Swenson Gardens

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Peony Field Jottings…

DSC08645With almost 3″ of rain this past week, peonies in one of our display gardens are looking great. As you can see the larger plants are early blooms, next size down are mid blooms and ones just starting are late blooms. This is why we stress planning your gardens with various bloom time peonies. Our new bloom time page should be updated soon with varieties available this season. In past years we’ve had at least six weeks of color from the first bloom to the last bloom. Fun to have ‘peony color’ this long versus having one type of variety that blooms and then you are done. DSC08647Tree peonies have set their buds and should have color in the next week or so. Tree peonies are sometimes one of the first ‘paeon’ to bloom, but this year the hybrid fern leafs beat the tree peonies. We will not have tree peonies for sale this year but maybe in the next year or two. All of our tree peonies are some of Roger Anderson’s seedlings so am anxious to see how they bloom and plant habitat. Since we are USDA zone 4a and at the colder range of tree peonies, the only variety that has made it in our fields are Japanese, Lutea and P.rockii’s. Chinese, American and Daphnes do not make it up here unless winter mulch/cover is provided. Just a word of caution to those of you who may be inspired to buy potted tree peonies and/or box store peonies, unless you know where they were raised and what if any name they are, don’t buy them! You get what you pay for. Stay tuned over the next few years as our field grown tree peony stock continues to grow and surprise us!DSC08659Intersectional hybrid peonies are just starting to set their buds. Can’t wait to see their color! DSC08663

And the winner is Little Red Gem.

IMG_0625Little Red Gem is similar to Lil Sweetie in that they both are similar to the old fashion fern leaf peony. We prefer the plant habitat and growing characteristics of these new hybrids. It helps that their growing location faces south and they receive full sun. In our other fields, varieties like the sub species ‘hutthi’ will bloom first as well as some of the Saunder’s varieties. Finally some color! Happy gardening

Welcome to Swenson Gardens new Blog!

IMG_0624For those of you new to SwensonGardens.com, thanks for stopping by. This is Keith Swenson and my side kick, Redd, of course our red lab. Thought it would be easier to remember his name by the color and type of lab he is. Brownie, our chocolate lab, was too shy to be in the picture. With 35 various cows, cats and dogs (all of whom have names), it does get a tad confusing, well a lot confusing for my age. Now peonies, no problem on names. We grow over 300 varieties of named peonies and 1000’s of unnamed Roger Anderson’s seedlings. I hope to bring you a taste of our family and farm life as we begin this new adventure together.  As you can see in the picture, peonies are doing great! Spring is relatively normal for us versus the past two years of a very late spring. I will be posting the dates for our Peony Field Days when we get closer to peak bloom. Make sure to bookmark this page as our old blog will be going away. Happy gardening!