Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Tour Continues

Below we see bed 2 in the rear and bed 4 in the foreground. The pink (single bloom) in the front row is 'Mary Pratte' , to the right 'Moonrise' ,and to the left just about to open is 'George Vorauer'. In left foreground is 'Claude Barrow' a lactiflora which needs a few more days to open.

Moving now across the side street to beds C1 in rear & C2 in foreground below. The plant with the yellow and yellow/pink blooms is an Itoh and directly above it in bed C1 another just starting to open.

Below a closer look at the end of bed C2 . In foreground is 'Friendship' and directly behind in first row are 'Abalone Pearl','Salmon Chiffon', & 'Vivid Glow'.
Bed C2 is our newest bed just 2-3 years old.

Show weekend June 6 & 7 has now arrived and it's Sunday afternoon at the farm. My tour for the CPS members is nearing the end and I have time to take a few pictures. Below, you will recognize most of them. Shall I say the usual suspects? It's always a delight to give a tour to knowledgeable people. I try to let them do the talking. There's always some new information or story told by someone as we view each variety.

This is bed C2 and in the foreground right is 'Haleigh's Hallelujah'. A bloom from this plant picked three days before won Best in Show. Timing is everything on show day. To the left is 'Haleigh's Comet' a similar looking plant.

Below, the group has moved on to bed C1 and discussions are continuing.

A clearer shot of bed C1 taken from the opposite end is shown below. The plants are mainly lactifloras and you can see that many have now opened but not all.

And not to leave anyone out, above we have a serious discussion,  and another below.  The scarlet bloom in the foreground 4th plant in is 'Command Performance', 5th in is 'Norwegian Blush' an Itoh and 6th is 'Donna Jean'. The red directly behind is 'Scarlet Haven' an Itoh and at the left edge is 'Coral Magic'

Above, I've made my way back to bed 12 now looking south you see it in full bloom. The public flocks to the beds  at bloom time , with their cameras. The dark red bloom at the front is 'Night Watch'.
  Below is 'Little Dorrit' a tiny and unique Saunders plant with blooms an orange/pink colour very much faded here.

And for comparison one week later, a shot of our circular beds on show weekend. We see more blooms as the lactifloras are starting to open.

Below is the other half. Compare the start of bed 4 in the mid distance with the picture taken the week before. The first one is 'Claude Barrow' last week in tight bud stage and now pink blooms. Next is 'George Vorauer' previously  in opening bud stage and now fully open red blooms.

Finally another week later June 13th and it's our "Peony Walkabout" at the gardens. We provide a short tour for the public and answer questions. Below are the same two shots. Note how much more full of bloom the beds are.

The beds are at their peak, but the biggest change was in the the air, which was now full of the scent of "grandma's peonies" the lactifloras. The Itohs and the hybrids can't match the lactifloras in that. Together they give us five plus weeks of bloom.
That's all folks. The end.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Tour of the Central Experimental Garden in Ottawa

A Peony Tour of the gardens at the Central Experimental Farm , bloom time 2015

 Since I was giving a tour of the peony beds at the farm to the CPS members attending the show, Margaret suggested that I take a few pictures for the benefit of the members who could not attend. I decided to start a week early so there would be something for everyone.


Here we are approaching the peony beds from the south with bed 12 in the right foreground. Beds 11,10,&9 continue north followed by beds1 to 8 which are circular beds surrounding the oak tree which you see in the distance. There are two more rectangular beds (beds 13 & 14) to their left and two more large curved beds (beds C1 & C2) across the street to the north which you can just see above bed 12. Note the annual beds to your right which are just being planted.

 Here we have a closer look at bed 12. In right foreground is 'Sweet May' to her left is 'Bravura' just opening, and to it's left is 'Audrey' a lovely plant but unfortunately already finished blooming. Behind in the center the tall pink with yellow center is 'Pageant'

Continuing with bed 12 below in right foreground is 'Early Daybreak' and to the left rear is 'Garden Peace'

And below we have 'Heritage' and  right rear is 'Merry Mayshine'

And below is 'Lotus Bloom'  looking a bit distorted due to the support hoop. Every spring our first task after initial weeding is to put in the stakes and hoops. They seldom fit perfectly

Below is Bed 11. In front center is 'Victoria Lincoln' pink petals with yellow center. Note that beds 9-12 are 3 deep with 'Victoria Lincoln' in the middle and to the right of it 'Sprite' (white petals) and to the front of it as 'Nova' already finished and one of our first to bloom. Beds 11 & 12 are  Saunders peonies, hybrids notes for their earliness.

Moving  now to bed 9 below, you see only three plants in bloom, the large white flowered plant is 'Adrienne Clarkson' and the white one behind is 'Marie Victorin' both Menard/D'Aoust hybrids and the red is 'Jewel' also a hybrid.

Here we've now moved to our circular beds 1-8. You see bed 8 in the foreground outer circle. 'Early Glow' is in bloom. The red bloom at the end of bed7 is 'Montezuma'. Behind are the rectangular beds 13 & 14. The bench at the foot of the oak tree is a popular resting spot, and the gentleman resting with the big telephoto lens camera was out "birding" but he did take a few peony shots.

Below we are looking directly at beds 13 & 14 and we see 'Prosperity Maud' (Menard/D'Aoust peony) in full bloom. To it's left is an Itoh peony not yet in bloom. This bed has an equal number of Itoh and other herbaceous plants

Moving down bed 13 we see below 'Compagna' and in the next picture below 'Tranquil Dove' both Saunders hybrids that you don't often see.