American Peony Society selects 'The Mackinac Grand'
2013 Gold Medal Award / 2014 Peony of the Year
Dana Tretheway, APS Director & President
Peony 'The Mackinac Grand'
|During the 2013 American Peony Society Convention and Exhibit at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA the Board of Directors voted for ‘THE MACKINAC GRAND’ to receive the APS gold medal and to be the Peony of the Year for 2014.
‘The Mackinac Grand’ was originated by David L. Reath in 1992, it is herbaceous hybrid, blooming early to midseason. This a medium-sized, color-fast, brilliant warm red, semi-double composed of three to four rows of heavily ruffled and folded, lustrous guard petals. Upon opening, a mound of densely packed stamens is revealed, gently shaped by the natural forces of the unfurling guard petals. Three to six light green, pink tipped carpels sit amidst the pollen laden anthers. The innermost guard petals are erect and fluted, while the outermost guard petals are longer, more tailored and closer to horizontal. In some blooms a few extra, upright, red flag petals, slightly smaller but more ruffled than the guard petals, project through the center of the stamen mound. As the blooms develop, all the petals begin to flare apart, each to its own tendency; thus blooms are variable, every one a unique vehicle for catching, reflecting, and obscuring sunlight. On sunny days blooms exhibit a gamut of modulated red, from deep shades in the shadows to fiery red highlights and the sparkle of sunlight from the petal’s gloss. From afar, the color has great carrying power and always attracts attention. The bush itself has an open, somewhat spreading habit, with strong, rigid, stalks of slightly unequal heights tending to lean, but not bend, away from the center of the plant. Each stalk is densely foliated. Without heat and water stress, foliage should persist and remain clean until fall. A strong grower and reliable bloomer; performance improves with age and stem increase.
American Peony Society names 'William E. B. Du Bois' Peony
Ko Klaver, APS Director — Hockessin, Delaware
Peony 'William E. B. Du Bois'
|It all started when visual artist Carrie Mae Weems and landscape architect Walter Hood, whom together created a design of the Du Bois Memorial Garden on the campus of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, desired to have a peony named after Mr. Du Bois. So, they contacted the American Peony Society via their website and were subsequently introduced to Hollingsworth Peonies.
Ultimately, an excellent cultivar residing in Maryville, Missouri, originating from the hybridizing program of APS Past President, Peter Waltz of Exeter, New Hampshire was selected for the honor.
Working closely with Hollingsworth Peonies and the American Peony Society, a peony was chosen and named in honor of William E. B. Du Bois. This peony, which Weems calls lovingly “The Peony of Hope”, will anchor the memorial garden at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. It will also be available to the general public in September 2013 via the Hollingsworth Peonies website, thereby allowing thousands of garden enthusiasts to engage in a lasting and sustained memory of Mr. Du Bois.