And the winner of the first peony bloom in 2016 is ‘Little Red Gem’. Congratulations on some much needed color in the fields. This particular area of the field receives full sun so that area is at least 2-weeks ahead of some other parts of the field. ‘Lil Sweetie’ was a close second and set a few blooms as well the next day. On Friday it was 94 degrees around 4 PM that spurred many a bud to explode on both of these varieties. Ok so we live in Minnesota, on Saturday morning the temp was 52 degrees! Yes a 42 degree temperature swing overnight. The weeding crew left early on Friday as it was just too warm too fast to make it enjoyable. Thankfully the temps are now back to normal and with this wonderful rain, peonies should settle down into a slower pattern of growth.
Since both of the peonies that bloomed were very early varieties, Becky took this shot of of a late variety. Don’t you just love the different bloom times and growth of peonies! Make sure if your planning some new resting spots for peonies that you enter bloom times into the design so you can enjoy color over an extended period of time. In a normal growing season here, we can have a 7-8 WEEK period of color from the very early to very late varieties. Intersectional hybrid peonies like Bartzella can have two separate bloom times that provide color for 3-4 WEEKS. If you haven’t grown Bartzella that is originators stock and sold as intersectional hybrid peonies versus the tissue culture types that are found in pots, you really have to try our Bartzella.