Swenson Gardens

Friday, June 10th and Saturday, June 11th Peony Field Days Update


We have been receiving numerous calls and emails regarding the bloom time status and field conditions for our Peony Field Days. These photos were taken early this morning after 1/2″ of rain fell, again, last night. As of this morning, here is my opinion on color in the fields, 40% are done, 40% are at peak or soon to be peak and 20% are still in the bud stage. Now going back to my previous post of extreme weather conditions in 2016, can you say HOT for June 10th and June 11th? With the forecasted 90 F+ degrees over the next three days, my guess is this extreme heat will increase the likelihood of the remaining 20% to bloom. And YES we will be open during this abnormal heatwave and NO we will not be rescheduling to a cooler day. As Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota gardeners, it is what it is. Please, please though be careful if you are not use to this extreme heat, humidity and the high heat index! We want all to be safe during these conditions!

With the rain last night, I would recommend boots to get to this field as the previous flooding left the ground very muddy and it has not dried out as of yet. For those of you who were here on June 3rd and 4th, THANK YOU, but also many of the gardeners finally gave up trying to get to this field with boots, shoes and sandals only to revert back to their childhood by removing footwear and yes, bare feet! Now was that fun or what? So maybe our policy of ‘shoes are NOT required for business’ may be in order!


Intersectional Hybrid Peonies are at peak bloom! These are my all time favorite blooms during the growing season. What is an Intersectional Hybrid Peony? These were originally developed by Mr. Toichi Itoh from Japan and some of the seeds were transported to the United States by Mr. Louis Smirnow and registered in the mid 1970’s. Then, United States hybridizer’s like Roger Anderson from Wisconsin, were able to successfully make this same cross between the two sections of peonies, ‘Moutan’ or ‘tree peony’ provided the pollen parent and ‘paeonia’ or ‘herbaceous/garden peony’ provided the pod parent. The child that was then born by a seed from the pod parent gave us today’s Intersectional Hybrid Peony. Some growers also refer to them as Itoh hybrid peonies. Much hardier and faster growing than a tree peony, intersectionals provide tree peony blooms and foliage with herbaceous/garden peony stems. The majority of our intersectionals are at peak bloom during Peony Field Days on Friday, June 10th and Saturday, June 11th from 9 am to 5 PM. See you at SwensonGardens.com 2016 Peony Field Days!

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