Back in May, when Jacob was working diligently on finishing his thesis project for his masters at the UO, one of my favorite flowers was in season, the peony (I get to excited just thinking about the lushness of this flower). I decided to take a little Saturday pilgrimage on my own to an actual peony farm, Adelman Peony Farm, about 50 minutes south of Portland. I’m pretty sure this was one of the suppliers we used while I worked at Geranium Lake.
After the drive south of Portland, I arrived to Adelman Peony farms. At first, all I saw was a very manicured garden by the house on the premises, as well as an area with small plants for sale. After looking around the gorgeous garden and taking pictures, I ventured to the barn, which appeared to be a gift shop. I was about to leave when I thought, “Why not just explore behind the barn” where it looked like there were crops (vegetables and fruits) growing. I mean, I did drive all this way, why not take a peak at the rest of the farm. Then, my mind was blown away! As I turned the corner around the barn I could see a sea of colors in the distance. It was absolutely breath-taking to see so many of these flowers growing.
Prepare yourself for quite a lot of flower photos. You have been warned.
The peonies were organized in rows with a collection of rows having a specific variety. There were traditional peonies and tree peonies in reds, pinks, whites, yellows and some surprising shades as well. I spent the next few hours just walking around and enjoying seeing each variety in a different stage of life (different varieties bloom at different times throughout the “peony season”. Some varieties were almost done, while some were only buds.
After being in peony heaven for a few hours, I made my way back to the entrance area where they were selling some fresh peonies. Well of course, I HAD TO GET SOME! I went home with these little beauties. I know what you are thinking- those are just buds…. but, that is the best way to buy them. They will last the longest when they are at the beginning stages of their growth. Side note, peonies fade as they age, so you should always purchase the vibrant, more closed budded version of the variety you are looking at to buy. You will get the longest life out of them in your home if you also keep them in a cool area away from direct sunlight and heat. If you buy a bud and it doesn’t open, check to see if the bud itself feels sticky or like it has a hard shell. If this is the case, you just need to give it a bath ok, now I’m getting off my floral designer soap box. (but if you ever need advice on flowers let me know.)
Once I had chosen my goodies to take home I quickly made my way to get them into the air conditioning of the car, and began to make my way back to Portland. The peonies arrived at our home, and went straight into water after getting a fresh cut. Then, of course, my creative juices started flowing, and I just had to create this arrangement with the raspberry charm and coral charm peonies I purchased.
All in all, I would say this was incredibly fun and I would recommend for any flower enthusiast or someone just intrigued by the beauty God has created, to take a little trip to a peony farm.
All photos by Tracy Spence