King's Garden

TICONDEROGA - The herbaceous garden peony takes center stage on June 13 in the King's Garden at Fort Ticonderoga.

An over-abundance of peonies means a chance for visitors to add some of these popular flowers to their own gardens. A Chinese auction (raffle) of peonies will be offered from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Winners can pick up their plants in mid-September, the proper transplanting time, or fort officials can arrange to have the roots can be shipped. People need not be present to win.

At 11 a.m. Dr. Leonard Perry of UVM Extension will host "Dr. Perry's Peony Pointer," a walk and talk that covers what people need to know to successfully grow peonies. People can make reservations for a box lunch picnic at noon with Perry by calling in advance at 585-2821.

"Peonies are a popular garden perennial that blooms in June in the Champlain Valley. Prized for their beautiful flowers, handsome foliage and heady scent, peonies are a perfect choice for the garden border," said Heidi Karkoski, KIng's Garden curator.

Marian Coffin used peonies in her design (1921; restored 1997-2001) of the King's Garden for late spring color. The mounded, shrub-like foliage later becomes the background for Showy sedum, Rubrum lilies, and snapdragons. Her garden plan specifies only the genus, Paeonia, and not specific varieties.

During the restoration of the garden, 40 peonies that existed in the King's Garden for decades were allowed to remain in place, while scores of additional peony plants were shared through a plant sale or relocated around the grounds of the Pavilion. The names of the cultivars are not known.

Information on all the fort's events and programs can be found at www.FortTiconderoga.org

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