My Fall Order & Why; What's Yours & Why?
Having at last - I hope, permanently and not temporarily, - fouled the small deer herd that traverses our back yard twice a day from nibbling our various plants to the ground - I decided to order four Peonies this fall from A & D Nursery.
We love to see the deer - especially the mothers and their babies in the spring - in fact one "child" was born in our back yard a few springs ago - but I don't adore them when they use our small but growing garden as "dessert" for their normal meals.
I originally was going to order DUCHESSE DE NEMOURS (VF)(E)(Calot) which, according to the A & D Nursery web site is said to offer "a large cupped white guard petals surround a full center of light canary yellow deepening to a pale green at the base of the petals; the light yellow center soon pales to white, so the effect is of an all white anemone flower; the medium size flowers, superbly fragrant, are ideal for arranging; plant about 3 ft. tall, strong stems."
After a looking more research I decided, intead to opt for FLORENCE NICHOLLS (VF)(M)(Nicholls) which is said to be a "very large, very fragrant rose-form white double that opens with a blush before turning pure white; petals have heavy substance, stems are strong; an elegant white."
In comparing the two photographs of the Duchesse de Nemours with Florence Nichols, I thought the latter blooms were more exhuberant and I also appreciated the fact that her stems were stronger. "Florence" will be the "centerpiece" between two red peonies - see below.
Here's a link to Florence's portrait:
My next choice came as the result of searching the Peony forum for both fragrant and red flowering Peonies. I can't remember the name of the person who delighted in Philippe Rivoire, but you have my appreciative thanks!!!
So standing to either side of Florence Nichols will be PHILIPPE RIVOIRE (VF)(L)(Riviere) which is described as "a medium-size deep crimson double, almost purple, with an intense old rose fragrance; needs to time to get established; a short plant about 24" to 30" tall." As a lover of old roses and other fragrant plants, I was both intrigued by his color and fragrance.
Here is his portrait:
In my further meandering around the A & D Nusery web site, I came across CHESTINE GOWDY (VF)(L)(Brand) "Bright pink double with a delicious fragrance; there's a creamy white collar (area around the center of the bloom) that gives the flower a two-tone effect; some of the pink petals in the center have a hairline red edge; medium sized blooms on a plant that's about 26' tall; named after a teacher of a one room schoolhouse" and was obviously intrigued by a number of reasons - again, mostly fragrance, the unusual color combination, and the name and the small history behind the name of this Peony.
A few decades ago when I was the President of The Herb Guild in Peoria, IL - one of our members was once a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse. After she retired as the Principal of a much larger school, she entered the Peace Corps and served for a number of years; when she tried to re-enlist, she was told that she was "too old"; so being a "Gray Panther" in disguise (remember Maggie Kuhn?) and being also a much determined, "young" woman, Nellie decided to go back to school - Bradley University - and obtained her Bachelor's Degree and, if my memory serves me correctly - she contined her studies and obtained a second degree. Nellie Poe Powers was a delight and a treasure to know and experience and if I were a hybridizer of Peonies or Roses, I would certainly give honor to this treasured friend.
Here's "Chestines" portrait:
I almost ordered a fifth rose, but I will wait until next year when I can finally decide where to plant the fifth and last addition of Peonies.
The fifth peony is "P. OFFICINALIS RUBRA PLENA (E) Deep red double, a species known to Europeans since the middle ages; then the roots were magical, but only the blooms still are; widely known as the Memorial Day peony,$20.00," which is unfortunately sold out for this season.
My mother grew this Peony in her back yard and always treasured it. It now grows in my daughter's garden and I will add this Peony to my own. Here is its portrait:
So that's my Peony order for the fall.
What's yours and why did you make your choices?
Best regards in your gardening endeavors.
Bill & Sue
Here is a link that might be useful: A & D Nusery