In an article I read quad-hybrids were mentioned as the "peonies of the future". Could anyone tell me more about them?
A quad hybrid is produced by combining four species.
Saunders' Athena is an example; it is P lactiflora x (P offinalis x (P mlokosewitchii x P macrophylla)).
I suppose the aim is to get the leaves of one, the flowers of another, or a mix that is special, etc.?
I must try to get hold of some of Saunders' hybrids. Is Athena the best quad? I know it is a matter of taste, but.
Athena seems to be the most striking of the quad hybrids that I have been able to identify....certainly the easiest to obtain. I planted it last fall so will be able to see first hand sometime this summer. I am currently debating whether to select Starlight(quad) or to go for Claire de Lune(Lemoine)this fall...they are somewhat similar in appearance.Saunders also has a good many triple hybrids which are very attractive...the quads all seem to be singles and somewhat pale in colour. Incidentally did you find a source for macrophylla etc. somewhat closer than the west coast of Canada?
Saunders' hybrids really seems to be a great collection. The species. Well, I live in Norway, and it seems like I have to order them from Holland next fall. Even there they are hard to find. I wonder why they are so hard to get hold off, the prices are really high but it should be possible to build stocks of these beauties.
My wife's grandparents came from Norway. Family name is Meldahl. Are any Meldahls near you?
Yes, there are lots,it seems, especially in Aalesund and Molde. 3-4 hours drive north of Forde where I live. I do not know any Meldahls personally. However, I did find a Meldahl in the Bergen area searching for relatives on the net. I will send you the link, it seems he has done a lot of research, perhaps you even know him? Anyway, you should visit the west coast of Norway sometimes, the fjords are amazing. Aalesund and Bergen are quite special and well worth a visit. You could take the Hurtigruta boat up the coast from Bergen, it is stunning. I went up and down the coast whilst in the navy years and years ago. Well, I am getting carried away here.
Such a trip would be spectacular! And expensive!
When is the weather best for such a trip: July? August?
Sometime between June and September, in my opinion. June is very fresh and green, still with snow at the peaks. My favorite time of the year - waiting for the lactifloras to bloom..