Brooks Gardens peony plants & bearded iris, June 15, 2012

The next two days will be the last days of our ‘open farm’ during the peony & iris bloom season. You can call to make an appointment if you’d like to stop by for peony plants after Sunday, June 17, 2012.  You can order our peonies on-line throughout the summer and fall and we will ship your freshly dug roots to you in September and October.

The end of peony & iris bloom season is bittersweet, as we love the interaction with our customers. You’d think I would be tired after 45 straight days of bustling activity; but, I crawl around and weed for 40 days in March & April, so walking around, cutting flowers and helping customers during May & June is really uplifting to me. 

Weeding is actually relaxing, unless you’re two weeks behind and tours start tomorrow.  It’s how we learned the names of some (not all) of the iris when we first purchased this farm in 2000.  You weed and read the name tag; and then you weed a few months later and read the name tag.  We’d been here only 1 year and an iris friend of the previous owner stopped by to purchase iris.  He said he remembered there was an iris named ‘Brazen Hussy’ and wondered aloud where it might be (he knew that as I was an ‘iris newbie’, there was no way that I would know which of the 1,600 iris it would be).  I startled him when I said I would take him to it. I walked directly through the garden, to the far side, and pointed to it.  He was dumbfounded. “How could you possibly know where ‘Brazen Hussy’ is?” he asked, good naturedly and with admiration. “Well, when I was weeding the gardens 3 times this year, I said to myself ‘Brazen Hussy’ – I’m kind of a ‘Brazen Hussy’ myself’”.  We had a hearty laugh. He was so impressed! I didn’t tell him I’d only learned a few dozen names of iris that year; he didn’t need to know that.

You would think I would have honed in on ‘Gypsy Queen’, ‘Her Lady Ship’, ‘Lusty Song’, ‘Paris Lights’ or even ‘Brilliant Excuse’; but, no – ‘Brazen Hussy’ it was.  I still chuckle when I see her tucked into the corner of garden bed 28.

We still have peony plants blooming in the field (Cheddar Surprise, June Rose, Topeka Garnet, Nippon Beauty, Princess Margaret, Queen of Hamburg, Charm, Nippon Beauty, Lucky, Garden Treasure and many others); peony flowers on display; and, potted peony plants at the farm this weekend. See you here!


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