A plethora of peonies is currently in bloom at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden. I visited the garden during the 12th Annual Oshawa Peony Festival but the succession of blooms, which began in late May, continues through to the last week of June.
With more than 300 varieties in colours ranging from pure white to pink, yellow, coral, rose and deep red, the outdoor collection of herbaceous and Itoh hybrid peonies at the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden is truly impressive! (Itoh peonies are a cross between herbaceous and tree peonies with the flowers and foliage typical of tree peonies but the form and hardiness of the herbaceous ones.)
Both the peony beds and the botanical garden have developed since 2001 when the Canadian Peony Society donated 100 plants from the Wally Gilbert Collection to the project. This contribution led to the official launch of the Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden. Further donations from peony breeders and suppliers across North America have helped the entire collection flourish into the largest contemporary collection of peonies in North America.
The peony garden was renamed The Michael and Judi Denny Peony Gardens in 2014 in recognition of the late Michael Denny and his wife Judo for their contributions towards establishing Oshawa’s peony gardens and the annual Peony Festival.
OVBG also includes lilac and hosta collections, a water feature garden, a commemorative gazebo and pathways linked by a pedestrian footbridge.
Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden is located at 155 Arena St., Oshawa. The garden is open from April 1 to Oct. 31 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Nov. 1 to march 31 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.