The peonies are blooming at Old Mission Flowers, and they are absolutely gorgeous. Owner Ginny Coulter says they’re blooming faster than normal this year because of the continual 80- and 90-degree temperatures.
She adds that there are a lot of parties happening lately and folks gathering flowers for such, “so if you want some, come early and select soft buds that will open in your vase.”
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The peony pictured below, based on Ginny’s Facebook post, is one of her “Itoh” Peonies, named after Toichi Itoh, a Japanese breeder who hybridized an herbaceous peony with a tree peony in the late 1940s. Sadly, Toichi Itoh died before he saw his new hybrids flower. The foliage is quite different from regular herbaceous peonies and the flowers are exotic.
Here are a couple of other peonies at Old Mission Flowers…
For the longest vase life, Ginny says, it’s best to pick peonies in the morning on the day that you think they’ll open. So the buds should be showing color and have started to open or be “soft.”
Keep them in deep water in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. They may be stored in a refrigerator, but should be kept away from fruits and vegetables that give off ethylene.
Old Mission Flowers boasts more than 30 kinds of peonies, and Ginny has ordered eight more that will bloom in a couple of years. Peonies are $3 per stem or 7 for $20.
Old Mission Flowers is located on the corner of Center Road and Ladd Road. The address is 16550 Center Road, but the driveway is located on Ladd Road across from the Ogdensburg Cemetery. Hours are dawn to dusk every day.
Below is a picture I took of Ginny on April 26. I was headed to the North End for a hike and saw her out weeding the flower bed along Center Road. You can see there are flowers blooming, but it had snowed that morning, covering a few cherry blossoms in the process.
And here are a few more photos from a couple of days ago. I always say how peaceful it is in Ginny’s garden, so if you feel stressed out, I highly recommend spending a little time there to decompress.
It’s been such a joy to watch her grow this beautiful flower business since opening in 2015, about the same time I started Old Mission Gazette.