Monday, 27 June 2011

Peonies Galore

Finally we have warmer weather....still wet but warm enough for the peonies to bloom. First to bloom was Rubra Plena (photo see previous post) a deep rose red peony that opens up to 4~5" in diameter. Next came Charles White a showy single petal white peony with creamy yellow tufted stamens. 
Peonies make excellent cut flowers. Their stems are often much longer than any florist would need it! Here's an arrangement we've created with just Charles White and Joker. Simple but elegant. Joker is an excellent choice for those that love peonies but are sensitive to fragrance. 
 Similar to Joker in term of their hard to find and unique bloom quality, Border Charm is a must have for peony enthusiasts. Most peony flower colour varies between all shades of pink, red, and white but not the Itoh varieties. They are a cross between herbaceous peony and the tree peony - resulting in unique colour combinations that are rarely seen in regular peonies.
Itoh peonies also bear many resemblances to the tree peonies such as their leaf pattern and flower bud shape. However, their growth behaviour is similar to that of the herbaceous peony...their leaves will die off in the winter and the entire plant will regrow in the spring.  Border Charm is very compact and can be planted in pots instead of in the ground. 
Some varieties that have consistently shown to grow on long strong stems are Festiva Maxima, Karl Rosenfield, and Charles White. Below is another arrangement we have created with a mix of Festiva Maxima, Raspberry Sundae, Karl Rosenfield, and Joker.  
Festiva Maxima is really fragrant and can literally scent up an entire room with just one or two flowers. They are double petal pure white bloom with splashes of deep rose red in the centre.  
In another week or so most of Festiva Maxima and Karl Rosenfield will be in full bloom. These will be the last group to flower on our farm this year.

Monday, 6 June 2011

A visitor...

The ground is still wet but work still got to be done. Dahlia tubers need to be planted, looseleaf salad need to be harvested, and of course more seeds need to be sowed. At least the weather was nice over the weekend. Though of new ways to display dahlia tubers during farmer's market...but they may be mistaken for yam with sprouts coming out!

As I was planting the dahlia tubers, a visitor came to play on top of the soil pile. It needed a little prodding to move over the pile out of harms way. It appears to be a Pacific Tree Frog but it is extremely skinny! Must have be a long harsh winter.
Weather is finally good enough for other flowers to show some colour. Of course there's also the seedlings waiting for the field to be ready to receive them.