Peonies forum: Summary/comparison of 5 peony suppliers - 2014

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Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan

Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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frankrichards16
Nov 10, 2014 12:27 PM CST
I ordered 25 peonies from 5 different suppliers this year. This is a quick summary/comparison of the plants received. The suppliers: Jung Seed & Nursery, G.H. Wild & Son, Brooks Garden Peonies, Fina Gardens and Tree Peony Garden. I took photos of most of the peony clumps. The flickr link is below.

Jung Seeds & Nursery - I ordered one of Jung’s Peony Collections for $43:
Paeonia lactiflora 'Big Ben' $9
Paeonia lactiflora 'Dr. Alexander Fleming' $7
Paeonia lactiflora 'Gay Paree' $11
Paeonia x 'Abalone Pearl' $16
Jung’s shipping charge is based on the dollar amount spent and in this case was $7. They do occasionally offer free shipping. The peony root clumps from Jung were on the small side, but all had at least 3 eyes. The ‘Gay Paree’ root was suspect but I decided to plant. Jung peonies are guaranteed to grow. I am fairly certain that Jung does not grow its own peonies like the rest of the suppliers in this summary. Their selection is limited.

G. H. Wild & Son - purchased the Gold Medal collection (5@ $10 ea.) and 5 others.
Paeonia lactiflora 'Festiva Maxima' $11
Paeonia lactiflora 'Joker' $14
Paeonia lactiflora 'Kansas' $10
Paeonia lactiflora 'Mother's Choice' $10
Paeonia lactiflora 'Myra MacRae' $10
Paeonia lactiflora 'Raspberry Sundae' $12
Paeonia lactiflora 'Red Charm' $10
Paeonia lactiflora 'Sorbet' $9
Paeonia x 'Henry Bockstoce' $14
Paeonia x 'Coral Charm' $10
The prices listed show a 10% discount (sale). Also shipping was free for orders over $100, but there was a $3 handling fee. It’s hard to beat Wild’s prices. Root clumps from Wild were larger than the clumps from Jung & Brooks. Wild carries many of the “old standard” peonies as well as a few newer introductions. I have ordered from Wild many times over the past 10 years. Once, I received a peony that was not true to name. I was quickly issued a refund. I sent Wild a photo of the plant and they easily made an ID (Fancy Nancy).

Brooks Garden Peonies - purchased 2 Itoh & 1 hybrid peony.
Paeonia x 'The Mackinac Grand' $35
Paeonia x (Itoh) 'Cora Louise' $60
Paeonia x (Itoh) 'Hillary' $50
Root Clumps from Brooks were on the small side, but prices for the specific peonies were good. However, the Itoh root clumps that I purchased from Svenson Gardens last year were much, much larger than these (see photos). Brooks shipping was a very reasonable $6.

Fina Gardens - 3 higher priced peonies at lower prices.
Paeonia lactiflora 'Do Tell' $17
Paeonia lactiflora 'Green Lotus' $21
Paeonia lactiflora 'Raspberry Rumba' $22
Good sized tubers, shipping $9. ‘Green Lotus’ & ‘Raspberry Rumba’ are two unusual peonies introduced by Klehm Nursery. The prices for these peonies were lower
than from Klehm Nursery. As a side note, earlier this year I ordered 3 clematis from Klehm, a buy 2 get one free (B2G1)sale. Plants were outstanding and the packaging was better than outstanding! Very impressed. Klehm’s did have a B2G1 sale on peonies just recently, but I was peonied out.

Tree Peony Garden - 5 tree peonies and an Itoh Hybrid.
Paeonia suffruticosa 'High Noon' $49
Paeonia suffruticosa 'Kinkaku' $49
Paeonia suffruticosa 'Lan Bao Shi' $39
Paeonia suffruticosa 'TPG' Bonus Plant
Paeonia x (Itoh) 'Court Jester' $50
Paeonia x P.s. x P.rockii 140009 $55
Shipping was $26. All tree peony root clumps were huge. The Itoh root clump was much larger than the Itoh root clumps from Brooks. I split this clump in two. TPG is a great place to buy tree peonies. However, their selection of Itoh peonies is very limited (3).

Here is a link to my peony clump flickr album.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/50697352@N00/sets/721576486201...
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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LizinElizabeth
Nov 10, 2014 8:20 PM CST
I ordered from 4 of the 5 you listed this year, Frank, and agree with your assessment. I was impressed with Tree Peony Garden, the lady that I talked to was very knowledgeable, professional and courteous. The prices were only slightly higher for the more common varieties than some like K van Bourgondien and the sizes were much, much bigger so more than worth it. It was obvious that they grow their own and know exactly what they're talking about.
Others that I ordered from:

A&D-good selection, prices were mid range--not cheapest or most expensive. They had a large selection and seem to always send a bonus plant. Not that I really need a bonus plant but that kind of thank you is always nice! Couldn't find the receipt in my email, sorry.

Gold City Flower Gardens--really good selection of Bigger's peonies, lots of names I'd never heard of. Prices were slightly lower than most of the big growers but not as low as GW. Roots were about the same as GW, slightly smaller than Fina.
GCF order:
BrotherChuck Brother Chuck (Klehm, RG) 1 $30.00
Centennial Centennial (Bigger 1961) 1 $20.00
ChiffonParfait Chiffon Parfait (C. Klehm 1981) 1 $20.00
LaLorraine La Lorraine (Lemoine 1901) 1 $30.00
MissDainty Miss Dainty (Bigger 1949) 1 $20.00
PastelGem Pastel Gem (Bigger 1979) 1 $20.00
PinkCameo Pink Cameo (Bigger 1954) 1 $20.00
PrairieBelle Prairie Belle (Bigger 1945) 1 $20.00
Shipping: USPS Priority mail with confirmation receipt:
$20.70

First year ordering from Solaris Farms. Their prices were comparable to Adelman's and Hollingsworth--I think all of the big growers are fairly much the same on the majority of their peonies. There does often seem to be an outlier, though, like some of the companies offering The Mackinac Grand for over $100 while others offered it for $35. Anyway, Solaris Farms root sizes were good, not exceptional, most 5-7 eyes and good sized feeder roots. My order:
Intersectional Paeonia Sequestered Sunshine 45.00
1 Herbaceous Paeonia E. B. Fernleaf 25.00
1 Herbaceous Paeonia Old Farmstead 25.00
1 Herbaceous Paeonia Moon Over Barrington 20.00
1 Herbaceous Paeonia Pink Luau 15.00
1 Select Size Woody Paeonia Age of Gold 45.00
1 Select Size Woody Paeonia Antigone 50.00
1 Shipping Out of State USPS to CO 26.50
Liz
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 11, 2014 7:31 AM CST
Thank you for your assessment of the various peony vendors with pics of the roots. I agree that tree peony garden offers the biggest tree peony roots for a very reasonable price. If I have more planting space next year, I would definitely like to order some tree peonies from them. There was a member on Gardenweb who purchased tree peonies from Tree Peony Garden last year and the trees had several blooms this past spring. That is impressive given the fact that many places that sell tree peonies say not to expect flowers the first year. I think that they have raised the bar on tree peony roots quality.

Karen
[Last edited by kousa - Mar 5, 2016 2:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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LizinElizabeth
Nov 11, 2014 6:30 PM CST
If you don't want to buy any this year don't look at her Collector's Corner! Very large trees for very little money! Very limited selection so it could be too late, anyway.
Liz
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Nov 11, 2014 8:52 PM CST
thanks for all the information and effort to input it. I can't believe you got MacKinac Grand for $35 !! What a steal.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs Region: Georgia
Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias Roses
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Cem9165
Nov 11, 2014 9:30 PM CST
I also want to say thanks for doing this comparison. I find this information very helpful.

Mary, I found Mackinac Grand for $28 dollars at Adelman's😁
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Nov 12, 2014 11:55 AM CST
Amazing. I bought it several years ago for $85. I grant you it was huge but still....
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs Region: Georgia
Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias Roses
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Cem9165
Nov 12, 2014 9:36 PM CST
Ouch, that was pricy! Adelman's sent a nice tuber. TMG has been planted in the new bed. Hopefully, I'll get to see some blooms in the next few years.
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Nov 13, 2014 7:49 AM CST
Peonies sure do hold to the old saying, "the first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap". Guess that means I need to purchase a few new ones each year so that I get to see some new blooms each year!

All the roots various vendors have sent look quite good, thanks for taking the time to post the comparisons! Now it's just a matter of waiting to see if all the varieties are correct.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
[Last edited by gemini_sage - Dec 4, 2014 1:59 PM (+)]
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Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Oberon46
Nov 13, 2014 9:45 AM CST
I have been really lucky with mine. Most of them bloom the next year after planting.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Nov 13, 2014 11:12 AM CST
Last year was my first year purchasing some named Peonies. The 2 potted ones I bought in late spring both bloomed this spring, and 1 of the 3 from Songsparrow bloomed, so I guess that's pretty good. Those from SS were from the end of season buy 2 get 1 free sale, so perhaps since 5 of the 8 I added this year spent less time out of the ground, they may be more likely to bloom. In any case, the new ones that didn't bloom this year will be likely to show off in 2015.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 13, 2014 10:10 PM CST
Makinac Grand is a beautiful and vigorous peony. It gave me 7 flowers in its first year of growth. It has very sturdy stems but I don't believe that it is fragrant.

MG in spring 2014
Thumb of 2014-11-14/kousa/b141de

Root of MG planted in fall 2013
Thumb of 2014-12-05/kousa/6beef3

[Last edited by kousa - Dec 4, 2014 9:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs Region: Georgia
Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias Roses
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Cem9165
Nov 13, 2014 10:25 PM CST
That is one gorgeous peony! Thanks for posting this picture. It makes me look forward even more to seeing this plant bloom.
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Nov 14, 2014 5:13 AM CST
Kousa, your TMG is gorgeous! Amazing first year show! Makes me extra excited to see mine bloom! Where did you get yours? I got it from Adelmans.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Nov 14, 2014 12:40 PM CST
Thank you. I was overjoyed to see 7 buds on it this spring. I think it broke the records of having the most buds for a newly planted peony over all the peonies that I planted. The most that I ever got for a first year plant is between 3-4 flowers and even that is rare. I got TMG from Harold Entsminger, a peony hybridizer from Montana.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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LizinElizabeth
Nov 23, 2014 9:48 AM CST

It's snowing today, picture from my craftroom window, too cold to go out! Got the last of my peonies and a few anemone bulbs planted yesterday, just in time!
Thumb of 2014-11-23/LizinElizabeth/80ee4a

Liz
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Hybridizer Tomato Heads Pollen collector Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Cat Lover
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Charter ATP Member Garden Photography Seed Starter Region: Wisconsin
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magnolialover
Dec 4, 2014 7:32 AM CST

Moderator

Thanks for posting your comparisons. One follow up that would also be great is who sent you what you ordered. One of the most important things for me in this process is getting the correct root/plant. I'd rather buy directly from the grower too, knowing I can go back to them directly if I have a problem. Size can depend on recent growing conditions also, I know in the midwest portions had drought conditions to a severity for a couple of years.These conditions, just like any farmer/grower can effect your product.

Another thing to look at would be, did size translate into blooming the first year? It is supposed to, but I'd be curious about that. Since you have a lot documented here, follow up would be interesting and much appreciated.

Thanks for your information. I have my favorite growers and will pay a little more to buy from them. I more often go for a specific peony I am looking for then choose a favorite farmer. I also participate in our peony society auction in the fall and obtain favorites (and more rare) peonies that way.
Tracey
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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CarolineScott
Dec 4, 2014 8:39 AM CST
Being in Canada, I can not buy peonies from any of these,
but I am fascinated by the wide variety of peonies you people have mentioned.
I do hope that you will continue to tell us how these cultivars grow.
Pictures too? later?
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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LizinElizabeth
Dec 4, 2014 6:56 PM CST
Magnolialover, I really thought all of the Fina roots from last fall would've bloomed last spring but that wasn't the case. Didn't have any higher percentage of blooms from the Fina roots than from any of the others. Maybe 2nd year after everything establishes for more than a full year? I'll certainly post pictures! Have been very good about labeling peonies for the last 3 years or so and will post if any are incorrectly marked.
Liz
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Dec 4, 2014 9:24 PM CST
That is a great idea, Tracey. I would be very interested to know whether there is a correlation of blooms to the size of roots and size of eyes. I have added the pic of Mackinac Grand peony root to the pic of the plant in spring 2014 in the post above. Here is another peony that bloomed for me in its first year.

Salmon Dream

Thumb of 2014-12-05/kousa/65b24c

Salmon Dream Root

Thumb of 2014-12-05/kousa/aaec22



[Last edited by kousa - Dec 4, 2014 9:30 PM (+)]
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