Farm News

We’ve had some fabulous rain the past 2 ½ days.  It doesn’t always feel welcome when you’re out working and a down-pour soaks you; but, it’s great for plants after a dry spell. A small amount of rain is expected tomorrow, then sunny & dry weather predicted through the next week – perfect. The irises are in full bloom and the peonies are nearly at mid-season bloom.

We will have a generous supply of cut peonies for Memorial Day weekend. Reasonably priced bouquets; single stems; or, bring your bucket for larger amounts.  We also have great potted peonies available – some varieties are 2-3 foot tall in the pots with wonderful buds!

Serene Pastel, Coral Charm, Red Charm, Prairie Moon, Illini Warrior, Theatrical, Cherry Ruffles, Command Performance, Blitz Tort, the Intersectionals, and so many more varieties are spectacular now. Our peony display tables are full with dozens and dozens of varieties for your viewing pleasure.

We enjoy meeting people who stop by our farm during bloom season. This season has brought some of the most delighful gardeners our way. Lots of you come back with friends, and we really appreciate you. First time visitors sometimes express a feeling of suspense as they drive down the ½ mile Topaz Street, wondering what’s around the next corner. They can’t believe what they see when they park in front of the blooming peony field and then are treated to the iris garden, tucked into the conifer arboretum. They wander the pathways and are enthralled with what they find at Brooks Gardens – the hidden Brooks, Oregon peony & iris farm.


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A few years ago, the American Peony Society began awarding their 'Award of Landscape Merit' (ALM) designation to peony varieties that have great landscaping characteristics, including disease resistance and standing up to wind and rain. No doubt, there will be many additional varieties added to the list in coming years, as this award is in it's infancy and there are a number of peonies with these qualities.

We raise the following ALM peonies at Brooks Gardens:  Bartzella, Charm, Coral Sunset, Cytherea, Do Tell, Early Scout, Garden Treasure, Hillary, Krinkled White, Lovely Rose, Many Happy Returns, Nice Gal, Old Faithful, Pink Hawaiian Coral, Prairie Charm, Salmon Dream, Topeka Garnet, White Cap, Canary Brilliants, Little Red Gem, Eliza Lundy and Mahogany. 

There are many peony varieties with upright plant habitat that don't require staking. Stem strength is one of the qualities peony hybridizers keep in mind when selecting parent plants for their breeding programs. When choosing a peony plant at the farm, you can see the mature plant in the field and choose plants that fit your expectations. Peony plants grow in many shapes and sizes: upright peony plants, low growing border plants, heavy headed flowering peony plants that benefit from staking, tall stemmed peony plants for cut flowers, peony plants that make a statement, peony plants that make a great hedge row from spring to fall, tall wispy peony plants for height, etc. Walk through the peony field and see what types appeal to you for your garden.

Therese, May 17, 2012

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Now they're crackin' open: the first Red Charms are half open today, should be a nice amount in a few days. Salmon Dream and May Lilac are blooming, too. I love those colors. Alba Plena, our first early double white is blooming in the pots. Horizon is also open today. Bess Bockstoce (double pink) and Henry Bockstoce (double red) aren't far behind.  Most of the earlier bloomers are dazzling, now. It was thrilling to see different varieties opening each time I walked through the field today.

We have fresh cut flowers and there will be plenty for Mothers Day bouquets. Stop by and pick up a bouquet for you or your Mom.

Come on out and take a look at the early peonies and see the tree peonies blooming in our Historic iris collection/arboretum.  You might catch a glimpse of the deer in the field beyond the peonies.


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