Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Peony season 2020

Paeonia 'Yellow Crown'

Paeonia 'Bartzella' in a neighborhood garden 

Several months ago, intending to write a piece about peonies in our gardens, I started with "Peony season 2020 will not begin for most of you for another two weeks or.  if the weather stays cold an damp (as predicted) maybe a bit more.  
So although we're still a couple of weeks away from the peak season for those voluptuous, fragrant nineteenth century French garden peonies, the peony season here began  weeks ago and we're now in the second phase (and the second month) , that of the early hybrids. 
Those marvelous nineteenth century cultivars are "pure" Paeonia lactflora. the Chinese import peony thought of as the common peony now. But back then, the common peony was Paeonia officinalis, the native European peony, the peony of history. "
And then things got crazy again for awhile and the post was never finished.
As it turned out, this year's peony season was notable for the flowering of a new plant of one of the original Itoh peonies, the one called in commerce 'Yellow Crown'. This is the only one of Itoh's hybrids which was widely distributed. There are evidently three or four more; these can be seen online, but I've never seen them for sale.
I like 'Yellow Crown' a lot. There is something about the shape of the bloom and the color which appeal to me more than the color and shape of other currently  readily available intersectional peonies. 
'Bartzella', with good reason, is currently regarded by many as the best of the intersectional yellows. This year I saw well grown plants of 'Bartzella' in a local garden which were really impressive. Those are the ones you see in the image above. According to the owner, they are about four years old.