You may have noticed a pattern in my activity on this page – an initial flurry of fervor-driven posts that mark the beginning of the growing season (and the end of nearly seven months of winter) followed by, well, honestly not much else. Despite an unhealthy work load, a trip to Japan last summer, constantly overextending myself with social commitments, an OCD-like drive to meticulously collect and catalogue data and photos of these plants without ever publishing it, and poor time management in general, this blog still draws breath! I must concede that this juggling act is life, and that I must simply be a better juggler or stop complaining. This year I intend on being far more active in this space. Take that for what it’s worth.
Hm, where do I start? Last year, I suppose. 2016 was a mix of excitement and disappointment. We had an extremely mild winter and a nice, warm sunny spring. The plants grew in leaps and bounds and after three years I finally witnessed the marvel that are tree peony blooms. However, summer was very rainy and as a result during flowering time many blooms were water damaged and/or shattered by the rain. I was able to obtain a very interesting peony variety that was made available for commercial sale for the first time ever which will be discussed in a future post.
By comparison, 2017 feels like it is off to a very slow start. March was mild but April has been unseasonably cold and we have received more snow in April than all previous months combined. At the time of writing the peonies are finally breaking dormancy and the little red pips are a sight for sore eyes. The benchmark for me is always my double fern leaf peony which has just broke the ground in the last week. I was out in the bed today when I made an observation that made me unspeakably happy – this is the first year my tree peonies have had growth off of the previous years’ woody growth. In every year prior they have died back to the ground due to what I suspect is just the sheer cold of our winters (and perhaps a little botrytis for the sake of full disclosure). I really feel like the tree peonies are going to hit their stride this year. Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. With any luck the weather will start cooperating and I will have some quality updates in the near future. Stay tuned!