Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A long sought after peony

As a kid, I had plant catalogs under my bed (vs. the usual dirty porn most boys had under their mattress) and one of them had this pink peony on the cover that I was so infatuated with called 'Vivid Rose'. It was a photo that was most likely staged to give it the appearance of abundant blooms, but it was it's description that made me want it so very badly. Fully double pink, voluptuous ( didn't know what that meant, but it sounded good!) petals with powerful and enchanting fragrance that one bloom can scent an entire room!!!!! What held me back was the near $30 per 3-5 eye division plus shipping it was supposedly worth. At that time, I couldn't justify why I'd spend my monthly allowance for a single plant.

Peony Vivid Rose

In an old episode of the Victory Garden on PBS that I rented from our library, I noticed one segment was a tour of the peony fields of the Klehm family (now called Klehm's Song Sparrow) in Illinois. There they discussed peony breeding and showcased several hybrids that just made my mouth water as I rewound it again and again to see flower after gorgeous flower on the television screen and one such flower happened to be 'Vivid Rose'. It was voluptuous and HUGE!

Years passed and I'd think about it each fall as peony catalogs came in the mail or appeared online and I always intended to get it because the sooner I have it in my possession, the sooner I can plant so the sooner I can experience their luscious blooms because peonies take a few years to really get established. But each year I flake and fail to place an order.

THIS SPRING IS THE YEAR it finally happened when I noticed the peony in a 2 gallon pot with 4 budded stems at a local garden center. I eventually caved and willingly paid $24.99 plus tax for the plant.

Now, to witness it in bloom....

Will I still be enchanted by what appears to be just another pink, double flowered herbaceous peony? Or, will I find it plain, ordinary, and "so over with.."??

I'll let you know in early June!



  1. While peonies aren't my thing, I totally know the feeling. I was quite ecstatic when I happened across an $11 Austrocylindropuntia floccosa the other day - that has been on my 'lust list' for many years! I just put it in a bigger pot tonight. Now to find Anarthrophyllum desideratum again...

  2. Funny the lengths we will go to for certain plants. I too have found myself under the spell of Paeonia, but for me there are only two that silently beckon every year! Just parted with $50 each for another P. mlokosewitschii [Molly the Witch] and P. veitchii var. Woodwardii. Looking forward to your photos. Fingers are crossed!