Swenson Gardens


Greetings dear peony enthusiasts. Perhaps you have recovered from attending our 2021 Peony Field Days, especially those who came on June 4th and 5th. Even though we cancelled June 18th and 19th because of the extreme heat, over 3500 peony lovers visited us during the 4-days we were open. Thank you all who came out to our peony fields and we hope you experienced the true glory of peonies. It was fun to see generations of families tip toeing through the peonies!

As I mentioned in a previous post about ‘presumed bloom times’, we started our bloom season on May 16th with very early varieties ‘Lil’ Sweetie’, ‘Little Red Gem’ and ‘Sprite’ ushering in color. A smattering of other very early and early varieties showed color later that week and the week of May 24th. During Memorial Day week, the early and early to mid varieties were starting to peak. They presented an awesome display of their vibrant, exotic and cool colors on June 4th and 5th. However, June 4th we reached a high of 96F and on June 5th the high was 102F. Peonies, like us mere humans that may have an ‘son’ and ‘sen’ in their last name, do not like HOT temperatures.

The week of June 7th experienced very little reprieve from the blazing hot temperatures. Thus Peony Field Days on June 11th and 12th revealed an astounding amount of color from our micro-climate field. This field is located in an area where temperatures are 10F cooler than other fields. Thank the good Lord for micro-climates! Without this field in bloom, we were thinking about cancelling these two days as our other fields were void of mid, mid to late and late blooms. High temperatures are tough on peony blooms as their size, duration and true colors are significantly reduced.

All told, we had 90F+ temperatures from June 3rd to June 18th. What began as early and early to mid peak blooms on June 4th and 5th transformed into one of our quickest bloom times since we started in 2002. Perhaps some of you experienced similar results in your gardens? Thankfully most of our new early and early to mid blooming peony seedlings revealed their bloom colors before the extreme heat hit so yours truly could photograph them for future releases. Perhaps this a testament to all of us when planning our gardens (and fields) to make note of the peonies bloom times. Planting more very early, early and early to late varieties were the stars of our 2021 bloom season.

Earlier this morning I took our dogs for their usual walk, not only do we anxiously await the first peony blooms of the season, we also look for our last blooming peony. The winner for 2021 is ‘Bartzella’. We’ve had multiple ‘Bart’ blooms this week so we are officially over with our 2021 bloom season. Even in an extreme heat period, our micro-climate field had color from May 16th to June 26th. That’s almost 6-weeks of color with various bloom times.

Thanks again for all who attended our 2021 Swenson Gardens Peony Field Days both in person and virtually. We look forward to seeing you in our peony fields next year!

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