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Peony Party Time

I never thought this day would come: The day we would start offering Peonies in our web shop. I always felt the need to have them: Peonies are flowers everyone loves. When someone sees them for the first time, they always ask what THOSE flowers are, and from that moment on, Peonies are among their favourite flowers. We all know I’ve spent some money on Daffodils over the course of my life, but I did the same thing for a Peony, once: Red Charm.Peony 'Red Charm'

That was about thirty-three years ago. Now, I can offer them to you, so you can have them for yourself as well. If you’ve never had these in your garden, I hope I can entice you to try something new this year.Carl G. Klehm 

I’ve had so much fun putting together our Peony assortment. It was something new for me entirely, and I had the time of my life visiting new growers (and old friends, who carry Peonies as well as flowers we already offered). I’ve only met more incredible people doing this, it truly seems like there are no rotten eggs among flower-bulb-loving-people. 

Everyone is always enthusiastic, but the Peony-growers still managed to surprise me with their passion and love for these flowers. They are absolutely convinced of the potential of the Peony as a garden flower, and they all feel she is deeply underrated and underappreciated. They might be right, too. Peonies are guaranteed to get you compliments from neighbours and friends during barbecues and garden parties. Peonies are also very reliable: They tend to do well, and they come back, too.Garden Treasure (Itoh) 

Right now, Peonies are still growing out in the fields. If Mother Nature doesn’t do anything too crazy, we will be able to harvest them in September. Those will have been in the ground for two or three years with their growers. These ones are too big to be packaged as a whole, so they will be cut into pieces very precisely, so every plant has a clod with three to five ‘eyes’. This is also what you can expect when you order Peonies through Fluwel. They will be harvested fresh, a nice, large piece, with healthy roots that can start growing in your own garden. Peonies are perennials, they want to be in the ground more than anything. This means you’ll have to plant her as soon as possible after receiving your order. We intend to deliver them in the second half of October, but as always, it will depend on the weather. We want to start shipping them at the same time as the Amaryllises. If you need any more information regarding Peonies and how to plant them, that will be available on our website at the ‘Flower Bulb Information’ tab. If you have no experience with Peonies, I strongly recommend doing this: anyone can carry out the instructions, but it is possible to make a mistake!Tulip 'Avantgarde'

This is a Tulip with a Peony-flower, as we call that. A bit of a dad joke on my part. I wanted to make sure you remember that we also have other flowers in our shop, in case you had forgotten! Which reminds me, I still have to tell you about this year’s expected harvest. Usually, some colleague reminds me of the expectations of this particular year, but this year, everyone kind of keeps quiet. I know why: no one has any idea. The only thing we know for sure is that it can’t be good. ‘The weather wasn’t the best,’ is the most polite way to put it. The harvest is totally random, it seems. Some varieties were influenced pretty badly by this year’s rain, and rain, and rain, other things seemed to hold up well. Tulip growers especially feel very bad for Mother Nature: she isn’t doing very well. But we’ll see. There is nothing we can do, except accept our losses and try to make the best of it. It could be that some things won’t be in our web shop this year, even if we previously carried it. I’ll tell you more about that next week, let me get back to the Peonies for one more moment! 

I’ve been very busy photographing every variety we are going to offer. Most Peonies are double flowers, but they are not always, even though most people would expect that. Sometimes, in their first year, varieties that will have double flowers later on are showing you a humble, single flower in their first season. If there is one central flower on a stem, surrounded by smaller ones, those surrounding flowers can also be singles in their first year. Just be patient and encouraging: you can give her a little speech, or a motivational talk, or do your morning workout in the garden next to your Peony plant. All those things tend to work wonders! 

Seasoned gardeners know all of that already, but I can imagine some people wondering if all is well when they see this for the first time. I’ve chosen these two pictures of Snow Princess, so you can see what I mean. The large, double flower is an adult plant, the equally pretty, but not as impressive version next to it is a baby or a surrounding flower.Snow Princess

It’s almost time to let you go again, but I really do hope you’ll have a look at our new category this year. One last message: this might be the moment to ‘top off’ your Dahlias, if you choose to do this. If you pinch off the top of the plants, the Dahlia will grow thicker and more voluminous. The plant will appear much fuller as a result of this. The downside of this is that they might bloom a few weeks later than when you do not do this, but as a reward, they’ll give you way more flowers. Your decision! This is a little instruction

You can see how, after pinching off the tops, there will be two new stems in its place. Instead of one, you will have two, which is more than one. I don’t know if I can explain it any other way 😀It slows down growth just a little, but like I said, the plant as a whole will be fuller and more voluminous. There might be readers whose Dahlias are already past the moment of doing this, but mine are at the exact right moment now, so I wanted to share with you anyway. When in serious doubt, email us a photo. We can have a look with you. 

Kind regards,

Carlos van der VeekOne last Peony: 'Paula Fay'