Mrs. Edward Harding: Perfect form of white. Blooms mid-season.
Though I have often fantasized that rolling out the door to work outside in summer would be simply amazing, in reality growing flowers for a living has got to be really tough job.
For me bugs, bunnies and other pests are an annoying nuisance. It would a much bigger issue if insects had left bullet holes in the flowers I hoped to send to market or the crop of perennials I had been cultivating for years was wiped out by some mysterious disease or natural disaster. It would take heartbreaking to a whole 'nother level.
Add to this the fact that Mother Nature likes to operate on whims. You never know what the weather will bring.
I got a small taste of how hard it must be when we dropped in to see Blossom Hill Nursery. Joe has retired to devote himself to work at the nursery full time. Hazel holds down a regular job and then comes home and works alongside her husband in the evening.
After she finished watering young seedlings, she still had to cut peonies to fill an order from a florist on the evening we paid the nursery a visit. That's a long work day!
Let's take another wander through Joe and Hazel's fields of peonies and look at some of the beautiful red, yellow, coral and white flowers.
Legion of Honour: Semi-double, strong cherry-red with a golden centre. Blooms early.
Longfellow: Non-fading crimson red with golden stamens. Slightly fragrant. Blooms mid-season.
Port Royale: Japanese/anemone shaped peony that is a dark burgundy-red. Fragrant.
Golden Wheel: Originally called Huang Jin Lun. A double yellow that even has yellow roots. Blooms mid-season. The catalogue warns that there are limited quantities of this peony available.
Mildred May: Semi-double pure white with a ring of golden stamens. Early mid-season.
Miss America: Semi-double, APS Gold Metal winner. Soft pink fades to white as the flower opens. Fragrant. Blooms early.
Orchid Annie: Double, very soft pink. Good foliage and upright habit. Blooms mid-season.
The time to order peonies is mid-summer for fall planting.
I have done my best to identify all the peonies that happened to catch my eye on the day of our visit, but if you want to order peonies for your garden, please confirm the identification is correct in the Blossom Hill picture gallery and catalogue. There is also lots more peonies to choose from there.
Blossom Hill Nursery specializes in delphiniums and peonies and is located near Peterborough in Ontario.
They have over 600 varieties of peonies including species, tree, herbaceous and Itoh (Intersectional) peonies. Visitors are welcome at the nursery to view the perennial beds and gardens. Business hours are by appointment or chance.