tree peony season 2007

Boyce Tankersley
Fri, 18 May 2007 06:00:18 PDT
Hi Jim:

Great shot of the diversity of flower colors and sizes in tree peonies.
I cover them in the deciduous flowering shrub classes taught at CBG. May
I use one of your images in the class? I always cite original
photographers and provide links to Webpages, where applicable.

Many thanks,

Boyce Tankersley
Director of Living Plant Documentation
Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
tel: 847-835-6841
fax: 847-835-1635
-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Jim McKenney
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2007 5:22 PM
To: 'Pacific Bulb Society'
Subject: [pbs] tree peony season 2007

When the tree peony season began this year, I decided to save flowers in
refrigerator in order to get a good group picture of the early
sorts with the later yellow-flowered hybrids. In our climate, there can
be a
two week gap between the first of the suffruticosa types and the first
the yellow-flowered hybrids. The idea was to store the suffruticosa
sorts in
the refrigerator until the yellow-flowered hybrids began to bloom.

Because Mother's Day came within this period, I also hit on the idea of
setting up a grand table display for the Mother's Day brunch. Although
family members had seen one or two tree peony flowers now and then over
years, no one had any sense of the variety and numbers. So each morning
would go out into the garden and pick whichever ones were in bloom. Soon
had about sixty flowers in the refrigerator. 

On Mother's Day the first of the yellow-flowered sorts had only just
to open. And I was very busy that morning in preparing the brunch. I
to use only  about half of the refrigerated blossoms for table
decoration -
as it turned out, that was plenty. This made a big impact on family
The flowers were set out at about 9 A.M.; the day was warm, and by noon
flowers were showing signs of duress - a few fell apart. And on top of
I discovered that the battery in my camera was dead: how did that
happen? So
I had to charge the battery, and by the time the battery was charged up,
more of the flowers had run down. I did not get any good images of this

Yesterday, several of the flowers of grand old 'Souvenir de Maxime
were fully developed, and I cut those. Today I removed the remaining two
dozen or so flowers from the refrigerator and grouped them outside with
more recently cut blooms of Souvenir for another group photograph. This
the blooms were overall in much better condition, although again a few
apart as soon as I removed their stays (I had wrapped each refrigerated
blossom in a wide band of paper to keep the flower tightly closed in the
refrigerator. Some of the blossoms expanded greatly in the

Here's a link where you can view for yourself:

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where Dichelostemma
multiflorum is putting on a good display.
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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