Heartland Peony Society

Calendar of Events
These are some of the past events of the HPS

September 25-26, 2009 
Fall Events
The Heartland Peony Society Fall Event 
 Friday & Saturday, September 25-26, 2009

The Heartland Peony Society had another round of peony events last weekend that were exceedingly well received.

Each year we have a multi-event program open to members and the public. This year started weeks ago as we began to receive the 800 or so peonies we hoped to offer in our biennial sale. Board members, friends and various helpers inspected and packed each plant to assure proper conditions, label, name and sale price. These packing parties are always fun and social events.

Last Friday after picking up our guest speaker, we all met for a member's pot-luck dinner. Our club supplies a choice of main courses, drinks, plates and cutlery. Members bring side dishes, desserts, salad, etc. Of course we barely make a dent in the bounty, but we gain strength for the following events.

President Talis Bergmanis chairs our official annual meeting and presented new officers and board members.  The highly anticipated auction of Rare Peonies did not fail to elicit pangs of plant lust. we offered some 30 + plants including herbaceous and tree peonies, intersectionals and rare species. Among the highest bids were 'Lois' Choice', 'Baron Thyssen Bourneisza',' Pastelegance', 'Sonoma Welcome', Paeonia qiui and 'Themis'. This is our major fund raiser as all plants are donated and proceeds help to keep our educational and plant donations active.

The Public program by guest Carsten Burkhardt was very well received. " New Peonies in European Gardens' showed the top peony gardens and such luminaries as Riviere, Osti and the late Sir Peter Smithers. Around 100 people attended and were enthralled.

The public sale followed immediately with all the talk attendees and many, many more rushing to get first choice. During the course of a few hours we sold hundreds of choice peonies such as 'The Mackinac Grand', 'Salmon Dream'', 'Ruffled Sunset', Bartzella',
numerous choice American and Japanese tree peonies and much more.

The member and public events form an unparalleled opportunity to meet and socialize with peony lovers from our Metro are as well as friends from IL, AR, PA, our state wide members from MO and KS and many others. The combination of sale, public program, social events and peony ambience is beyond equal. We urge all peony lovers to band
together to form more local peony clubs and encourage the friendly fun we all experienced.

Thanks to all our donors across the US and international.

May 12, 2007 
10am - Noon
Spring Event 
The Heartland Peony Society Spring Event 
 Saturday May 12th 2007

We had our Spring Event at the growing field of Bannister Garden Center, 10316 E Bannister, K.C. Mo.  The fields of peonies were at their peak of bloom for us to enjoy.  


May 18, 19 & 20, 2007 
American Peony Society 
Annual Convention
The Annual Convention of the American Peony Society 
Friday and Saturday May 18, 19 and 20, 2007

APS will be holding their annual convention in Kansas City at the Hilton Kansas City Airport Hotel.  The hotel is located at 8801 NW 112th Street, Kansas City, Missouri.  This is on the north edge of Kansas City and is convenient to the airport as well as major traffic arteries going through Kansas City.  This is a magnificent facility for this year's convention. 

This is your opportunity to meet peony growers and hybridizers from around the world.  There are already plans for international peony growers to be present at this event. 

For more information:  apseditor@gmail.com or 816-459-9386.

October 10 & 11, 2003
This year's Fall Event
Fall Peony Day - 2003:  The 7th Annual Fall Peony Day. The Heartland Peony Society just completed its annual Peony Day Events. We all had a great time. Here's a short hint at the fine time we all had.
Members were treated to a Friday night pot-luck dinner at the home of President Claudia Schroer. Claudia and Joe (HPS Treasurer) provided a great site for socializing and fun. We had members from all over our usual 'Heartland' area plus out-of-towners from Arkansas, Nebraska, Pennsylvannia and Maine. A short meeting brought us up-to-date and formally announced the coming publication of the Timber Press/Heartland Peony Society book 'The Genus Paeonia' due early next year. Our much anticipated Auction of "Choice Peonies" was 'wild'. Donations included rarely available varieties of herbaceous, tree and intersectional peonies, and some of the newest introductions for 2003 and even next year's 2004!

Saturday morning presented a color slide program on herbaceous peonies attended by over 100 persons, free of charge. Well received.

The highlight of Saturday afternoon was a sale of over 1,000 peony plants including many herbaceous peonies, hundreds of Japanese and American tree peonies, woody and herbaceous species (including both the single and double forms of P. tenuifolia!) and intersectionals. Prices were extremely attractive as shown by the number of happy peony buyers leaving with shopping bags full of plants.

        Heartland Peny Society helpers were exhausted but happy to bring peony information to a large section of the gardening public, but also to fund future projects. We also donated plants to a number of local and national peony gardens.

        By coincidence three APS Board members were present and participated in the events. 

May 3, 2003
This year's Spring 
Peony Day
Spring Peony Day - 2003

This year the spring peony day was held at The Linda Hall Library.  The library has a tree peony collection of over 150 plants. 

Linda Hall Library, 5109 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Missouri


October 12, 2002
Fall Peony Day - 2002:  This is the 6th Annual Fall Peony Day. 

The Heartland Peony Society Peony Day had a new format this year.  On Friday evening 6pm Oct 11, 2003 there was a pot luck dinner and special plant auction.  The location of the dinner and auction was at the home of one of the members.

The next day the program began at 9:30am and the plant sale was from 11am to 1pm.  The program and sale was held at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church, 9300 Nall Avenue, Overland Park, Kansas.  The speaker was Jeff Jafco of Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College.

Our program is as always open to the public at no charge. 

This was our biggest sale yet.  We had over one thousand peony plants with approximately 500 herbaceous plants and over 500 tree peonies for sale.  Click here to view a short list of peonies offered in the sale.


October 13, 2001
HPS Fall Peony Day
Fall Peony Day - 2001:  Saturday, Oct 13, 2001

      The Heartland Peony Society had its 5th annual peony day on Sat. Oct 13. We started with our HPS official (and only) business meeting - very short. Then a member's only auction of rare and choice peonies - these included some fabulous varieties of tree, herbaceous, species and inter-sectional plants.

A Public program began at 10:30 

The Tree Peony Festivals of Northern China- Heze, Luoyang, Shandong by Greg Speichert (Crystal Palace Perennials). Greg attended these festivals a couple years ago and showed us gorgeous slides of all the events. It was be a real treat and held the interest of all. Greg also show a picture of the Chinese herbaceous peony Rich Man. Everyone fell in love with that royal red peony.

The public sale of peonies started at 1:30 pm. The sale included around 250 tree peonies imported from China to coincide with our program. We imported another 200 specimen Japanese tree peonies. Over 400 herbaceous peonies including many new choice hybrids. At least 4 different species and as many inter sectionals as we can grab. We had 50 divisions of the double fern-leaf peony(P. tenuifolia rubra plena).  These plants went very fast.

There was a demonstration on the proper procedure for planting peonies. Both tree peony and herbaceous peony plants were planted for all to see.

This was a busy day, with enormous fun and learning for all.

May 12, 2001
 Spring Trip
The HPS Spring trip was held on Saturday, May 12th. We went by bus to Sarcoxie, Mo, to the Wild's Nursery where they have been growing, hybridizing and selling peonies since 1885.  These are famous names in the peony world.

We met at 8:30 on Saturday morning at the Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church, 93rd at Nall, Overland Park, Ks, boarded the bus and left at 9am.  We viewed thousands of peony plants in full bloom.  We also cut many flowers from their peony fields.  It was certainly a fun time for all.


October 14, 2000
HPS Fall Peony Day
Fall Peony Day - 2000:  It was a wonderful Heartland Peony Society Peony Day. Wow. From before 7 am to after 6 pm immersed in peony stuff.

      President Lyn Holiday ran a very short and sweet business meeting (reports, by-laws, etc) and then I acted as Auctioner and auctioned off a raft of rare peonies for members only. These were mostly donations and mostly very choice. We had Herbaceous peonies( 'Athena', 'Norma Volz', 'Myra McCrae', 'Lavender', 'White Innocence', 'Sparkling Windflower', 'Itoba' and 'Joker'); then came the tree peonies: 'Banquet', 'Chinese Dragon', 'Vesuvian', 'Tiger Tiger', 'Black Panther' and 'Kishu Caprice' (and the bids went higher); We always try to get at least a single species and this time we had a nice plant of Paeonia japonica, one of the few peonies suited to growing in light shade; then the Itohs - 'Julia Rose', 'Cora Louise', 'First Arrival', 'Callie's Memory' and 'Morning Lilac' from Roger Anderson, also 'Viking Full Moon' and 'Old Rose Dandy'; saving the best for last we had three wonderful yellow peonies: the Saunders 'Gold Sovereign', the rare Chinese herbaceous 'Golden Wheel' and finally Anderson's most sought after Itoh, 'Bartzella'. This last Itoh went to the high bidder at over $500.00 !

      Our program is as always open to the public at no charge. Mr. Scott Reiter is the curator of a collection of about 150 tree peonies at Linda Hall Science Library, a private science facility surrounded by Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City Campus. He discussed all aspects of care, planting, fertilizing and seasonal displays right here in Kansas City. Very practical, informative and appropriate to our needs. Wonderful color slides completed the program and many questions followed.

      Member's were allowed early entry (first pick) at out public 
sale and a member's discount. The official public sale opened after lunch with MANY people in attendance and most leaving with a shopping bag full of peonies. Our treasurer arranged for a creditcard account to allow 'big spenders' to charge their purchases... and they did! 

About a half dozen handouts on all topics from landscaping with peonies to how to plant a tree peony, just flew out the door. Catalogs from friends and donors were also distributed until they 
were totally gone.

      Special thanks must be given to our good friend Mr. Shen Huang of Golden Port International. He made a very special donation that allowed EVERY member of the Heartland Peony Society to take home a free Chinese hybrid tree peony seedling. These 'seedling's were 2 to 3 year old plants most with only a couple inches of top growth, but most also with a foot of root. Some were already branched. These were grown in China and just recently dug. They looked very beautiful and since each is a unique seedling, something wonderful may bloom in 2 or 3 (or more) years. How exciting!  We had enough to sell these at a very low price in our public sale and this allowed new growers to 
trial a range of plants.

     We also sold some very modestly priced peony rings, half a dozen different peony books, out own full color t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads and more. We even had a very few plants of Dan Hollingsworth's Gold Medal winning, yellow-flowered Itoh hybrid 'Garden Treasure' to sell. This has always been asked for in our sales and this is the first time we had enough to actually sell and at a bargain price (with a member's discount).

      Everyone of the HPS board worked very hard all day from 
directing traffic to working as cashier, but mostly in answering 
questions from novice peony growers. Everything from when should I plant this to what's the best pink one? and the more technical questions like what is the difference between Chinese and Japanese Tree peonies? Which is better?

      Everyone went home and collapsed except the treasurer who 
reported on our estimate gross sales. Happy phone calls and emails announced the good news that will allow us to keep on bringing in speakers, sponsor bus tours, our web site and more.

Jim Waddick


May 13, 2000
Spring Trip
Spring Trip - 2000:  The Heartland Peony Society had its Spring Road Trip on May 13th.  Every year we go to see peonies blooming in a growers field and this year 44 of us went to the Hollingsworth Peony Nursery in Maryville. Mo.  We chartered a bus and we met at the crack of dawn to make the 100 mile journey north of Kansas City.  The weather was nice but chilly...low 50s.  We needed our jackets! 

The day was wonderful as Don Hollingsworth had hundreds of plants in full bloom and we were all smitten.  Of those in bloom on that day, 'Cherry Ruffles', 'Command Performance' and 'Many Happy Returns' seemed to be among the favorites.  Many people had not seen a yellow herbaceous before and were excited to see 'Goldilocks'. It was beautiful.

'Merry Mayshine' is so small and has such unique cut-leaf 
foliage that I shall order it for sure.  "Salmon Dream" got raves from all because of it's wonderful coral color and the sturdy, heavy stems.  It's flowers were close to the bush which is certainly a desirable trait. I am not certain that there is a peony any prettier than "Show Girl".  I saw it for the first time in 1994 and immediately ordered it.  It has been a favorite since then:  softest pink single with pale, creamy yellow center. It gets 
praise from all visitors to my garden.  Have I mentioned 'Coral Charm' or 'Coral Sunset' or 'Cytherea' which we all are just crazy about.

Coral Charm

We all got Hollingsworth's catalog and made our order list on the bus trip home.  We are imagining that a few of our favorites may sell out so we are going to get our orders in early.

Lyn Holiday