Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Patience, Perseverance and Itoh Peonies

By Blaine Marchand

Julia Rose
"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." ~ Aristotle

How applicable is this maxim to the creation of the Itoh peonies, also known as intersectionals,

crosses between a tree peony and an herbaceous one.  Hybridizing of peonies has a long illustrious history, but the genesis for the introduction of intersectional peonies has its origins in the early 1900's with initial hybridization experiments of breeders Victor Lemoine and Louis Henry and later Professor A.P. Saunders (whose family connection to the Central Experimental Farm is well known and whose hybrid peonies have a formidable presence in the Farm's collection).

'The strongest of all warriors are those two ~ Time and Patience."  Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)

It was in 1948 that Toichi Itoh, a Japanese hybridizer- and a most patient person indeed - hit gold.  Rumours persist he attempted over 2,000 crosses before succeeding with a cross between the lactiflora peony, 'Kakoden', and the tree peony 'Alice Harding'.  The result was seven seedlings that had the tree peony as their dominant characteristic.  Unfortunately,  Dr. Itoh did not live to see his seedlings bloom.
Sequestered Sunshine
These intersectional hybrids, that bear his name Itoh, have lush magnificent paper-like blooms, reminiscent of these of the tree peony, but the abundant foliage of an herbaceous peony.  They do not require staking and rain does not weigh down the blooms.  Itohs, like herbaceous peonies, need to be cut down each autumn and as buds are set below ground, they are winter hardy, a bonus for Ottawa's climate.  The intersectional peonies come in a range of magnificent colours - yellow, pink, maroon, fuchsia and multicoloured.  When in bloom, the Itoh peonies in the Farms' Ornamental Gardens consistently stop people in their tracks.

Introduction to North America

In the 1970s, an American breeder, Louis Smirnow, negotiated with Dr. Itoh's widow to introduce four of her husband's peonies into North America.  These he had named: 'Yellow Crown', 'Yellow Dream', 'Yellow Emperor' and 'Yellow Heaven'.  Peony aficionados were smitten.  But these peonies, initially scarce, came with a steep price tag.  They were largely sold to peony enthusiasts or obsessive buyers.                                                  
Other hybridizers in the United States - Roger Anderson, Don Hollingsworth, Donald Smith and Irene Tolomeo to name a few - continued the work of Toichi Itoh on intersectional hybridizing.  They created some truly sensational peonies .  In Canada, Serge Fafard, of Les Jardins Osiris, also breeds intersectionals.

Itoh propagation
As Itohs are derived from tree peonies, they produce an expansive root system that makes root division, the usual way to obtain new peony plants, a tough job and all too frequently results in few new plants that then take years to reach maturity and produce blooms.  One alternative, of course, is to graft the intersectional to a nurse root of an herbaceous peony, which like a parent, provides food and strength until the intersectional roots are set and strong enough to take over.

Another option is micro-propagation, which is essentially growing plants from tissue or cell culture under controlled conditions.  The result is Itohs that can be produced quickly and offered to buyers sooner at a more affordable price.

Itohs at the Farm
In 2009, the Canadian branch of Plantek International, which is one of the leading micro-propagation companies, contacted Mary Pratte, advisor to the Friends' peony team, with a very generous donation of 24 plants.  Among these were benchmark Itohs - 'Smith Family Yellow', 'Going Bananas', 'Sequestered Sunshine', 'Singing in the Rain', 'Yankee Doodle Dandy', 'Cora Louise, 'Magical Mystery Tour' and 'Julia Rose'.

"He that can have patience can have what he will."
                                    ~ Benjamin Franklin

Magical Mystery Tour.  A bloom from this Itoh peony was a first place winner at the 2013 Canadian Peony Society (CPS) show
A walk through the peony garden in 2014 will show that the number of Itohs in the Farms impressive collection has grown to 42, with 26 different named varieties.  Among these is Serge Fefard's wonderful 'Osiris Tourbillon'.  But also among them are la creme de la creme - Roger Anderson's 'First Arrival' and 'Julia Rose', Donald Smith's 'Morning Lilac', and Don Hollingsworth's  'Garden Treasure'.  A look at these peonies underlines that patience and peristence do indeed bring sweet rewards.
First Arrival                          Smith Family Yellow

 A happy member of the Friends' peony team since retirement.  Blaine also tends to a collection of over 500 peonies in Osceola, Ontario.  Past president of the Canadian Peony Society and editor of its newsletter, Paeonia Nordica, he is the author of eight books.

Reproduced with permission from Friends of Central Experimental Farm Spring 2014  www.friendsofthefarm.ca

Monday, March 10, 2014

Peonies At The Farm

by Bill Wegman

The presence of peonies at the Central Experimental Farm dates back to the 1890's and the early days of the experimental farm system in Canada, when the first director, Dr. William Saunders, assembled and planted a collection of 150 different cultivars for evaluation.  It must certainly have been one of the most outstanding collections of peonies in Canada at the time and likely would have mainly consisted of the highly popular and wonderfully fragrant double lactifloras.

A Broad representation of peonies
Today, the Friends of the Farm help maintain a collection of over 400 different named varieties  and a total of 600 plants consisting of a wide variety of styles and types.  The bulk of the current collection is a broad representation of peonies developed from the late 19th century on - the classic old French and English peonies of Lemoine and Kelway.  You may know some of them, such as 'Le Cygne', 'Primevere', 'Baroness Schroeder' and 'Pride of Langport', to name only a few.

A collection of Professor A.P. Saunders' peonies has been deliberately assembled over the years.  Now totaling 105 different cultivars, we believe it to be the largest such collection in Canada.  Growing up in London, Ontario, and during his university vacations spent at the Farm in Ottawa, Professor Saunders would have learned the technique of cross pollination of flower blooms from his father, William, who experimented in plant breeding.  Widely known and respected as a peony breeder, Professor Saunders was one of the first to use the then recently available species plants to produce earlier blooming varieties and to bring a wider spectrum of colours into the peony world.

The origin of one of the Farm's Saunders peonies is particularly closely connected to the Farm.  In 1928 Saunders wrote that he had taken "some pollen of the species P. coriacea from a plant at the Experimental Farm in Ottawa, Canada" and used it on the lactiflora 'James Kelway' to get a true lavender coloured peony, which he named 'Lavender'.

In the 20th Century, American nurserymen working concurrently with Saunders concentrated on producing the large doubles because that is what the market demanded at the time, cultivars such as 'Florence Nicholls', 'Gay  Paree' and 'Red Charm'.  Like the earlier French and English peonies, they were developed for the cut flower market, so their weak stems were not a great concern because they are cut earlier, at late bud stage and placed into cold storage.

Not all of these peonies were developed by professional nurseryman- some were produced by home gardeners whose cultivars are well represented in the Farm's peony garden.  Nathan Rudolph of Aurora, Illinois, developed the peony 'America', which is likel out most outstanding red variety.  And not all producers were men - Mrs. Mary Freeborn of Proctor, Vermont, registered 22 cultivars and the peony garden hosts her best two 'Angelo Cobb Freeborn' and 'Pico'.

Canadian breeders have not been forgotten.  The Farm's collection includes plants from Brown, Gilbert, Keagey, Brethour, Lossing, Ericson, Cousins and Ménard.  Both 'Elgin', a peony developed by William Brown of Elora, Ontario and 'Coral N' Gold' a peony developed by Lyman Cousins of London, Ontario, appeared on Canada Post stamps several years ago.  In fact, the picture for the 'Elgin' stamp was taken from the Farm's own plant.  Perhaps the best peony known to the Canadian public would be 'Adrienne Clarkson' named for a former Governor General and developed by Maurice Ménard of Laval, Quebec.  Two other plants developed by Mr. Ménard and in the collection and dear to our hearts are the 'Mary Pratte' and the 'George Vorauer' peonies.

Itoh or Intersectional peonies were recently added to the collection.  These are the result of  a cross of tree peony and herbaceous peony and, although developed in 1944, have only now become readily available to the home gardener due to advances in propagation.  Itohs combine the colours and size of the tree peony blossom with the hardiness of the herbaceous peony.  They are described in a seperate article by Blaine Marchand. (Patience, Perseverance and Itoh Peonies)

The blooming season
The first peony to bloom at the Farm is 'Starlight' and, guess what, it is a Saunders peony and it is closely followed by 'Firelight' another Saunders peony.  This is usually by the third week of May.  'Red Charm', the reference peony, usually blooms by the 5th of June, while the big doubles don't bloom until the second and third weeks of June.  By the end of June the bloom season is over, for an over-all period of five weeks of bloom - although admittedly spars at the beginning and sometimes shortened by abnormally hot weather.

The blooming season is the best time to view the peonies but even without their blooms, the shapes of the plants and the configuration of their leaves are interesting.  The collection is located in 14 beds at the north-east corner of the Ornamental Gardens beside the traffic roundabout, and in two more beds just tot he north across the street in the campus sector.  Some individual plants are located around the gardens and the Arboretum houses a large bed of duplicate peonies used as a reserve.

Passionate about peonies since the mid-1980's, Bill Wegman has led the Friends' peony team for over 10 years and runs the seed exchange for the Canadian Peony Society.  He has won many awards at exhibitions with blooms from his own large collection.

Visit the Peonies!   Join Bill and his team for a tour of the Farm's peonies on Saturday , June 7,2014.

Reproduced with permission from 'Friends of the Central Experimental Farm'.  http://www.friendsofthefarm.ca/

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Souvenirs de Michael

Le 27 décembre dernier, la Société canadienne de la Pivoine a perdu un vrai de vrai. En plus d’être un professeur d’économie très apprécié à l’Université de Toronto, Michael Denny était un passionné de pivoines, le coéditeur, avec Lindsay D’Aoust, du bulletin de la SCP et l’âme dirigeante du projet SCP en fleurs (CPS Bloom).

Son charme et son intelligence en ont conquis plusieurs : étudiants, gens du sud de l’Ontario où il vivait avec Judi, sa complice dans l’univers de la pivoine, et les amoureux de pivoines au Canada et aux États-Unis.
Voici quelques souvenirs de cet homme remarquable.

Quand je suis arrivé à la SCP, j’entendais sans arrêt les noms de Michael et Judi Denny. Je me suis dit qu’ils devaient être des gens importants dans le petit monde de la pivoine. Ils ont effectivement accompli un travail exceptionnel de promotion de la pivoine pendant toutes ces années.

Deux souvenirs me reviennent toujours en mémoire au sujet de Michael Denny : la remarquable exposition de pivoines au Jardin botanique d’Oshawa et la collecte de données, de mai à juin, quand notre groupe se retrouvait à la Ferme expérimentale d’Ottawa dans le cadre d'une expérience appelée Le projet Pivoines en fleurs, le fruit des efforts de Michael et de Lindsay D’Aoust (http://peonybloomdate.com/index.htm). Ce projet permet de connaître la période de floraison de centaines de pivoines. C’est un outil très utile qui aide à choisir des pivoines qui fleurissent à différentes périodes et dans des agencements de couleurs éclatantes. Les données de ce projet sont aussi très utiles pour identifier des pivoines inconnues. J’espère que ce projet se poursuivra et je sais de mon côté que je redoublerai d’efforts pour assurer la survie du projet de Michael.

Les efforts et l’énergie de Michael nous manqueront, mais son héritage survivra et son travail acharné et sa passion pour la beauté des pivoines continueront de donner des résultats.  
Mary Pratte

Mon mari Ed et moi, nous avons rencontré Michael et Judi dans les premières années de la SCP. Michael était un jardinier expérimenté qui adorait sa collection de pivoines, de même que les autres plantes de son jardin.

Michael a fait partie du petit groupe qui a entrepris de déménager la collection Gilbert en 2000 dans le but de les cultiver et de les identifier. À partir de 2004, certaines de ces pivoines ont été données à divers jardins au Canada. Michael n’a jamais cessé de m’impressionner par la quantité de travail qu’il consacrait au Jardin botanique d’Oshawa et à cette collecte de données qui permet encore aujourd’hui aux amateurs de mieux choisir leurs pivoines.
Sur un plan plus personnel, Michael m’a visité chaque matin pendant l’exposition d’Oshawa, que Judi et lui ont lancée en 2005. Il prenait le temps de recueillir mes données, de placoter et de jeter un coup d’œil à mon jardin. Tant la Société que moi, nous nous ennuierons de cet ami précieux qui a tant fait pour la SCP.   
Rena Preston

C’est avec grande tristesse que nous apprenons le décès de Michael. C’était un homme charmant. Lorsque nous le retrouvions à l’exposition d’Oshawa, nous pouvions toujours compter sur lui pour nous faire rire même sous une pluie diluvienne. Nous nous ennuierons de son sourire bienveillant. 

Irene Baynes et Val Hosty

Michael et moi avons eu de nombreuses discussions au cours des années. Nous parlions de tout et de rien, mais surtout de pivoines. Ne reculant devant rien, il voulait toujours savoir pourquoi j’avais inscrit telle ou telle pivoine dans mon catalogue et comment je fixais les prix de chacune. Je devais toujours être sur mes gardes!

Michael a conçu le projet sur les périodes de floraison à travers l’Amérique du Nord, suite logique de cet autre projet, Sept semaines de fleurs. Tous ont pu profiter de ses données.

Il était très généreux. Il a n’a jamais compté ses heures consacrées au projet de floraison et à la collection de pivoines du Jardin botanique d’Oshawa, à la collection Gilbert, sans oublier le bulletin de la SCP. Il était toujours heureux de partager ses idées et ses pivoines. Il me manquera énormément.
  Lindsay D'Aoust

Au cours des dernières années, j’ai appris de Michael comment déterrer, diviser et planter des pivoines. J’avais déjà commencé à déterrer les plantes de la collection Gilbert avec Michael quand je réalisai l’importance de cette collection canadienne.

C’est avec lui que j’ai compris les différences entre les racines selon leur condition de croissance et que j’ai appris la grandeur du trou à creuser avant d’arracher une racine. D’année en année, nous avons déterré les pivoines de la collection Gilbert jusqu’à la dernière au grand plaisir de Michael et Judi pour qui un rêve se réalisait.

Avec Judi, j’ai lavé, étiqueté et empaqueté les pivoines. Michael se chargeait d’indiquer comment et où planter celles qui arrivaient par courrier. Pendant des années, j’ai vu Michael diviser des pivoines avec toute sorte d’outils à l’ombre d’un érable. Mais ce n’est que le printemps dernier qu’il eut enfin le bonheur de diviser et d’identifier sa collection.

Ma propre collection s’est enrichie grâce à la générosité de Michael et de Judi, qui me refilaient les racines trop petites pour être données ou vendues. Souvent, le printemps, après une longue journée au jardin, Michael lançait : «vérifiez le tas de compost». Judi et moi y découvrions quelques tiges de pivoines. Même si elles n’étaient pas identifiées, je m’empressais de les récupérer et de les ajouter à ma collection.

Je sais maintenant que chaque fois que je verrai une pivoine, je penserai à Michael et à tous les conseils qu’il m’a donnés. 
 Mary Ellen Simerson

Nous gardons tant de beaux souvenirs de Michael. Notre amitié remonte à très loin. Il adorait manger et téléphonait souvent en disant: «allons manger». Alors Dennis et moi nous retrouvions Michael et Judi à Cobourg ou à Port Hope et passions la soirée à nous amuser autour d’un bon repas. Nous répétions l’expérience trois ou quatre fois par année avec beaucoup de plaisir. Quand nous sommes revenus de Floride en novembre, Michael ne pouvait plus se déplacer, alors Judi nous a reçus à la maison. Michael a déclaré qu’il ne verrait plus jamais ses pivoines en fleurs, ce qui m’a rendu très triste.
Grâce à mes contacts, je trouvai une quinzaine de fleurs de pivoines dans les couleurs de rouge, blanc et rose et les fit livrer chez lui pour le faire mentir… Connaissant bien Michael, je suis certain qu’il a été très ému et n'eut été de grands efforts, il aurait sûrement pleuré. Mais nous savons tous qu’il n’était pas un pleurnichard. Quelques jours plus tard, il nous tira des larmes dans un courriel de remerciement pour ce parfum exquis qui remplissait sa grande chambre. C’était notre Michael.  
Tom Harris et Dennis Gebhardt

Joe et moi avons eu le privilège de nous nous retrouver en maintes occasions avec les Denny au Jardin botanique d’Oshawa, lors des congrès de la SCP ou chez eux. Quel que fût l’endroit, à l’American Peony Society ou chez nous, Michael ajoutait une pointe d’humour à nos interminables discussions sur les pivoines.
Lors de rencontres, comme le festival des pivoines d’Oshawa, Michael en profitait pour enregistrer discrètement les temps de floraison et vérifier les identifications, laissant l’avant-scène aux autres, mais tout en faisant la promotion de la culture et de la sauvegarde des pivoines.
Joe et Hazel Cook

Michael était un géant. Je l’ai rencontré dans le cadre des activités de la SCP. Blaine et moi avions pris l’habitude de visiter Michael et Judi une fois par année dans leur jolie maison. Il était imposant avec sa tête coiffée d’une épaisse chevelure noire. Quand j’ai réalisé qu’il était professeur d’économie  à l’Université de Toronto et que j’ai compris sa notoriété, j’ai été intimidé. Mais Michael avait toujours ce pétillement dans les yeux. Il était plutôt timide. Il semblait réservé, mais il avait un bon sens de l’humour et un éclat de rire contagieux. Il était très généreux tant de son temps, de son savoir que de ses plantes. Lui et Judi se complétaient à merveille. On avait toujours hâte de les retrouver.
Jamie Roberston

Michael laisse derrière lui son épouse Judi, ses deux fils, Chris et Sean et trois petits enfants.
La ville d’Oshawa, en reconnaissance de la contribution exceptionnelle des Denny au Jardin botanique d’Oshawa, leur rendra hommage en nommant le jardin qu’ils ont largement contribué à développer, The Michael and Judi Denny Peony Garden. Un honneur bien mérité.

Memories of Michael

On Friday, December 27th, the CPS lost a member who was a true renaissance man. In addition to being a loved professor of Economics at the University of Toronto, Michael Denny was a peony enthusiast, an integral part of the Society, as co-editor of its newsletter with Lindsay D’Aoust and, also with herm the driving force, of the CPS Bloom project.

Michael touched many lives with his charm and his wit – students, people in Southern Ontario, where he lived with Judi and with whom he is intrinsically linked in the peony world, and peony lovers in Canada and the US.

Here are some recollections on this remarkable man.

When I first joined the CPS, I remember hearing Michael and Judi Denny’s names spoken all of the time. I thought they must obviously be ‘movers and shakers’ in the peony community and, indeed, they have been an amazing team working to promote our favourite flower for all the years I have known them. 

Two things always make me think of Michael Denny: whenever I hear about the very successful peony show which is now held on a yearly basis at the Oshawa Botanical Garden, and often, from May until late June when the peony group with The Friends of the Farm at The Central Experimental Farm and I, at home, collect data about which peonies bloom when in our area.  This is because Michael and others, including Lindsay D’Aoust, worked to put together The Peony Bloom Time Project (http://peonybloomdate.com/index.htm), which is monitoring bloom time of hundreds of peonies over time so that more reliable information of when they bloom can be accessed on-line.  It is a tremendously useful tool, which allows you to select peonies that bloom together in a certain colour scheme, or a sequence of peonies, which provide bloom over several weeks.  It is also very important to have this information when trying to identify unmarked peonies.  I hope that this project will continue, and I know I, for one, will make a much bigger effort to note this information if it will help keep this project of Michael’s alive.

Michael’s efforts and energy will be much missed, but his legacy will live on through his hard work and enthusiasm and the beauty of his peonies.

 Mary Pratte

My husband Ed and I met Michael and Judy in the early years of the peony society.  Michael was an avid gardener and enjoyed his peony collection along with the many other flowers that he cultivated in his home garden. 

Michael was one of a handful of people that moved the Gilbert Peony Collection in 2000 to his home and planted hundred in his gardens in order to grow them up and identify some, so from 2004 on they could be donated to various public gardens across Canada. He also never ceased to amaze me with the hours he put in at the public peony

gardens in Oshawa and the data that he collected that has and will continue to help people choosing peonies for their own use. 

On a personal note, Michael came to my home each year the morning of the Oshawa show, which he and Judi had started in 2005, and picked up my entries, always finding time to stop, chat and see what was growing in my yard. He will be greatly missed by me as a valued friend as well as by the Society that he helped so much.
Rena Preston

We were so sorry to hear that Michael is no longer with us. He was a delightful man. When we spent time on the CPS stall in Oshawa at the peony show, we could always count on Michael to keep us laughing even in the pouring rain. We shall miss the engaging warmth of his smile.
                                                                                                    Irene Baynes and Val Hosty                                                                              

Michael and I shared many a laugh and lively discussion over the years. The topics were varied but the common denominator was always the peony. Never one to hold back, he would happily interrogate me about why I had chosen such and such a peony for my catalogue or even better, the rationale behind my price list. He kept me on my toes.

Michael created the peony bloom dates project and collected data from across North America. The result was the idea of 7 Weeks of Bloom.  He made the data available to anyone who wanted it.

Michael was a very generous man. He gave countless hours to the bloom dates project, the Oshawa Botanical Garden peony collection, the Gilbert Collection, not to mention being co-editor of the CPS newsletter. He was always willing to share his thoughts as well as his peonies. Both he had in great abundance! I will miss him enormously. 
Lindsay D’Aoust

Over the last years, I have had the greatest of opportunities to learn first-hand how to dig, divide and plant peonies with Michael.  I began digging with Michael the Gilbert collection at their home before I even realized the significance of this prized Canadian collection.

It was here that, alongside Michael, I learned just how different the roots could be in their growth habit and just how wide you need to dig so that all of the root could be removed from the ground. Year after year, we continued to dig the Gilbert collection together until we at last finished this great undertaking that Michael and Judi had taken on to preserve this collection.

Washing, labeling and packing became the job of Judi and I. Michael usually gave the orders on what and where to plant the new peonies as they arrived by mail order.  I would watch Michael intricately divide, year after year, with his assortment of knives and saws in the shade of the old maple tree. But it was not until this past spring that I was actually given the opportunity to divide and label their prized collection.

My own collection grew each year as Michael and Judi generously gave me any tidbits of roots that they were deemed too small to sell or donate.  Often in the spring, after a good days work in the garden, Michael would shout "check out the compost pile" and off Judi and I would trudge and find many sprouting peonies. Though unnamed until they finally bloomed many years later. I was happy and grateful to dig them up and add them to my own collection.

I know that whenever I see a peony I will think of Michael and the many wonderful things that he taught me about growing peonies.

Mary Ellen Simerson

We have so many memories of Michael, being friends for so long. Mike's great love of food - for years, he would simply call and say let’s eat  - so Dennis and I would meet with he and Judi in Cobourg or Port Hope and spend the evening laughing over fine dining. We always aimed at 3 or 4 times a year – great fun. Upon our return from Florida in November, Michael was not able to travel so Judi cooked us dinner at the farm. Michael mentioned that he would not see the peonies bloom again, which saddened me. Being familiar with the floral trade, I managed to buy 15 stems of red, white, and pink blooms of cut peonies and delivered them to the farm to prove him wrong. He did see them bloom. Knowing Michael as we do - he was terribly moved and had he not held up his guard I am sure that he would have cried. (As we all know he was not a crier.) But a few days later he brought us to tears with a short email of thanks saying that the great room smelled so fragrant of peonies. That was our Michael.

Tom Harris and Dennis Gebhardt

Joe and I have had the privilege of spending many occasions with the Dennys at the Oshawa Botanical Gardens, CPS and APS conventions and at their home. Whether we were most of the Canadians attendees at an APS banquet table or simply chatting closer to home, Michael quietly added humour and laughter to the never-ending discussions of all things peony.

During events, such as the Peony Festival in Oshawa, Michael would quietly record bloom dates and check peony labels in the gardens leaving the limelight for others but always supportive as a truly great advocate for growing and preserving peonies.

Joe and Hazel Cook

Michael was a gentle giant of a man. I met Michael through the Canadian Peony Society, and Blaine and I used to visit him and Judi once a year at their beautiful home. He was an imposing man: large and with a full head of black hair. When I discovered that he was a distinguished mathematics professor at the University of Toronto, and learned something about his professional reputation, I was somewhat intimidated. But Michael always had a twinkle in his eye. He was rather quiet and shy. He seemed diffident and self-effacing, and he had a sly – and dry – sense of humour, and a low but contagious chuckle. He was very generous – with his time, his knowledge, and his plants. He and Judi seemed to compliment each other perfectly, and we always looked forward to seeing them. 

Jamie Roberston

Michael leaves his wife Judi, his two sons Chris and Sean and three grandchildren.
The City of Oshawa, recognizing the key contribution 
the Dennys made to the Oshawa Botanical Gardens, will honour them by designating the peony gardens, to which they contributed so much, The Michael and Judi 
Denny Peony Garden. A most fitting tribute indeed.