Our short time at our farm this year was a much needed rest to the busy life we led in the city over the winter of 2010. While in LA , it came to my attention that there is a market for Peonies. Being a native to California, I was MESMERISED by the beauty and fragrance of the Peonies that were growing wild on our farm in Indiana we call Hollywood Farm. I immediately tried to plant some the next spring in hopes that they would come up the following season. I eagerly awaited for their budding heads to emerge from the ground once the earth has thawed.
THEY NEVER SPROUTED. So year after year, I would enviously gaze at the surrounding farms and their wild peonies. Year after Year, I would watch the neighbors Peony buds emerge, knowing where each one would arrive. Last winter when were in LA, I was not able to be entertained by the Peony reentry into society, and somewhat became obsessed about missing it. So I began to visit all of the high end florists in Calabasas, Santa Monica, Hollywood, including all of the farmer's markets and gathered a small clientele. I offered a handful of designers an opportunity to choose rare peonies to put into the ground. I was met with a great response to my request and went back to the farm with the hope of putting 200 plants in the ground.
That is exactly what I ALMOST did. I went online and found a great selection at American Meadows. I ordered 20 Peony plants and I had the perfect patch of land to put them. A patch of land that would allow the sun to adore the peony allowing them to thrive and produce a magnitude of buds for the next 100 years. http://www.americanmeadows.com/http://www.americanmeadows.com/
The day I decided to plant them just so happened to be one of the hottest days of the year. There were a couple of weeks where temperatures were over 100. It was a very humid, muggy, it was a hot sticky mess. Local farmers were concerned that their crops may have become unsustainable. I started farming early, and did not look up until each root was in the ground. I started at 10 AM, and ended at 3PM. Mind you there was tilling involved, and digging, and coffee breaks, and 3 Little's to look after.
Once the Peonies were in the ground I took the kids to eat. Immediately after we ate, I was struck with an internal bacterial infection and could not leave my bed for 7 days straight. WIth my husband off in Hollywood shooting movies, I was alone with the kids to tend to their every need as well as my current ailments. Having family and friends help take over my farm chores was hard enough, I didn't want to add the watering of the peonies also, which would required one to go down into our scary basement to get to the water source.
The Peonies were not watered for 4 days in 100 degree weather. I thought for sure I was doomed and had just waisted the money, time and effort to get them in the ground.
The first time I had a chance to go out to the field to check on them I held my breath waiting for the wave of disappointment to cover me. To my surprise they had sprouted. ALL 20 OF THEM,!!
They all have sprouted and were thriving. They were happy, they were alive!! They made it!!!!! They would be here for the next 100 years! The Peonies that American Meadows sent were handled with care and love, and I will not stop ordering from American Meadows until I have the 200 peonies in the ground. Hopefully leaving a little business to offer to my kids once they are older.