There were over 300 entries in last year's peony show.

Peony show preparing to bloom

The Canadian Peony Society BC Yukon Division will hold a show on June 11 at the Castlegar Community Complex.

The date is fast approaching for the Canadian Peony Society BC Yukon Division’s show on June 11 at the Castlegar Community Complex. This will be Castlegar’s second show — last year’s popular event saw over 300 entries, some from as far away as Regina.

The show is an amateur, entry level show in which everyone is invited to participate. Entries must be brought to the Castlegar Community Complex on Friday, June 10 between 3 and 7 p.m. Each entry will be assigned a class number in which it will be judged against its peers. If you don’t know the cultivar name of your flower, there is a special section for no-name garden beauties. There are about 60 classes in all and four ribbons per class will be awarded.

Some gardeners whose peonies are already starting to bloom have been carefully storing and refrigerating their buds waiting to bring them back to life in time for the show.

“I am looking forward to seeing more local entries this year,” said organizer Darlene Kalawsky. “Last year’s show unveiled many peony growers in the region. We are hoping this show is giving an opportunity for amateur growers to display their flowers and support the agritourism industry.”

Last year’s show had a focus on introducing locals to the idea of peony growing, this year’s show has a focus on education. “Last year it was so amazing to see so many varieties, colours and the reaction to the show,” added Kalawsky. “We want to give people the opportunity to learn more about growing peonies.”

Judging will take place on the Saturday morning. A ribbon cutting will happen at noon, the winners will be announced and then everyone will be allowed to view the beautiful floral displays.

The show will also have a series of free seminars. At 10 a.m. Adraina Work, owner of Dutch Girl Peonies will give a presentation called Peonies 101. At 11 a.m. Janice Ferraro will speak on floral design using peonies. A series of mini-seminars will take place between 2 and 3 p.m. including fragrant peonies, making tissue peonies, seven weeks of peony bloom and flower selections to compliment your peonies.

When the show is over, any owners wishing to take home their entries will be allowed to collect them, and then all remaining blooms will be up for sale at 6 p.m.

If you would like more information about the show including information on how to cut your peonies early and store them for the show or how to ship peonies, contact Holly Pender-Love at hplove8@telus.net. Sponsors of the event include Castlegar Communities in Bloom, Castlegar Garden Club, Castlegar Chamber of Commerce, the City of Castlegar, RDCK Areas I and J and Columbia Basin Trust.