June in the Mohawk Valley means strawberries, Farmers’ Markets and at Hamilton College – scores of blooming, lush and colorful peonies. From the brilliantly crimson Alexander Woollcott to the aptly named Daffodil, the lush flowers are flourishing in Hamilton’s Grant Garden. The 19 herbaceous and 49 Saunders’ tree peonies are in bloom in Hamilton’s Grant Garden.
Many are peaking right now, and I enjoyed them on my weekly walk. Professor of Chemistry A.P. Saunders hybridized the peonies from 1920 to 1940 on College Hill. His work with tree peonies — which resulted in 73 named varieties — was a notable achievement. With the help of the American Peony Society, Hamilton College has collected and displayed as many of the remaining Saunders’ tree peonies as can be recovered.
This is a real treasure in my area, and I'm happy to share it with you.
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