Showing posts with label tree peony. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tree peony. Show all posts

Thursday, May 17, 2012


So we went shopping today to find peonies that will hopefully be in bloom come Sunday for the Seattle Chinese Garden's peony event!

Notice that I'm speaking that afternoon!!  I hope you can make it!

So while we're crossing our fingers for flowers, guess who's blooming at Landwave:



Sunday, April 29, 2012

There's always room for J-E-L-L-O and seasonal cut flowers!!

It's been somewhat of a dismal past few days, but I have to share a highlight of last week as I ventured out with some friends up to Mt. Vernon. We skipped the so called "Tulip Traffic" at this time of year up there in the Skagit Valley, but instead, we paid a visit to a place that will be getting a lot of press and attention thanks to a fantastic new book written and photographed by two wonderful friends, Debra Prinzing and David Perry.

Their book is "The 50 Mile Bouquet: Seasonal, Local, and Sustainable Flowers"

On the gorgeous cover, an abundant farm was featured along with its proprietor: it's Diane Szukovathy of Jello Mold Farms (on the right). I met Diane in person at the Hardy Plant Society of Washington's lecture series last year where she spoke and shared her knowledge, enthusiasm and undeniable passion for the work that she does. She just FLEW through the lecture and you were totally with her if you knew your plants. Hahaha. She was so excited and kept everyone so engaged! LOVED IT!

I've been meaning to pay her a visit, but the push to make the appointment came about when a volunteer of mine at the UW shared that she and a classmate of hers were starting up a small business doing landscape design and custom floral work. She expressed such a deep interest in using locally grown and produced materials and I thought it would be a perfect field trip for her to meet Diane and also see where some of her future "cuts" may come from.

Diane Teaches Ladies

Diane kindly welcomed us and gave us a tour of her fields and growing production. While there weren't acres and acres of fantastic flowers just yet, we saw the roots and foundation of a successful and productive flower crop.

 Looking into Polyhouse

Rows and rows of dahlia cuttings rooted and hardening off, beds of one of my favorite, self seeding annuals, Cerinthe, the sweet peas beginning to climb up their trellises. It looks like so much hard work, yet it was compelling to witness just how it all works and grows.

Diane with Peony
Diane with a luscious tree peony just starting to open

Peony Bud
A tree peony bud almost ready to pick.
. The greatest thing about small cut flower farms like Jello Mold is the emphasis on diversity. They freely experiment on what makes a great "cut" and use such a wide assortment of varieties so nothing goes to waste. They compost, use biological controls, no chemicals and everything is able to "go back to the earth".  From the young shoots of ornamental grasses to the colorful abundance of fruits in the fall and winter, designers are blessed with a plethora of plant selections and it forces them to really think outside of the box in assembling their creations. It truly is fascinating!

Seed Starting
Diversity begins inside a simple greenhouse where she sows an array of different varieties along with some customer requests.

Hellebores make a good cut as well, but you have to harvest them after the stamens fall of.

Seedlings with Jello Molds
A flat of seedlings hardening off with Jello Molds behind. =)

.What's most remarkable and noteworthy about Diane is her work ethic and commitment to her craft. I could not believe that she runs that farm with very minimal help and she also does landscape work in the Seattle area just to keep the farm going! She is full force, smart, and absolutely A HERO wanting to make a positive change in our world by sharing her world of responsibly grown flowers to brighten our spirits.

I must come back and visit this summer when everything is burst into blooms!

For more information on Jello Mold Farm and where you can get their flowers, Visit their website:


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Seattle Chinese Garden's 1st Peony Festival

I'm kind of bummed that I won't be here to help celebrate China's most famous flowering plant at the Seattle Chinese Garden this Saturday.

Paeonia suffructicosa hybrid

Our horticulture committee has endured a few challenges lately, yet we're moving forward in hosting our first even horticultural event by showcasing the genus Paeonia

Peonies have long been popular garden plants, but it never seems popular enough in the Puget Sound Area to garner its own exhibition. Perhaps it's because of the busy time of year when you're competing with plant sales, garden opens, etc. etc., but in Chinese culture, the peony is much celebrated and we thought that we'd begin a tradition of acknowledging this beautiful flower each year so the Seattle Chinese Garden becomes a destination for folks to come visit what we hope to be the largest collection of tree and herbaceous peonies in Western Washington that's open to the public.

For our first attempt at this, Swanson's Nursery kindly lent us 3 plants for the festivities this Saturday. Here they are being delivered. Oh, driving around with these blossoms and their scent was heavenly!!

This first year is really a trial run using the handful of tree peonies we have in our nursery holding area that haven't received the best of care, but are still quite remarkable. They'll be showcased in glazed ceramic Chinese pots

There will be a flower arranging demonstration, a running slideshow of a Peony festival in China and photos of many cultivars available in the trade. There will also be information about care and culture of peonies and potted herbaceous peonies for sale.

The event will also offer an opportunity to see the new "Knowing the Spring Courtyard" and the early stages of future construction.

I hope you'll come and support our humble horticulture committee and see some wonderful tree peonies in bloom and see the brand new courtyard!

WHAT: Seattle Chinese Garden's 1st Annual Peony Festival

WHERE: 6000 16th Ave. SW, Seattle WA 98106

WHEN: Saturday, May 21st. 12PM-5:30PM


For more information visit the Seattle Chinese Garden website!


I hope to share my peony pride and joy in future years with my precious:

Paeonia rockii pair

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

SOAFB!!!! Grrrrrrr

Grrrrrr!! Was forcing this tree peony for the flower and garden show and discovered this! SOAFB!!!!