Old House Gardens
From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
MADAME DUCEL, 1880
We like this not-too-big, baby-pink peony so much that it was one of the first we offered in 2008. Or tried to. Massive flooding destroyed our Iowa grower’s entire crop that year, and the good Madame’s future looked bleak. But now she’s back — and as upright, floriferous, and perfectly coiffed as ever. 3-5 eye roots, 28-30”, zones 3-7S/8bWC, from Iowa. Last offered in 2011. We expect to offer it again periodically.
MARY BRAND, 1907
With glossy, ruffled petals of deep claret-red, this Minnesota-bred beauty is great in the garden, where it blooms profusely on strong stems, and in bouquets, where it lasts and lasts. It’s also “a rich source of nectar,” says expert Martin Page, “and very attractive to bees.” 3-5 eye roots, 28-32”, mid, zones 3-7S/8WC, from Iowa. Last offered in 2011. We expect to offer it again periodically.
Japanese-style peonies were unknown in America till ‘Mikado’ caused a sensation when it bloomed en masse at the Japanese exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Its dark, raspberry-red petals surround a tuft of golden staminodes – elegant and unforgettable! Strong stems, 3-5 eye roots, 36-38”, zones 3-7S/8WC, from Iowa. Last offered in 2009. We expect to offer it again periodically.
MONS. MARTIN CAHUZAC, 1899
Generations of gardeners have celebrated ‘Monsieur Cahuzac’ as the darkest peony of all. Its silky, ruffled petals are deep, dark maroon-crimson touched with a luster of midnight. Wow! Free-flowering, strong stems. 3-5 eye roots, 32-34”, zones 3-7S/7WC, from Iowa. Last offered in 2008. We expect to offer it again periodically.
MONSIEUR JULES ELIE, 1888
One of only ten lactifloras to win the RHS Award of Garden Merit, this luxurious Victorian is one of the world’s most popular peonies. Even in the South, says guru Felder Rushing, its huge, fragrant blooms are “absolutely dependable.” 3-5 eye roots, 30” mid-season, zones 3-8aS/8bWC, from Iowa. Last offered in 2010. We plan to offer it again periodically.
MYRTLE GENTRY, 1925
Often called the most fragrant peony of all, ‘Myrtle’ opens pale pink with hints of cream and apricot before maturing to a lovely white. It was bred in Minnesota (so you know it’s tough) by America’s first family of peonies, the Brands. Strong stems. 3-5 eye roots, 36”, zones 3-7S/8WC, from Iowa. Last offered in 2011. We expect to offer it again periodically.
Peaonia officinalis, RUBRA PLENA, 1568
For centuries before Chinese peonies arrived here in the 1800s, colonial gardeners grew this ancient European peony both for its herbal properties – as reflected in its species name, officinalis – and its tough, vibrant beauty. Blooming weeks before the lactifloras, it’s also the classic “Memorial Day piney” of pioneer graveyards. 3-5 eye roots, 28-32”, zones 3a-7bS/7bW, from Iowa. Last offered in 2008. We expect to offer it again periodically.
SEA SHELL, 1937
Winner of the APS Gold Medal as one of the best peonies ever, ‘Sea Shell’ produces a flurry of big, soft pink, single flowers on sturdy stems, each illuminated by a heart of yellow stamens. 3-5 eye roots, 30-36”, zones 3-7S/7WC, from an Iowa nursery that’s been growing peonies since 1887. Last offered in 2008. We expect to offer it again periodically.
SOUVENIR DE LOUIS BIGOT, 1913
“A real treasure” and “nothing short of gorgeous,” raved Alice Harding in her 1923 Peonies in the Little Garden. The warm, shell-pink color of rarely-offered “Lwee Bee-GO” makes it a stand-out even today, its ample flowers seem sculpted by an artist, and its stems are strong. 3-5 eye roots, 34-36” late-blooming, zones 3-7S/8WC, from Iowa. Last offered in 2010. We plan to offer it again periodically.
Tulips We Hope To Offer Again
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