Farmers & Growers
June 8, 2019
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June 22, 2019
June 29, 2019
Peonies | Flowers
As the spring sun shines down on the fields between Lakeville and Northfield, Sevald Nursery’s peonies are growing. They are blooming late this year but Al Sevald is quick to mention that a cool spring allows the peony plants to mature more slowly, which means the flowers will last a bit longer. Usually the flowers bloom for 3 to 4 weeks in June, but when we have a warmer spring they may come as early as mid-May.
Sevald Nursery, headquartered in Minneapolis, grows 200 to 300 varieties of peonies depending on the year. Some peony plants are better used as garden plants while others are better suited for cut flowers because their blooms last longer. Peony flowers vary in size from 4- to 8-inches in diameter, sometimes growing as big across as a dinner plate! Some peony varieties have been around since the 1800’s, others, such as the coral colors, are recent hybrids. Typically peonies come in tones of pink, red and white. Al’s best selling cut flower, called “Friendship,” is a vibrant pink with white edges. Peonies vary in fragrance from a strong smell to almost nothing at all; be sure to ask for Al’s recommendation if you are looking for a specific fragrance level!
To prolong the life of your cut flower, Al gives the following advice: use the preservatives that you are given with each flower purchase, cut ½ an inch off the stem every day to allow for better water uptake, keep stems in warm water and keep flowers out of direct sunlight.
Gardening is in Al’s blood; he grew up on a farm in northwestern Minnesota where they grew “all kinds of things” from flowers to vegetables. He has worked at Bachman’s and other nurseries in the past, and finally took Sevald Nursery full-time in 1986. This is his second year at the Mill City Farmers Market.
Al brings cut peonies to the market during the bloom season and sells 6 in a bunch for $8.00, although he is willing to put together other arrangements. If you want to pre-order flowers, call (612) 822.3279. During the fall, he mail orders plants for garden flowers.
–Written by Leah Steenberg, Volunteer