Peony News

Our peony season was different this year – it started out early with blooms in late March and peaked by mid-May. From the very early varieties to the very late varieties of peonies, we enjoyed 10 weeks of peony blossoms!

It’s been a joy to meet so many of you and share tips on planting and growing peonies. We want you to enjoy the rewards of growing your own beautiful peonies, too.

You may contact us to pick up potted peony plants by appointment this summer.

Thanks again for being a part of our 2016 peony season.

Therese

Red peonies in a garden can command our attention from a distance. Planted in partial shade, the darkness of the deep red varieties intensifies in contrast to those grown in full sun. When the peony buds are developing and opening under cloudy skies, you will see darker pigmentation than when they develop and bloom in hot sun. That is why the vibrancy and hue of some peonies may vary slightly from one season to the next.

If you grow a dark red peony near a tree where it gets both sun and shade, you may be amazed at the deeper, richer color of the flowers. The trick is to have a nice balance of sun and shade – too much shade and the amount of flowers per plant will likely diminish. You can also see the stronger color intensity on a peony if you cut a bud when it is marshmallow soft and put it in the refrigerator for a few days. When you re-cut the stem and put it in a vase with water, it will open over the next day or two. You will see more vibrancy in the color than in one that opens in the garden, as it did not fade from the sun as it opened.

We grow some brilliant reds, like Christmas Velvet, Henry Bockstoce, Many Happy Returns and Command Performance. They are stunning red peonies and I love them all.  I love the darker red peonies, too. Some appear black red under the right conditions; others have a velvety allure to them. They come in single, double and Japanese style blossoms; some are accentuated with golden stamens peaking through their petals.

Bright red peonies make me happy and dark red peonies soothe my soul. Black Swan, Bob, Buckeye Belle, Charm, Chief Black Hawk, Old Faithful, Red Charm, Rubra Plena and Topeka Garnet are some of the deep reds that just shout out for attention.

  Black Swan

 

  Bob

  Buckeye Belle

   Charm

 Chief Black Hawk

  Old Faithful

  Red Charm

  Rubra Plena

  Topeka Garnet

Black Swan, Bob, Buckeye Belle, Charm, Chief Black Hawk, Illini Warrior, Old Faithful, Red Charm, Rubra Plena are some of the deep reds that just shout out for attention. When I see these dark beauties, I marvel at them each day that I can. Their red hues are often described as crimson, garnet, mahogany, sangria, scarlet or wine – there are so many shades that it is sometimes hard to define the exact color. 

Look for a few of these dark red peonies on display at our farm through June 15. They’ll be alongside the whites, pinks, yellows and bi-colored peonies. 

We also offer a selection of bare root peonies for fall planting in our online peony catalog.

Peonies come in so many colors, flower styles and fragrances. You can check out your favorites at our peony farm where we showcase dozens of varieties. This week we have about 100 varieties of peony flowers in the display tent for side by side comparison.

Compare the different whites, reds, pinks, yellows and blended colors. The Coral Charm, Coral Sunset and Coral Supreme peonies can be easily compared. Like red peonies? Browse the Benjamin Franklin, Charm, Command Performance, Henry Bockstoce, Lucky, Old Faithful, Mikado, Red Charm and others to see which red peony your eye goes to.  

Pink and white peonies are here, too; along with some of the intersectional varieties like Garden Treasure and Lemon Dream. Other yellow peonies on display are the big Lemon Chiffon and the favorite light yellow, Prairie Moon. 

Stop by the farm to see some spectacular blossoms - from the single flower style of Topeka Garnet, the Japanese style Dainty Lass and the double peonies like Bridal Gown, Nice Gal and Shirley Temple. 

We have many peonies available in containers to transplant now. Bare root peony orders for fall planting may be placed at the farm or online at brooksgardens.com

Cut peony flowers are also for sale.

Hours are 10 am – 6 pm, daily through June 15, 2016

Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @brooksgardens

Brooks Gardens, an Oregon peony farm located at 6219 Topaz Street NE, Brooks, Oregon, 97305. Take I-5 exit 263, go 1 mile east to Brooks, OR; left at light onto 99E. We are just over one mile north of Brooks, OR (between Woodburn and Salem, off of 99E).

We are about 30 minutes south of Tualatin, Wilsonville and Canby, OR. About 40 minutes south of Portland, OR. Follow our purple Peonies & Iris signs in the area. 

 

We have peony flowers ready for Memorial Day - specially priced this weekend. 

The peony field is showing color with many varieties still in bloom. Stop by and wander through the flowers. The season is ahead of previous years. 

Our peony display tables are full of over 100 varieties of beautiful peonies - pick out your favorites to order for fall planting; or, select a potted peony to take home and transplant now.  

Hours are 10 am – 6 pm, daily through June 15, 2016. Potted peonies, cut flowers and bouquets are for sale at the farm. 

Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @brooksgardens

Brooks Gardens, an Oregon peony farm & iris garden located at 6219 Topaz Street NE, Brooks (or Salem), Oregon, 97305. We are just over one mile north of Brooks, OR (between Woodburn and Salem, off of 99E) and 30 minutes south of Tualatin, Wilsonville and Canby, OR. About 40 minutes south of Portland, OR.

 Happy Memorial Day!

It’s always a pleasure to hear how your peonies are doing and to see the thrill in your faces when you tell us they bloomed the first year. While we can’t know for certain if a first year peony will bloom, many do. We appreciate the reviews and testimonials on our peonies (yes, on rare occasions I have sent out a dud - and we do stand behind our product with a first year guarantee). 

I received a couple of phone calls this week from customers who planted peony roots from Brooks Gardens last fall. One lady expressed complete surprise that her plants were blooming just months after planting them bare root. I told her that most peonies will have a small flower or two the first spring; but, sometimes they need an extra year of root development to produce flowers.

Another woman came out to the farm to tell us her peony root was planted in a large flower pot last fall and produced 5 flowers. I forgot to ask her what she did, as that was amazing, even for a peony grower like me.

Then a nervous customer phoned. He planted over 80 peony roots from our farm last fall. He had planted them with just one to two inches of soil over the eyes (buds on peony roots), careful not to plant too deep. They grew beautifully and even though he was elated that virtually every one bloomed this spring, he was in a panic. Seems in his exuberance of seeing so many beautiful peonies, he cut many of them for friends to enjoy. Then a friend told him he shouldn’t cut a first year peony stem, she cautioned him that he might be damaging his maturing plants. He was filled with anxiety.

I explained that wisdom states we should pinch off a first year peony flower bud, early in its development – to encourage more root growth. This is extremely hard to consider for most peony gardeners – even more difficult to do. Who doesn’t want to see their baby peony bloom? You certainly may get extra root development by disbudding baby peonies their first spring; but, don't fret if you didn’t.

I suggested he leave a whorl or two of leaves on each stem, not cutting them to the ground, which will help with plant nourishment in the summer.  He was relieved that he had done that.

I told him not to worry, that I have done it all – and at three and four years, I see no noticeable difference in most peony plants, whether started from bare root or from a nursery container. First and second year peonies are generally small plants, growing a massive root for all the flowers they’ll produce after 3 years.  If we do something that hinders root development, it may simply take another spring to get the plant to maturity. 

Go ahead and enjoy your peony flowers – they should reward you each spring for decades.

Therese

 

This is a perfect week to visit our farm to see hundreds of peonies and iris in bloom. Drive out to Brooks, Oregon to see several of the local plant nurseries and flower farms in one trip. This area is brimming with peonies, iris, hostas, hanging flower baskets, annuals and more!

There are many area farms and garden centers that are loaded with plants and flowers this month: Shreiner's Iris Gardens, Sebright Garden's, Egan Garden's, Bauman Farms, Al's Garden Center, The Happy Bee Garden Center, Adelman Peony Gardens and Kamis Nursery are just minutes from our farm. Drive around this part of the Willamette Valley and you'll find plant treasures galore. 

Grab your friends and make a day of visiting plant nurseries - just leave some room in the car for your new amazing plants. 

Brooks Gardens peony farm and iris gardens is located at 6219 Topaz Street NE, Brooks (or Salem), Oregon, 97305. We are just over one mile north of Brooks, OR (between Woodburn and Salem, off of 99E) and 30 minutes south of Tualatin, Wilsonville and Canby, OR. About 40 minutes south of Portland, OR.

Rain or shine we're here with Mothers Day peony bouquets. Waking up to a morning drizzle is refreshing today - after the heat of yesterday. 

Thank you to all the wonderful visitors we are meeting this season. We appreciate seeing many of you returning with friends to show them our secluded iris gardens and peony farm. While we are just a half mile off the highway, first time visitors are amazed at the winding pathways, large conifers, tree peonies and over 1,000 bearded iris varieties they find in our nearly 3 acre iris gardens. The iris are in peak bloom this week and their sweet fragrance is wafting through the gardens and beyond. 

You can walk from the iris gardens directly into the peony fields where over 100 varieties of peonies are in full bloom. You can see the differing colors and styles of peonies and compare fragrances - enjoy your very own little peony festival! The later peony varieties will be opening over the coming days/weeks. They are blooming early this season.

Stop by to see the flowers or pick up a plant to transplant now. You can also select and order peonies for fall planting. 

Hours are 10 am – 6 pm, daily through June 15, 2016. Potted peonies, cut flowers and bouquets are for sale at the farm. 

Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @brooksgardens

Brooks Gardens, an Oregon peony farm & iris garden located at 6219 Topaz Street NE, Brooks (or Salem), Oregon, 97305. We are just over one mile north of Brooks, OR (between Woodburn and Salem, off of 99E) and 30 minutes south of Tualatin, Wilsonville and Canby, OR. About 40 minutes south of Portland, OR.

 

 

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