Swenson Gardens

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Thank you to all who visited Swenson Gardens Peony Field Days today. We appreciated the chance to meet you and for those of you who braved a brief shower this afternoon, you were champs hanging in there until it passed. For Saturday, June 9th, we will be open from 9 am to 5 PM. Looks like a 30% chance of rain before noon, so for those of you coming during that time, you may want to bring an umbrella, rainsuits and boots IF we do get rain. IF thunderstorms, we will be temporarily closed until they pass as we want to make sure everyone is safe. This is the last day we will be open for Peony Field Days this season so praying that the rain/thunderstorms pass us by. Looks like the afternoon is partly cloudy with 0% chance of rain. That said though, check the radar before venturing out here just to make sure. We are still in the mid and mid to late bloom cycle with some late varieties that are just starting. It continues to be peak bloom in the fields for intersectional or Itoh hybrid peonies with all of them still showing great color. Please note that we are not open on Sunday, June 10th and we are so sad that Saturday, June 9th is our last day we are open to the public. Have a safe journey and we look forward to seeing you at Swenson Gardens Peony Field Days!


Real time greeting from Swenson Gardens Peony Field Days at 7:30 am, Friday, June 8th. The showers are over here and sun is starting to shine. We are opening at 9 am and closing at 5 PM. It is a tad muddy in the fields from the rain we had earlier this morning so you may want to bring some boots if coming this morning. It should dry out this afternoon. Oh and please wish Becky a happy birthday! Looking forward to seeing you at Swenson Gardens Peony Field Days!


With the 20% chance of rain/thunderstorms early on June 8th, we are calling it a green light for Peony Field Days on Friday! Looks like a beautiful day to stroll through our peony fields! Can you say peak bloom on the intersectional or Itoh hybrid peonies? Never before have we had all our available intersectionals in this peak of a bloom. Simply breathtaking.

Bartzella and New Millennium really popped with color during an overcast sky tonight.

Gordon E. Simonsin is putting on quite a show with his secondary buds just starting to bloom.

Callie’s Memory presented the shot I have been waiting for that represents its true coloration in full bloom.

White Emperor is just starting to bloom and with the overcast sky presented the warmer shade of white vs when I usually like to shoot white colors in full sun.

Finally Little Jeannie one of our new lactiflora seedlings, is showing off why its hybridizer, Roger Anderson, is considered one of the true pioneers in hybridizing peonies. We are looking forward to seeing you at Swenson Gardens Peony Field Days!


Peony Field Days are prepped and ready to go for Friday, June 8th from 9 am to 5 PM, depending on weather of course. We will update on our blog, Facebook and 763-350-2051 as we get closer and actually see what the weather will be. Earlier this morning we were spared from the thunderstorm that rolled through although the much needed rain was certainly appreciated. Peak bloom will certainly be upon us for Friday and Saturday! Please note that we are not open on Sunday, June 10th. The intersectional or Itoh hybrid peonies are starting to show off in the fields.

New Millennium is certainly no exception to the beauty and long lasting bloom.

Bartzella started to bloom on a few plants yesterday and today he was in full bloom.

Joanna MarleneJ also appeared today and affords a delicacy to ones eyes.

One of our favorite fragrant cut flower peony, Nancy Nora, gave us the scent that we have been missing since last year.

Another one of our favorite cut flowers that are not fragrant is Etched Salmon. A stately and complex bloom style that is held high on stiff, stout stems.

The Japanese style blooms are also starting like Cheese Country.

For those of you who were here last Friday and saw (and ordered) Topeka Coral in its early bloom phase, it has literally blossomed into a row of immense coral blooms.

Coral Supreme was glorious tonight with its rich coral hue that will change to some ivory highlights as it nears the end of its show.

I leave you with this parting shot as the sun was setting. Very fitting to end this collage with yes, Coral Sunset. This is by far our most popular coral knowing its tri-color and tri-phase bloom sequence. Our address again is 10958 70th St SW, in Howard Lake, MN for those of you who will be visiting us. Please note that we are a pet friendly peony farm so feel free to bring your four legged family member as long as they are on a leash and picked up after. Our parking lot is directly east of our driveway as you enter from 70th St SW and yes we do have mini-biffs onsite. Safe travels and looking forward to seeing you at Swenson Gardens Peony Field Days!


Peony Field Days for Saturday, June 2, 2018 is cancelled. The storms have missed us so far but the continual rain has left the fields in very muddy conditions. Please note, we are not open again until Friday, June 8, 2018 and Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 9 am to 5 PM. Praying for better weather next week. Will post more pics on what is in bloom for next weeks Peony Field Days but for now this is what it looks like from out our front door.


Thank you to all who attended our Peony Field Days today. We had a wonderful time talking with you in the fields and enjoying the early to mid peony blooms. For those of you who could not make it today or are our online virtual gardening friends, here are a few highlight pics.

Gordon E. Simonsin continues to leave all of us in awe of its purple/lavender blooms.

Hillary started to open up this morning and left quite an impression on those of you who saw it in bloom.

White Emperor gave us a few blooms to enjoy later in the day. For those of you with small spaces, White Emperor is the smallest intersectional hybrid peony that we grow.  Again thank you to all who attended our Peony Field Days today.


For Friday, June 1st, Peony Field Days will be open at Swenson Gardens from 9 am to 5 PM. Our address is 10958 70th St SW, Howard Lake, MN. Parking is available on the east side of our driveway as you enter off of 70th St SW. Yes we do have a couple of mini-biffs onsite just as you enter the parking area. You will see a large, white canopy on the west side of the driveway so stop there before entering the fields for more information. For those of you who would like to enjoy our fields from a vehicle, you can drive all the way north past our home and there is a turn around circle. Please note that our driveway will barely fit two cars meeting so best to wait until the coast is clear upon heading south back down our driveway. We are also a pet friendly farm so feel free to bring your four legged family member as long as they are always leashed and cleaned up after.

As you can see in the picture above, Red Charm opened up today. Two of our fields on the west side of our driveway have early to mid varieties in prime bloom with some mids showing today as well. Color percentage is about 15 to 20% in these fields. My guess is peak color in the fields a week from now but the joy of coming in the early to mid bloom stage is to see varieties that are normally done blooming like they were last year. That is why we encourage our customers to order peonies that bloom at different times so you can enjoy about 7-weeks of color from very early to very late varieties. Also many of the intersectional hybrid peonies are showing color with their primary buds. Our north field is showing more color vs the south field by the canopy so it is well worth the 1/4 mile walk to the north field. Our field on the east side of our driveway is not showing any color yet next to our driveway as that is our micro-climate field with lower temperatures. Amazing the temperature difference as you walk between the south and north field. Peony Field Days is only in the fields south of our home so please respect that unless of course you wanted to watch all the Purple Martins flying around in the two houses next to our house.

As far as field conditions, it is a tad muddy in some of the areas from the rain this week. You may want to bring some boots if your planning on coming on Friday. As far as the mosquitoes, so far so good with very few around as of now. You will see a lot of honey bees around the blooming peonies so just let them do their work and they will not bother you. We are a honey bee safe farm and our hives are a distance away from our peony fields. Make sure to bring your cameras as being the largest chemical free peony grower in the world, butterflies, honey bees, hummingbirds and of course Purple Martins, love living here and present some amazing shots. We do have trumpeter swans stopping in almost daily on our pond so be ready with the telephoto lens if the shot presents itself.

Those of you who will be ordering your bare-root peonies for pick up or delivery this fall, you will receive a variety listing upon your arrival at the information tent and then when you are finished strolling through the fields, stop back at the information area and someone will be available to answer any questions and be able to take your order. If you are paying with a check or cash, there is a 7% product discount vs full price when paying with a credit card.

Have a safe trip out here and we can’t wait to see you at Peony Field Days!


Peony Field Days preparations are in full swing! The storm that came through last evening left us without power for a couple of hours but oh the joy to have about an inch of rain and 20 F degrees drop in temperature. For those of you who are venturing out here on June 1st and/or June 2nd, make sure to check the weather conditions on June 2nd as they are predicting thunderstorms in the afternoon. We will post on blog, Facebook and 763.350.2051 for any cancellations that are weather related. Here are a few of the varieties that started to open up this evening.

Red Grace another one of our favorite reds.

Chocolate Soldier our favorite dark red.

Liberator, one of Saunders tallest reds. Can you find the bumble bee?

Salmon Beauty had an visitor, a Tiger Swallowtail, that stayed for a few shots.

And yes the first intersectional hybrid peony, First Arrival. As you can see in this pic, the primary bud opened with the secondary still to come. I will try to post more pics tomorrow evening as some varieties are opening quickly due to the prior heat wave and others are still waiting to open. Because we have three different fields open to view and three different micro climates, overall I would say we are at early to mid bloom time in two of the fields. New varieties continue to pop so it is fun to see color in the fields. For those of you coming to Peony Field Days, sorry but I need to post this for insurance purposes, Swenson Gardens shall not be held liable for any injury, death, theft and accidents while you are on our property at 10958 70th Street SW, Howard Lake, MN 55349. You are entering and being on our property at your own risk. Our farm is for you to enjoy and please be safe while attending Peony Field Days. Having you visit our farm is the highlight of the year for us and we are so anxious to visit with you and talk peonies. For those of you who follow my blog, you may want to order your peonies online to make sure they are available as we will be selling out of many of the varieties during Peony Field Days. We now have the ability to order online for local pickup so take advantage of that before your favorites are sold out. You can always order more at Peony Field Days!