Swenson Gardens



I have been remiss in noting our four legged feline family members in a positive way here on our peony farm. Since we too are cat lovers, seeing Franky chased up a tree by Heidi in a former post may not have left a good impression. (Although Heidi thought it was fun.) With the temps a balmy 35 degrees this morning, our cats were out in sun having fun. Who we thought was ‘Willie’ actually turned out to be ‘Wilma’. Not sure how that happened so will have to go back to our cat identification manual and study it again. She is rather shy, but came out to meet me this morning since Redd and Heidi did not accompany me.

She is just a doll and loves to be cuddled. Her brother Franky, wanted some attention too, so poor Franky was chased away again by yes, Wilma.

Wilma and Franky remind me of Redd and Heidi except Wilma is the dominant one between these two and of course for now, Redd over Heidi.

Toby, aka panda and panda bear and tobemonster, enjoyed the bright sunshine and quiet peace without Redd and Heidi chasing him around. So dear cat lovers, these pics are for you today on the peony farm.


We hope you all are enjoying peonies on our new website! Thankfully the glitches are all worked out and your experience has been positive. So what do we do when it is -3 F in the morning? Yes this is our weekly post on the four legged family members. Time for another walk Heidi and Redd?

Heidi continues to exert her wanna be dominance but hence the patriarch Redd still is not ready to pass the crown.

Sometimes I feel sorry for Redd but then I remind him what a stinker he was with sweet Brownie at Heidi’s age. He still doesn’t listen…

Redd showed Heidi one of his secret spots. Yes the compost pile. Thankfully the ground is frozen and some snow cover so the rancid delicacies were not available at this time.

Of course Heidi wanted to show Redd her new toy!

Heidi has no fear of toys much bigger then her although in this case, dad swiftly got her away from a railroad tie and on to the next adventure.

Time for a ride! This week Redd showed Heidi how much easier it is to ride to the end of the driveway in the comfort of the Gator. She doesn’t like to go fast yet but I’m sure that will come soon enough. With the temps this cold, its easier to give them a ride to the end of the driveway and have them run back to the nice warm entry way vs the other way around. The first time I did that Heidi ran back to the entry way and ran away from me while trying to catch her.

Ok troops its time to get out! I said ‘OUT’!

Now what? They didn’t want to jump out to run and play…again. So Redd is 60 lbs and Heidi is pushing 20 lbs now. Please lift us out dad so I willingly obliged. The things we have to do for our 4-legged kids! Needless to say they were running well ahead of me back to their warm humble abode.

Hey Redd want to play tug-of-war again? These two are quite a pair and yes we are having fun with them too. Just like the fun we hope you are having with our peonies on our 2018 website!


Ok gardening friends, you have been so patient in waiting for our 2018 peonies and website! We are live on the web! As stated before, we hope you enjoy your visit to our new website at SwensonGardens.com. Enjoy and let us know what you think about our new website. Many weeks of work went in to this design so thank you to our web designer and webmaster for getting this done. Oh and I would be remiss to post one of our favorite new seedlings from Roger Anderson. Yes Butterfly Kisses is available in limited numbers as we propagate this beauty. Our 2018 peonies are here today so order early so they are not gone tomorrow!



Our peonies will be on our website soon! The final proofing was sent to our webmaster moments ago and barring any last minute glitches we are hoping to be open for the 2018 season in 1-2 days. Thanks again for your patience and not to be redundant…again, but this by far is one nice design. In the mean time, meet Purple Reign. Yes a purple intersectional hybrid peony from our Roger Anderson’s seedlings will be available this year. Some of you have seen this one at Peony Field Days so for those gardeners who viewed this beauty, now is your chance to grow this in your garden. We have a total of six new seedlings available and a total of 36 new for 2018 peonies.


For those of you who have been contacting us regarding our new 2018 peonies, more details will be noted on our new website. These new peonies are part of the last advanced generation of Roger Anderson’s seedlings that we purchased. The originator is Roger Anderson and the registrant is Swenson Gardens. All paperwork has been sent to the American Peony Society so you will see them in the APS bulletin in the near future. So without further a do, meet Predawn Beauty. She is an intersectional hybrid peony that truly is a beauty! Roger Anderson’s seedlings not only bring joy to our fields but maybe this year his peonies will bring generational joy to your gardens!



If only peonies would grow as fast as Heidi? Of course then our patience factor vs instant gratification would be in turmoil. Speaking of turmoil, Heidi was able to meet Franky earlier this week. As you can see in the next pic, their meeting didn’t go very well!

Perhaps Heidi is attracted to red hue colors? Of course now that Heidi chased Franky up a tree, at least for the moment Redd had his freedom. This morning was another story though. Heidi could not find any cats to harass so who better to play with?

A clod of dirt? I’m not sure what Heidi see’s in a clod of dirt, but for the moment Redd is happy. There’s Redd! Maybe he is more fun to play with? Stand off at the ok peony corral commenced…

Careful Heidi, at the moment Redd is a tad bigger then you!

You may want to wait a few months Heidi, to surpass Redd’s dominance! All in playful pecking order but life lessons are hard to take Heidi.

Time to look nice and cute for my photographer again. Not sure why he likes to take a lot of pictures of me but yes I will sit on command and look oh so cute for the camera! Guess he’s going through withdrawals not being able to photograph peonies!


Ok so our webmaster is hard at work getting the 2018 website coded, we are proofing parts of it, dreaming about peonies, watching Heidi grow by the day and oh yes, a new member of the fertilizer production team was born this week! These Dexter cows are amazing! After carrying the calf into the barn four times to get her warm only to have her go back outside in 2 F temperatures, at 12:30 am that night I finally gave up. The amazing part is the fact that she had a lot more fat on her then calves born in warmer weather. Did mom and daughter know something that I didn’t? Apparently so! Though her newborn calf was white with frost, underneath she was toasty warm with her layer of fat to keep her warm. So this morning I tried to take a few shots of her…when she wasn’t running around. Please welcome, appropriately named, Frosty to the 2018 fertilizer production team! If the peonies only knew what Frosty had to go through for them!


There’s a new dark red intersectional hybrid peony in the garden that is above all other peonies. Again one of Roger Anderson’s seedlings that is absolutely stunning! May we introduce to you Scarlet Heights! Its blooms soar above the foliage with stems that support the blooms. Red is the hardest color to hybridize in intersectional hybrid peonies. Roger has done it again with this seedling. Oh and by the way, it DOES NOT fade. Truly an outstanding intersectional hybrid peony to consider in your gardens this year.



Meet Peppermint Blush a new Roger Anderson intersectional hybrid peonies. Yes it has the unique tree peony like foliage and mounded appearance, but again the bloom size is smaller. Very attractive and spectacular to photograph and in a garden. Stay tuned as we countdown to our 2018 website launch. Peppermint Blush is sure to amaze intersectional hybrid peonies collectors as well as gardeners.


As we wait for our 2018 website to launch, thought it would be nice to share some of our new 2018 peonies that we will be offering. Over the next few days, will be highlighting some of our Roger Anderson seedlings. These are the first seedlings to be offered in the US and we are beyond excited to share these with you. In talking with Roger, his goal with some of these seedlings was to hybridize towards smaller plants with smaller sized blooms. Interesting as that is a niche market virtually untouched by other hybridizers. Ok drum roll please…meet Little Jeanne.

Little Jeanne is a herbaceous (garden) peony that is absolutely divine. Plant habitat being on the smaller side will fit nicely in smaller gardens. More information will be available on our website. Stay tuned for more pictures on our 2018 peonies.