Itoh Peony/Sweet Pea Report 2015

 First Peony of the year
A better year this year than 2014 for our 'Misaka' Itoh Peony. There are ten flower buds;  last year the poor plant managed only four.  January 2014 was so consistently warm I think it affected the plant more than this January's dryness.  I planted it back in 2012.
The plant, looking good.  That's bloom #2:

 It's fun having a special plant or two.  The Itoh peony certainly is one of mine. 
At a local garden center, the pink 'Keiko'.
A very disappointing year for Sweet Peas.  I planted four raised beds with them.  The plants grew vigorously.  They looked great.  I anticipated masses of flowers.  But due to several fierce heat waves, almost all the flowers shriveled and fell off as soon as they appeared.  Some beach-area growers had better luck;  look at these beauties displayed at the local garden center's Sweet Pea show:  
'Pandemonium':
 'Grandma Butt':
 No, I am not making that name up!  See?
'Cupani' is an old standard: 
 There was a contest with prizes, but sadly very few entrants--it was a lousy Sweet Pea year for a lot of people.  Here's a pretty one:
 This was mine.  This was every flower stem from three raised beds worth of big, strong plants.  Sad!  They did smell wonderful.
I will cherish every precious Peony flower:
 For the Sweet Peas,  as fans of the Chicago Cubs always say,  Better luck next year! 

Comments

  1. Itoh peonies are very special. Absolutely ludicrous money over here.

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    1. They are ludicrous money here, too. I'm lucky to have the one.

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  2. Your Peony is so beautiful dear Hoover, I love the colour. Such a disappointment that your Sweet Peas were effected by the weather but that gorgeous fragrance was still there.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the Peony. I have a little vase of sweet peas and it is silly but I walk around the house with them. So sweet!

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    2. That is not silly, Sweet Peas are so lovely and fragrant, they always remind me of my Mother's beautiful garden.
      xoxoxo ♡

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  3. Your peony is gorgeous! I can see why it's a special favorite of yours. It's hard for me to imagine that you already have sweet peas blooming--I haven't even planted any here yet. I had no idea there were so many types of them, though. Your pink and white ones are my favorite; this is the type my grandmother always grew and brings back so many fond memories.

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    1. Here the standard advice is to plant them the first weekend in September. Sweet peas always bring back happy memories for people--yet another reason to love them.

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    2. Plant sweet peas, that is.

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  4. I planted sweet peas at my community garden and my mom's raised bed at the same time. I didn't get over to water my sweet peas for well over a month and dug up their shriveled carcasses yesterday....but we're cutting bunches from my mom's little garden. They're a deep lav/pink with amazing scent -- I think from Roger's. I'll see if I can find the tag. And projected weather reports for April show excellent sweet pea weather! Those blasted early heat waves are the villains.

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    1. Excellent sweet pea weather? Maybe I won't pull them out today after all. Did you get some rain? We got a little, joy, joy!

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  5. Congrats on the peony blooms and condolences on the sweet peas. I saw that the Itoh peonies arrived in the nurseries but I'm resolute that I will not buy another unless I get blooms on my 'Keiko,' which I planted in 2013 and didn't bloom in 2014. I'm giving it more water than the surrounding plants and it has leafed out but there are no sign of buds (yet - I hold out hope). I didn't plant sweet peas from seed this year as I used the space for sugar snap peas, which were promptly devoured (2x) by something - I did put in a 6 seedling sweet pea plants after that fiasco but, while not dead, they haven't done much. Next year, I'm planting sweet peas from seed early with the hope of pre-heatwave blooms.

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    1. Bummer about 'Keiko'! Based on performance of this year vs. last I wonder if a bit of (relative) chill helps. I sited mine where the soil gets the coldest in the winter but there is spring/summer sun. I'm wondering if a 30% shade cloth would help in summer, as the leaves start to scorch in August, but that will look pretty odd, sitting under its own little shelter. I don't think the Itohs are particularly thirsty--do you?

      Last year I think we slept with all the windows open upstairs all winter long--at least this year it was only about half the time.

      Did you notice all of a sudden temperatures are "seasonal" again? Looks to be "seasonal" (normal!) the whole month of April--is our luck going to change, finally? Or is that more straw-grasping?

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    2. I want to believe that March was an anomaly (just as I wanted to believe that last year's May heatwaves were) but I have to admit that the overall trend seems warmer, as well as drier. My 'Keiko' formerly received some afternoon shade from the Agonis that we pulled out to satisfy our neighbor so I imagine it will suffer this summer - if it does bloom for me this year, perhaps I'll move it. I think my plant wanted more water in its first year in the garden than it got.

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  6. for two years in a row, my sweet peas failed to show. Now I feel less singled out, if not less disappointed.

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