’exposition et l’assemblée annuelle se dérouleront à Rosemère. J’insiste pour que tous nos membres s’y rendent. L’exposition fait le bonheur des jardiniers et des amateurs de pivoines. Voilà une bonne occasion d’échanger des informations et de retrouver des amis. Martinus Mooijekind et ses collaborateurs ont travaillé très fort pour préparer un festival qui saura vous impressionner. Rosemère est située en banlieue de Montréal et elle a maintenant un jardin de pivoines auquel la Société canadienne de la pivoine offrira quelques cultivars. L’exposition permettra d’admirer de nouveaux cultivars d’hybrideurs québécois et de rencontrer nos membres de la Belle province. J’ai hâte de vous y retrouver toutes et tous.

 Je souhaite à toutes et tous une merveilleuse saison de jardinage tout au long de l’été.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Message from the APS President

American Peony Society
Dana Tretheway, President

What a difference a year makes!  Here it is the 23rd of April and I have ‘Athena’, ‘Roy Perhson’s Best Yellow’ and ‘Hanikisoi’ in bloom.  Last year at this time I had 30 varieties in bloom.  With this cooler weather, I may very well be able to take some blooms for the annual exhibit at Longwood Gardens.  As I communicate with other growers through out the U.S., it seems as if everyone is being affected by the cooler weather.  Some are still having a bit of frost and snow in the mornings.  Harvey Buchite reported that he went out on the 14th April to count emerging peonies… his total zero.

I would like to mention that the five new peonies I planted during the fall are all doing well.  Each of the accessions was garnered at the auction in Omaha.  ‘Bartzella’ and “Honor’, donated by Oregon Perennial Company, are coming along nicely though a bit small; but ‘Honor’ does have a couple of buds. Mike Miller’s donations of ‘Dr. J.H. Neely’ and ‘Mrs. J.H. Neely’ are coming on slow but show promise.  Finally, and thanks to David and Geneva Weisser, I have a very nice ‘Hanikisoi’ with four large blooms. 

One item that is not coming along this spring is the APS Peony Handbook.  At the convention last year, the Board of Directors requested that a new and updated handbook be prepared.  A number of articles have been prepared and are being reviewed; however, we came up short and progress has been retarded.  This provides another opportunity for me to reach out to the general membership and to the CPS general membership and ask you to provide input as to what you would like to see in the handbook and perhaps volunteer to write a section or two.  Please email your thoughts to I feel a sense of urgency to have this handbook completed due to the fact that our current supply of handbooks is depleted.

Another area of concern to members and directors has been the APS website.  Of late, there have been noticeable improvements.  Claudia Schroer and our new director Adriana Vance are working diligently to make improvements and additions to the site.  However, for us to realize continued improvement and growth of the website it will require significant expenditures and this issue will have to be discussed at the annual board meeting at Longwood.  Results of the discussion will be reported in the September issue if the “Bulletin”.

Once again, I encourage our Canadian cousins to join us at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA for the APS Convention and Exhibit, May 30-June 2, 2013.  Attendees need to be a member of the APS.

Wishing everyone a great peony season and a pleasant summer.

Saturday, May 11, 2013




présenté par Martinus Mooijekind

Monday, May 6, 2013


Monsieur Claude Benjamin, maire de Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, et les membres du conseil municipal vous invitent à assister à la plantation  
de la Collection  de pivoines Desjardins
en présence
des représentants de la Société québécoise de la pivoine et
de la Caisse Desjardins Mont-St-Bruno,

le vendredi 10 mai, 10 h,
au stationnement de l’église
14, rue des Peupliers.
Café et brioches seront servis à l’hôtel de ville par la suite.

Prière de confirmer votre présence avant le 8 mai, 16 h 30,
en communiquant avec la réception de l’hôtel de ville,
par courriel à l’adresse
ou par téléphone au 450 653-2443, poste « 0 ».

Suzanne Le Blanc
Chef, Division des communications
Ville de Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville
1585, rue Montarville, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville (Québec)  J3V 3T8
Téléphone : 450 645-2903