I don't know what's on your bucket list, but you need to add "Visit a Peony Farm in full bloom."
This magnificent peony is named Lavon. I can't get over the shape and texture of this variety - the bloom is almost completely round. I would love to be able to make flower arrangements with these happy blooms.
This peony farm is called Peony Farm Gardens (website and facebook: ilovepeonies.com) and it is located on the Olympic Peninsula near the town of Sequim (pronounced Skwim). I feel like I have found a hidden treasure.
We visited on June 4 this year and every plant was in bloom. I have never seen anything like it! Peonies are best when planted in the fall, so this garden is a showcase to help gardeners choose which varieties they want to grow. You can order now and they will charge and ship in the fall. How can we be expected to decide?!
Though I do know that I picked the variety called "Seashell" over and over, so that pinky/coral bloom (above) is a must. I also loved Coral Charm, Felix Supreme and Gay Paris.
The garden offers some cut flowers for sale, but honestly the choices were only the classic solids (a Sarah Bernhardt-like rose pink and another in deep magenta) which would not be the kind of bouquet I'd want.
If the owner would offer to cut a few stems based on the color the customer wanted, I think they would sell a lot more bouquets. But...maybe that is not want they want to do. Maybe selling cut flowers would deplete their showy gardens and we wouldn't want that! I want their business to prosper so that we can do something as wonderful as plan a trip to a peony farm.
Sequim, Washington is a 2 1/2 hour drive from the east side of Seattle and arriving during peony season has made it our best road trip yet.
Can you imagine walking these fields? I kept thinking, "If you plant it, they will come." And we did!