Saturday, May 21, 2016

Yeah, They Got Me

I, ProfessorRoush, of normally sane intellect and body, must now confess that yesterday I participated, nay, I joyfully surrendered, to that most simple of marketing techniques; The Impulse Buy.  While browsing a Big Box gardening center, in hopes of finding something besides 'Stella de Oro' and 'Knock Out' relatives, I happened upon this 'Raspberry Sundae' peony in full bloom.  In my own defense, I would ask that before you harshly condemn me, you click on these photos that I took on my iPhone the second after I plunked down my $24.98 and placed this peony in my Jeep.  Spend a few quiet moments in contemplation of this gorgeous girl.  Look at the immaculate blooms.  Look at the healthy, tall, foliage of this peony.  Oh, if only I could reproduce the fragrance for you!  For the gratification of others with similar weak-willed buying habits, it came from Menard's,

'Raspberry Sundae' is a 1968 introduction by Carl G. Klehm, a bomb-shaped midseason lacriflora with pale yellow and pale pink and cream mixed into the most delicate display I've ever seen.  Martin Page, in The Gardener's Guide to Growing Peonies, states that "few flowers have been so aptly named," and he uses 'Raspberry Sundae' as his example when describing the central raised mass of petaloids that develop from both stamens and carpels, suggesting that the "bomb" name refers to a similarity with a "bombe" ice-cream sherbet.  I didn't have this peony in my garden before, but I will as soon as I can dig a hole this morning.  I need to find a prominent place for 'Raspberry Sundae' since she is very likely to soon become one of my favorites.

I was happy to see that 'Raspberry Sundae' was a creation of Carl Klehm, the third of a four-generation (John, Charles, Carl, and Roy) peony dynasty in the Midwest.  As I've mentioned previously, I have seen Roy Klehm speak in person at the National Arboretum and I grow a number of Klehm's striped peonies.  Now, my garden is host to yet one more Klehm peony.


  1. Very pretty, Prof. Were you aware of the Klehm connection when you surrendered to this beauty's allure?

  2. Raspberry Sundae looks scrumptious! I share your predilection toward impulse purchases of beautiful plants. Really enjoy your blog. Keep it up. Julia Summerhill.

    1. Thanks, Julia. I'm trying to settle into a twice a week or better pattern for the year.


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