Swenson Gardens

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LIFE ON THE PEONY FARM

Welcome back to the 2019 Life On The Peony Farm blog postings. Yes it has been awhile since posting as 2018 summer and fall was beyond busy as we continue to expand our peony farm. Some of you have been asking how Heidi and Redd are doing so I thought I would share some updated pics. They both are still adorable but Miss Heidi has exerted her independence by visiting our neighbors and exploring the wide open fields around here now that the corn and soybean fields are now bare. Redd use to have the upper hand in being able to run away from Heidi, but now she is able to outrun him. As you can see in this pic, Heidi also has the height advantage over Redd.

Heidi and Redd

We’re not sure how much Heidi weighs now but oh she is very muscular and filling out nicely at 14 months old. Redd turned 9 years old last summer and his lovely red coat is now being dusted with gray on his muzzle.

Redd and Heidi

They are continually in motion whether its running around or trying to get them to pose for a picture. Both of them LOVE to go for rides in the Gator and of course in the truck. So how is training going with Heidi? Well we have good days and not so good days as she is more interested in chasing cats around the farm versus trying to reward her with treats while training. Speaking of treats, a tradition we have in our home around Christmas is yes making lefse. For those of you who do not know what lefse is, its made with riced potatoes, heavy cream, butter and a dash of salt. They are made into golf ball sized balls, rolled out thin and then fried on a 500 degree griddle. Scandinavian for sure! The best way to eat them is either with butter and cinnamon or with cookie butter. Can you say to die for?

Lefse

Starting out with 30 lbs of potatoes yielded about 14 dozen of these gems. Oh I was beyond happy on Christmas Eve as lutefisk was also on the menu. You can Google lutefisk if you want as I won’t detail what it actually is as you need to put gobs of butter, white sauce and allspice on it so you can’t taste it. Yes this tradition was passed on from my Swedish and Finnish grand parents but our dear children forbade eating it after the age of 2 as I was able to get away feeding it to them until they were 3 years old. I thought if I started them young this may continue the tradition? Not! It was a lot easier to pass on the generational love of peonies to them versus lutefisk! Life on the peony farm…continues.

Swenson Gardens PEONIES

Ordering Swenson Gardens peonies is now available on our online store. https://shop.swensongardens.com/ We have a software glitch linking our online store to our website so for now go to shop.swensongardens.com and let the peonies party begin!

SWENSON GARDENS PEONIES

Swenson Gardens peonies are soon to be online with our 2019 website! We have been working feverishly to launch our website earlier then the past few years so stay tuned as we get set for the 2019 online ordering. This year we are releasing more of our herbaceous and intersectional/Itoh hybrid peonies seedlings. Here is a sneak peek at a few of them:

Roger’s Red

‘Roger’s Red’ is a herbaceous hybrid peony that took our breath away last year. Unlike Stephen E. Ambrose, Roger’s Red does not show any white streaks within some of the petals and by far, the darkest red that Roger Anderson has hybridized. Very stout stems like most of Roger’s varieties. Just a few to share this year so order early once we open.

Tonka Peach

‘Tonka Peach’ is a intersectional/Itoh hybrid peony that continues Roger Anderson’s world renown hybridizing. This is one of our new found favorites amidst a sea of color that was included in Roger’s last generation of seedlings. This picture was taken on a three year old plant and can’t wait to see what happens as it continues to mature.

Fire Bomb

WOW is all I can say on another of Roger Anderson’s herbaceous peony seedlings. ‘Fire Bomb’ is absolutely stunning in the field. Yes a true fire engine red bomb that stands moderately high on stout stems.

These and other peony seedlings and new peonies will be noted on our 2019 website! We do want to wish all of our peony gardening friends a healthy and Happy New Year! May 2019 be filled with awe in your gardens this spring as we wait for our dearly loved peonies to appear!

LAST DAY TO ORDER PEONIES 9/21/2018

Hard to believe that our 2018 peony season is almost over! Seems like almost yesterday the snow was melting and hopes of the spring peony season was soon at hand. Thank you to all our existing Swenson Gardens peonies family and new family members who have entrusted us to provide chemical free bare-root peonies. We do not take this responsibility lightly as growing peonies without chemicals is truly a labor of love…and hard work. Please make sure to get your last minute peony orders in before our 2018 peony season is over.

PEONY PICK UP DAYS – 9/14/18 & 9/15/18

Time to pick up your peony orders on 9/14/18 & 9/15/18 from 9 am to 5 PM. For those of you who ordered your peonies and noted ‘pick up’ on the order form, we are so anxious to meet you and we have your peonies ready to go. Address again is 10958 70th ST SW, Howard Lake, MN. Come all the way up the driveway and the parking area is north of our home. An information area awaits you as well as staff to demonstrate how to plant a bare root peony.

PEONY BARN SALE – 9/14/18 & 9/15/18

Ok peony gardeners, for those of you who did not get your orders in before the cut-off date for picking up or would like to add more to your gardens, our annual Peony Barn Sale dates are September 14th and 15th, 2018, from 9 am to 5 PM. Pack your vehicle with friends and family and head out to Swenson Gardens at 10958 70th St SW. Leftover retail bare roots and reduced pricing on wholesale bare roots await you in our processing barn. Sorry but roots are available first come/first served. However, isn’t that the fun of a barn sale let alone a PEONY barn sale!

ORDERING SWENSON GARDENS PEONIES

Hard to believe that the 2018 Swenson Gardens peonies season is almost over. The cut off date for our first shipment and pickup orders are now closed. The pickup dates are September 14th and 15th from 9 am to 5 PM and the first shipment should go out the week of September 10th. More information forthcoming and if a correct email address was supplied to us, you will receive notification via the carrier. If you go to our ‘How to order’ page, you will also see the cutoff date for our second shipment. For our second shipment, online, mail-in and phone orders are still open until September 21, 2018. Thank you to all our existing and new gardening friends who ordered our peonies this year!

PEONY FIELD JOTTINGS…

Not sure what is going on with Saturday’s and peonies this year, but today we are experiencing thunderstorms like we’ve had the past two Saturday’s. Thankfully we were able to get in the last cutting of 1st crop hay for the fertilizer production team (FPT) earlier this week. This rain is certainly a relief from the extreme heat we had yesterday. They are contently laying down in the pasture chewing their cud and getting a much needed shower. The color in the peony fields are on the downswing. Yes the intersectional hybrid or Itoh peonies are still displaying their vibrant colors, but most of the herbaceous peonies are done. Now the wonder of our top 3 selling peonies is in full bloom. Yes Candy Stripe is putting on quite a show. Last evening I ventured out into the fields to catch some of the late blooming peonies.

Candy Stripe and Feathertop blew me away with this shot. With the storms and high winds mid-week, they still continue to stand tall.

The Mighty Mo also stood tall and continues to bloom in the fields.

Wow was this a sight to see! Yes Garden Treasure threw open a huge bloom! Garden Treasure is a shorter and more spreading plant habitat that works well in from of a border. Both Bartzella and Garden Treasure are still our favorite ‘yellows’.

I don’t want to sound redundant, but if you do not grow Nancy Nora in your peony cutting garden, she is now our second favorite peony cut flower this year.

We are pleased to announce our latest peony to bloom this year. Yes dear friends, Rose Pearl, surprised us with the lateness of bloom and yes the immense size of her blooms. Oh and our most fragrant peony in the fields and vase. Thank you Rose Pearl for an outstanding display and winner of 2018’s latest peony to bloom.

FINAL PEONY FIELD DAYS SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 2018

Thank you again for all who attended Swenson Gardens Peony Field Days for 2018! Our Peony Field Days are now closed for 2018. The weather certainly has not been very favorable this year so for 2019 we will be adding additional days for our fields to be open to the public. We try to accommodate as many peony admirers as possible during peak bloom so hopefully next year the added dates will present more opportunities to view our peonies. You can still order peonies through our online store or mail in orders. That information can be found in more detail on our ‘how to order’ page. Once we tally up the orders from the past few days we will update our website for any sold outs. For those of you who attended Peony Field Days today, June 9th, you are definitely hardcore peony gardeners. Having to wait in your vehicles for the thunderstorm to pass at 9 am, getting chased off of the fields early this afternoon for another round of storms and then trudge through the fields during a rainstorm, you are gardening stars! Thankfully all were safe as viewing peonies vs getting struck by lightening is not a choice. Thanks again for all who attended and we look forward to seeing you at peony pick up days and our 2019 Swenson Gardens Peony Field Days!