By David Maltby
In mid-winter every gardener’s thoughts turn to spring in anticipation of the bloom in their garden. Here are a few other events to look forward to. The Canadian Peony Society and show chair persons are working hard to prepare for the national show at Ottawa on June 6th and 7th and the many regional members are working to prepare and organize the regional and provincial shows at St. Hyacinthe, Oshawa, Saskatoon, and Castlegar. The national show and the other shows are wonderful opportunities to meet other peony growers and gardening enthusiasts. Please mark your calendars
and plan to attend the national show in Ottawa and/or any of the regional or provincial shows.
The Society relies on our membership dues each year; but in addition to that, the annual root and seed sales are vital sources of funding. Whether you have never donated roots or seeds before or whether you are one of our perennial sale supporters, please make an extra effort to donate roots and/or seeds this year. To do so will require some planning and forethought on your part.
I urge everyone to make crosses of your favorite peonies in your garden. Give some thought to pollen daubing. Or, allow blooms to be open-pollinated. Record any crosses and then harvest the seed from the pod parent and from the open-pollinated peonies in your garden. To donate seeds is easy. All
that is required is a record of the cross, if it is a controlled cross, or if it is an open-pollinated seed, the name of the seed parent. Our seed exchange chairperson, Mr. Bill Wegman, will gladly receive your seeds and distribute them to members and others who are interested. We owe thanks to Bill for his
continued effort with the seed exchange of our Society.
Margaret Sequeira will gladly receive your peony root donations. Again, the Society owes a big thanks to Margaret for her continuing efforts on the annual root sale program. In the spring, consider the rare and unusual peonies you might have in your garden that other society members might covet,
which peonies you have to be divided and then donate a few roots to the Society. The major advantage of the peony root sale is that members find varieties that are often not commercially available, or if they are commercially available, there is limited availability. If you are interested in
donating roots for the first time or are one of our regular donors, please follow the instructions from Margaret as to how to donate the roots.
Happy gardening and again, think ahead and consider attending our national show in Ottawa to enjoy the company of other peony enthusiasts and gardeners and stroll through peony beds at the Central Experimental Farm, the historic walled Maplelawn Garden and private gardens of some of our local members.
I look forward to seeing you in Ottawa
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