Good morning, my friends. It was the usual busy day here at the Three Cats Ranch yesterday. My day started with watering the annuals, and then I took a little walk around the yard. Also, I have some information to share with you about the cruel Rosy Prospects peony. I'll tell you in just a minute, but let's check-in and see what's growing on in the garden.
First, I'm really quite taken with these blueberries. You can see the little berries forming, but aren't the flowers so pretty and colorful?
Although the foliage grows fairly quickly, these are relatively slow-maturing plants, and seedlings may require three or four years before they begin to bloom. However, potted nursery plants are usually at least two years old before they are sold, and a good healthy one-gallon nursery specimen may provide you with blooms in its first year. If you are buying mail-order bare roots, expect rather slow growth in the first year or two.
Mine are bare root, and so...okay...four years with no mature flowers isn't unheard of.
But I was more interested in this from Ovans Peony Farm:
I don't know what is happening here, but it makes me wonder if it's one of those plants from mass production that they are using tissue culture to mass produce instead of actual root division. I have heard some of these plants never act or bloom correctly.
Another comment was this one from Therese, who is identified as a "group expert." She says:
I have long suspected something in a few Itohs is 'out of whack'; and, I too wonder about a connection to tissue culture. Prairie Charm (not tissue cultured) and Rosy Prospects (possible tissue cultured) have been the two prominently unreliable Itoh's for us. Rosy Prospects can be beautiful one year and look like heck several years in a row. I quit offering it for that reason. Other Itohs can have drastic changes to color hues (depending upon cloud cover or sun during bud formation/bloom). Many are consistent year to year. Those with petal irregularities, such as Rosy Prospects simply appear deformed.
Intersectional peonies are a cross between two species of peonies: bush peonies and woody peonies. Sometimes the cross is unstable and does strange things. Sometimes the following year it will return to normal.
And her response kind of got my hackles up because I'd already said in the feed that I'd visited their "farm" in person and asked for advice about my peony. I was told to contact them using the email link on their website...which I did...three times. My emails were ignored. In my third email I told them I was probably going to replace this peony, but that I'd be shopping elsewhere next time. (BTW, I'm told Swenson Gardens in Minnesota is a good place.) So, when I saw Carol's response, I responded with this:
Mine has never been normal in the four years it has been in the ground. If it doesn’t bloom this year, I will replace it. However, these are not inexpensive, and so I hate the idea of having paid for a bare root tuber from a grower I thought was reputable only to have it fail completely. I have tried multiple times to request advice or assistance from the grower, and my emails and in-person questions have been ignored. It’s very disappointing.
And that's where it stands today. She has not responded to my post. We'll see if anything else happens, and I'll be sure to keep you updated as the peony drama continues to unfold, both on Facebook and in the garden.
And just a final word on the peonies. Yesterday, I noticed this on one of the other plants: