Annual Convention

The American Peony Society’s Annual Get Together

Diverse People With a Shared Interest in Peonies

Annual Banquet and Auction

Each year American Peony Society members gather at a different venue, with one thing in mind-PEONIES.   Popular with members, the annual convention provides opportunities to see member and commercial gardens in full bloom, show flowers in the APS Flower Show, attend peony related seminars and visit with other members.

Tours to regional gardens are big draw, that provide member peony enthusiasts with opportunities for photographing their favorite plant, as well as, allowing time to discuss related topics.

Members and the public are treated to annual the APS Flower Show and Exhibition.  Not everyone shows peony flowers, but all agree that it is one the high points of the peony bloom season.

For the more academically minded or those motivated to learn more about peonies, members may decide to attend one of any number of seminars and presentations.   Seminars are designed for a broad range of interests and provide opportunities for beginner to expert.

A member banquet and auction is held to celebrate and support the American Peony Society, which serves as the annual membership meeting.  Members  often meet people in person that they have read about, while sharing a great meal.   To support the American Peony Society, members are able to bid on often rare and unusual peonies in the annual member auction.

Current Flower Exhibition Information ++

Exhibition and Show Information

The American Peony Society’s Annual Flower Show and Exhibition is a great way to show off the beauty of flowers growing in your garden, but a few preparations may be helpful to make the experience successful and enjoyable.   Getting to know the show schedule, which supplies entry information is great place to start getting organized.  The schedule may change slightly from year to year to better accommodate ever changing and growing entry diversity, thus studying available document may save some time.   P We hope this will allow those who’d like to show off  their photography skills an opportunity to show the world a different aspect of PEONY ADDICTION.

Interested in helping out at the exhibition?   Volunteer a few hours or more and get a first hand knowledge of entering flowers and hang out with fellow peony enthusiasts. Volunteer duties include  clerking, classification, runners and general show prep.

 

American Peony Society Conventions in Coming Years

Plan to Get Your Peony Fix

2022…Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan,   June 2, 3, 4, 5

2023…West Central New York.  May 31, June 1, 2, 3

2024…Bloomington, Minnesota.  June 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

2025…Ohio (tentative)

2022 APS CONVENTION

100 Years in Bloom
Ann Arbor, Michigan
June 2-5, 2022

Last day to register for the 2022 convention is May 10, 2022.

Registration Closed

If patience is a virtue, members of the American Peony Society have been incredibly virtuous and very, very good.

Our last live convention was held in 2019 in Ames, Iowa. From then on, our cadre of peony-loving convention-goers has endured pandemic-fueled postponements, cancellations and disappointments. True, there’s been a silver lining in new virtual online events and social sharing, but darn.

We’re ready for some serious face time:  peony faces and people too.

So with great pleasure, we announce the 2022 American Peony Society’s in-person convention and floral exhibition. Our upcoming convention will be a fantastic trip back in time, revisiting the roots of our Society in Ann Arbor, Michigan – near the location of APS’ first annual meeting!

To meet our shared addiction for peonies, APS has planned a ‘three location’ event, which will provide numerous opportunities for members to experience Ann Arbor, peonies and social opportunities.

The highlight of the convention is Nichols Arboretum’s historic peony collection at the University of Michigan, featuring one of the nation’s most complete collections of rare lactifloras. This significant and storied garden has deep links to the APS and the University of Michigan. The garden is celebrating its 100 year anniversary, and the APS members are welcome guests of honor.

The Matthaei Botanical Gardens will serve as APS’ home base for our flower show/exhibition and seminars.  Lodging will be available for members at the DoubleTree Hotel, where we will meet for our banquet, Annual General Membership Meeting, live Auction and social gatherings.

While things officially kick off on Thursday June 2, APS members may arrive early (June 1) to get situated, or stay until Monday (June 6) to extend the experience, and still qualify for the APS group rate provided by the DoubleTree.

Interested in epicurean and aesthetic pastimes as well as the paeonia? Our scouts report that Ann Arbor is truly a “foodie” and fun town, with fabulous restaurants, galleries and art events.


Lodging, Accommodations, Gatherings

 

DoubleTree by Hilton Ann Arbor North
3600 Plymouth Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(734) 769-9800
https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/arbaadt-doubletree-ann-arbor-north/

The DoubleTree by Hilton is located about 2.4 miles from Matthaei Botanical Gardens/Nichols Arboretum (primary convention hub) and 4.5 miles from The University of Michigan Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden (secondary location for Nichols Arboretum).  Shuttles will be running regularly from the DoubleTree to the Matthaei.  The hotel has numerous amenities including: free parking, free Wi-Fi, digital keys, onsite restaurant, indoor pool, fitness center, pet friendly rooms, room service and a business center.

Breakfast and dinner will be available at the ArborTree Lounge, which offers seasonal outdoor patio seating.

Individual reservations must be made no later than Wednesday, May 14, 2022 to secure the discounted APS group rate of $119 (+tax). No events are planned for June 1, but if you wish to arrive early or stay on Sunday night, the APS rate will extend.

Join us at the APS Hospitality/Member Meeting Room (Arbor Room) Thursday through Friday nights.


Garden Tours

 

Featuring flexible, self-scheduled tours, our format is slightly different than in past years due to the unique nature of our venue. You’re in charge of your own visits.

Matthaei Botanical Garden/Nichols Arboretum (Primary Location)

The Matthaei Botanical Garden/Nichols Arboretum will serve as APS’ central Flower Show and Exhibition site, as well as our location of publicly available seminars. 

These beautiful gardens will be open to APS members at no charge, offering gardeners an array of inviting options, including a conservatory, artwork, visitor center, and trails.  Numerous themed experiences include Bonsai, Rock, Herb, Perennial, Woodland and Wildflower gardens. As an unexpected treat, the gardens will be hosting an international Azalea (Satsuki) Bonsai show, featuring world-renown bonsai artists.   A wide array of topics and information is available at both the gardens and online at:  https://mbgna.umich.edu/

Transportation: Available through shuttle from DoubleTree by Hilton or by private transportation (limited parking available). Shuttle use encouraged.

University of Michigan Peony Garden/Nichols Arboretum (Secondary Location)

The Peony Garden at the Nichols Arboretum at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor presents a stunning spring display, currently with 350 historic herbaceous varieties (cultivars) from the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. As the largest public collection of historic (pre-1950) herbaceous peony cultivars in North America, the garden is arranged in 27 blocks, featuring established peony cultivars, many introduced in the early part of 1900’s.

The Peony Garden was opened to the public in 1927 with numerous peony contributions from Dr. W. E. Upjohn, an alumnus of the University of Michigan and founder of Upjohn Pharmaceuticals.  Visited annually by thousands of peony aficionados, this gem offers a chance to see rare cultivars that many members will see for the first time, such as:  ‘Silvia Saunders’ (Saunders 1921), ‘Rose Shaylor’ (Shaylor 1920), ‘Duc de Wellington'(Calot 1859), ‘Marguerite Gaudichau’ (Millet 1903), ‘Pasteur’ (Crousse 1896), and many more.

Tip: Access a trove of excellent visitor information, including detailed garden guides and a helpful interactive map that showcasing hybridizers and cultivars with reference photos:  https://www.peony.mbgna.umich.edu/ and https://peony.mbgna.umich.edu/visit/peony-bed-maps/

Transportation: Not available to private transportation, use shuttles from Matthaei Botanical Garden


Flower Show/Exhibition

 

Bring on your best peony blooms and design creativity.

On June 3rd, the APS Flower Show opens to the public, running Saturday and Sunday.  The crown jewel of the convention, the show will be held at the Matthaei Botanical Garden /Nichols Arboretum and will include cut flowers and artistic design.

We anticipate a high volume of public traffic at the show. This is a remarkable chance to evangelize the beauty and breadth of the peony, educate the public, and attract media coverage for the APS.  We encourage all members to exhibit an array of blooms to create stunning a showcase.

Flower exhibitors can start preparation as early as Thursday. There will be refrigeration available starting on Tuesday. Show preparation continues for exhibitors on Friday, June 3 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Judging begins promptly at 4:01 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Show Schedule is found at the following link: APS 2022 Exhibition Schedule Single Page Format
If you are able to print in booklet form, two sided pages, then you can use the following link. This document is a pdf that will print in booklet form. APS 2022 Exhibition Schedule Booklet Format

Are you entering seedlings? Then the hybridizer entry form for seedlings is at the following link:
Division 3 Exhibitor Form (revision 2022)

The Flower Show and Exhibition will open to the public on Saturday, June 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  On Sunday, June 5, the Show and Exhibition is again open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. See your Summer 2022 Bulletin for a condensed list of activities.

If you’re ready to shop, we have you covered. Members can browse for APS books, purchase peony seeds, and attend an author book signing event.

Transportation: Due to limited parking, we recommend that the hotel shuttle be used for all transport to and from the Flower Show other than exhibitor drop off.

 


Informational Seminars and Meetings

 

Exhibiting Peonies – Exhibition is a great way to become involved in APS and you don’t need many flowers or be experienced to be an A-1 exhibitor.  Through this presentation, participants will learn procedures and tips to best exhibit your peony flowers and find success!  Presented by Kent Tretheway (APS Director and experienced exhibitor). At DoubleTree by Hilton.

Mining the Old APS Bulletins and On-Line Resources – Learn how to access the many resources on the APS website and find the content you most want to use.  This meeting includes navigating the Peony Registry, logging into the Member Portal, Using the Member Portal and searching the Hathi Trust Library APS collection.  Presented by Jordan Kabat (Librarian and Solaris Farms Operation Manager). At Matthaei Botanical Garden.

Peony Culture/Peonies 101 – Peonies are not difficult to grow, but there are some common practices to produce better plants.  This informational presentation covers a wide range of topics to help participants become comfortable growing their favorite plant.  Presented by Sarah Gizzi (horticultural staff at MBGNA). At Matthaei Botanical Garden.

History of the UM Peony Garden – The University of Michigan’s Peony Garden is steeped in history and is one of the oldest in the United States.  The journey of this garden through time is sure to interest!  Presented by Bob Grese (co-author of Passion for Peonies). At Matthaei Botanical Garden.

Peony Research at the UM Peony Garden/Central Botanical GardensWhile the University of Michigan’s Peony Garden is a historic presence, it also serves as laboratory and reference for peonies.  The garden has been instrumental in a number of studies for both disease and genetics – learn about these and other focused scientific studies using the Peony Garden!  Presented by Dr. N. Vlasava and Dr. David Michener). At Matthaei Botanical Garden.

Using Peonies to Create Outstanding Floral DesignsPeonies are the premium flower of choice for floral arrangements and the applications are endless.  Learn to arrange peony flowers for best presentation and use from an expert in the field.  Presented by: Federated Garden Club Designer, TBD. At Matthaei Botanical Garden.

Ask the Experts Panel DiscussionEveryone has questions and we believe our experienced peony growers will be able to answer most or give direction to most.  We invite you to join this group of growers/gardeners for an interesting and fun Q&A session.  They take all questions, no matter how large or small! At Matthaei Botanical Garden.


Schedule of Convention Activities** As of November 2021

 

This at-a-glance schedule will help members plan their visit. Dates and event locations are final, but please be aware that details may shift as we get closer to the actual event. Check the APS website for the most current information.

June 2, 2022 –

  • Leadership Meetings
  • “Exhibiting Peonies” Seminar
  • Welcome Reception – Early evening welcome picnic at park (location to be determined)

June 3, 2022

  • Floral Show/Exhibition preparation at Matthaei Botanical Garden
  • Visit Matthaei Botanical Garden and Nichols Arboretum on your own

June 4, 2022

Daytime Events at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

  • APS Flower Show and Exhibition open to public and members
  • APS book and seed sales
  • “Passion for Peonies” Book signing by authors David Michener and Bob Grese.
  • Seminars
  • Visit Matthaei Botanical Garden and Nichols Arboretum on your own

Evening Events (Wolverine Room)

  • Cocktail Hour.
  • Enjoy conversation and some great food with fellow APS members.
  • Annual General Membership Meeting. This important meeting includes committee reports, plans for the future, elections, award presentations and more.
  • Live Auction. Another highlight of the convention, the APS Live Auction is our largest annual fund raiser. Experience the entertainment of live bidding, enjoy the opportunity to purchase some outstanding and rare peonies, and support the Society’s many programs and initiatives. (Auction is only available to convention members attending in person- i.e., no online bidding.)

Our auction committee invites all members to donate plant material or a peony- related item.  Contact APS auction chair at:  [email protected] or donate online through the Member Portal at:  https://americanpeonysociety.org/member-portal/pages/contribute/submit-auction-plants/

June 5, 2022 –

  • APS Flower Show and Exhibition open to public and members
  • APS book and seed sales
  • “Passion for Peonies” Book signing by authors David Michener and Bob Grese
  • Seminars
  • Flower show and exhibition “tear down”. Member assistance is appreciated!

VOLUNTEER (and Experience the Fun & Friendships of the Convention!)

Calling all peony people.  Our live, all-volunteer convention needs you!  Don’t just attend, jump in. You’ll make new friends and connections and have a lot of fun.( Yes, even the introverts.)

  • Hospitality Room hosts (and hospitable people to welcome new members)
  • Photographers and videographers
  • Auction team including AV team, organizers, helpers and runners
  • Flower Show/Exhibition Volunteers including people to help set up and tear down; runners; recorders; and exhibitor helpers (our showing members often need and appreciate help to stage flowers in the frenzy preparing the show)
  • “Peony ambassadors” at the APS information desk during the Flower Show to greet the public, process memberships and answer questions