Monday, May 2, 2016

Brooks Gardens

This weekend was my annual pilgrimage for peonies and plants.

My peony pal Anita met us at 9:30am and we all piled into the car and headed off to Adelman's for 10% off potted peony plants.

We had previously discussed our over/unders and made bets who would buy the most plants or spend the most money. I think I won this year, with the most spent and the most peonies bought (5). Although I might have tied with Alan, because he bought an iris and a peony at Brooks.

The cart in the front was mine!
This year we all opted for some larger potted Itoh and/or tree peonies. Alan and Anita are running out of room, so selecting one really special Itoh or tree peony this year was what they were after. 

I did finally remember to buy a big bag of peony fertilizer!  I had it written on the back of my hand and all over my catalog, so if I forgot again, I would have kicked myself.

After Adleman's we popped around the corner to Brooks Gardens. They are a relatively new peony farm (15 years) and an iris garden. They are only open May-June for retail, but you can also mail order bare roots for fall planting anytime.

You can see their little sign from the road, then turn off the freeway, down a gravel road and after a few twists and turns, you arrive at the grassy parking lot and sales area. 

The peony sales area is small, but has a wide selection of herbaceous and Itoh peonies for sale. Their prices are competitive and sometimes we find an unusual peony variety, so we always like to look. 

A bonus of stopping here is being able to wander through their growing fields, but even better is their iris garden area. It's a little chaotic, but there are many bearded iris here of all shapes and sizes. There are not many name tags, so it's hard to know what anything is, but there are so many pretty iris, so it doesn't really matter. It's a great place to wander.

Fields of Siberian Iris

I did see one iris that caught my eye out in the growing field. I snapped a picture and was lucky enough to show it to the owner?, and he knew exactly where it was and that it was for sale potted for $7. Score!
'Jungle Shadows' - My $7 Iris


The bees were crazy happy with this peony!

One of the many growing display areas