Its bodacious yellow blooms called to me from across the greenhouse at the garden center. The promise of a new peony, an intersectional, a hybrid of herbaceous and tree type peonies; pulled me in with its siren song of possibilities, like moth to a flame.
Intersectional Peony "Bartzella" ready for his closeup The Garden Buzz
It was not cheap, but it was close to Mother's Day. So Happy Mother's Day to me! That was a little over a year ago, and now Bartzella is blooming his beautiful flowers in a big way.
So many things appeal to me about this plant, but it sure wasn't its name. Bartzella...is it supposed to be a takeoff on "bridezilla"? Would the plant be pretty yet temperamental?
Bartzella....a reference to Bart Simpson? Would this flower underachieve and disappoint while inviting trouble? Or perhaps a tribute to actor Roger Bart of Broadway fame, a worthy performer?
No, it turns out, Bartzella is just a nod to the funny-named friend of noted peony breeder Roger Anderson.
Intersectional peonies, sometimes called Itoh after the Japanese breeder to first successfully cross the two types of peony, combine the best traits of both plants.
Strong stems that are almost woody by the end of the season assure that the inevitable flopping of the mop-top flowers doesn't occur. The huge, showy flowers have a long successive bloom time that can sometimes last up to five weeks. The dark green foliage remains attractive throughout the season and then fades in winter, avoiding the branch winter kill of tree peonies.
Like herbaceous peonies these plants can tolerate and even appreciate a little afternoon shade. They thrive with evenly watered, well-drained soil that is on the less acid side. They will eventually grow to about 3 feet in height and width.
With high hopes I gave Bartzella some prime real estate by the front door and he has yet to disappoint. Situated in a stone planter bed and watered with drip irrigation he has bloomed heavily after only one season. The lemony yellow flowers are gorgeous for bouquets and blend well in the landscape with other perennials like roses, clematis, campanula, and hostas. The fragrance is more spicy than sweet.
As intersectional peonies become more plentiful the price will come down. But I haven't regretted my investment in this rare beauty.
Prolific blooms of Bartzella Peony The Garden Buzz
There are many studies about how a name affects a person's fate in life. Supposedly Jennifers and Jacobs have an easier time of it. While some think an unusual or strange name builds character, when that child gets beat up on the playground. Somehow Bartzella has overcome his less than memorable moniker to make it big in the world of peonies.