The Peony Garden Blog

February 2010 Project Update

Believe it or not, winter is a busy time for the Peony Project! All of the planning for the upcoming year needs to happen now, because once May hits and the peonies begin to emerge, it’ll be all peonies, all the time. Over the last month or so, I have spent some time tracking the movement of peony cultivars throughout the peony garden. Beginning with the original 1927 garden plan and continuing through the 2010 garden plan, I have noted which plants were in which locations within the garden during which years. It was a tedious task, to say the least, to track individual plants through a planting plan of nearly x800 spaces. However, it has given me great insight to the identities of some unknowns as well as plants that may be incorrectly identified.

Other winter tasks have included determining which historic annuals will be planted in the peony garden this spring. There are many factors to consider whilst making a decision. There is no irrigation in the garden, so these plants will need to be tough and capable of handling dry conditions if we have a dry summer. Also, there is a thriving population of deer and groundhogs here at the Arb who will be very happy to mow down our annuals if we pick tasty varieties. It’s going to be quite the experiment! Additionally, we have begun to create interpretive and educational materials for the peony garden. This spring, themed maps will be available for visitors to carry with them around the garden to learn more about the collection. New signage will also be in place. Be sure to check back each month for a new project update!


tracking locations unknowns identification winter irrigation deer

About the Author

Carmen Tracey

Peony Garden Intern