2023 Canadian Peony Society National Show – June 9-11, Oshawa, Ontario



John’s Dream

American Peony Society webpage

John's Dream

If you were fortunate enough to attend a presentation by John Simkins in the 1990s to early 2000s, you had an opportunity to purchase some of his small potted peony seedlings ($1 or $2 mystery plants). We purchased a tree peony seedling at a local horticultural meeting and some of our friends also bought seedlings at a show at the Royal Botanical Garden in Hamilton. As Joe and I began giving presentations, we often saw flower shows with impressive peonies, results of John’s hybridizing. Some gardeners shared roots of their plants so we could evaluate them in our growing conditions.

In June 2008, a friend invited us to see her peony seedling, now a mature plant with many blooms. Pat de Villiers’s peony was about 12 years old. She had dug it once at three years when she changed houses. It had always grown vigorously but took several years to bloom after the move. The seedling was the first yellow or single peony in her garden. She was afraid to divide a mature peony but wanted to share it with her family. Thus in autumn, we returned to dig the peony and help her divide it. We were pleased to receive two pieces of root.

Our divisions, recorded as JS08-01 grew well and we were excited to take two blooms to the American Peony Society convention in 2010. Seedlings can only be officially judged if there are three stems but it was worth the effort to experience the reaction of several top breeders/growers crowding around the blooms discussing its uniquely wonderful characteristics. One even had his fingers in the centre which is definitely against all rules. JS08-01 is actually a unique Japanese form rather than a single and it produces pollen as well as seed, thus fertile both ways. The pollen from the show blooms was shared with the breeders for hybridizing that year. Serious discussion surrounded its merit suggesting it should be included in the Court of Honor. Thus JS08-01 had started to advance the world of peonies with its first showing. In subsequent years, the best seedling entry advances to the Court of Honor although not qualifying for the ‘APS Best in Show’. At the 2016 APS convention, JS08-01 received Award of Merit and was subsequently registered. It has been offered for sale and distributed to many commercial and private gardens ever since. The registration information is available on this.

Seed Sales

CPS 2023 Seed List

The Seed Exchange is a fund-raising project which helps to support the operations of the Society. It provides access to peony seeds from hundreds of varieties of peony, including species, lactifloras, hybrids, Itohs and tree peonies. Seed packets are all priced the same but the number of seeds in a packet depends on the number of seeds available and also the size of the seeds. Seeds can also be ordered free of charge to organizations and institutions for educational or research purposes. Donated seed comes from Society members across Canada, the U.S. and by special arrangement from Whistling Gardens, Wilsonville, ON. Most of the seed is open pollinated. Seed can be ordered by e-mail or mail. Instructions and pricing are provided on the downloadable seed list. Payment may be completed by sending an e-transfer to the CPS via treasurer@peony.ca Watch for the 2023 list to be circulated in April.


Get Into Helping with the 2023 CPS Root Sale

One of our popular fundraisers will be celebrated in a slightly different way this year. We are asking every member to donate a root, whether one of your own or a purchase from a vendor. You may also donate a gift card. Lindsay Andreasen, our root coordinator, is hopeful that those who have not donated before will participate in making this a huge success. All donors will be recognized with a special 25th anniversary donor certificate.

Watch for the Root Sale list to be circulated in August. Contact Lindsay at lmandreasen@hotmail.com


Peonies can be purchased from many sources. Experience has shown that the best results are obtained by buying from a grower or peony specialist. The roots you get from these people are generally larger, fresher, and true to name, though mistakes do happen. A reputable source will not hesitate to correct any inadvertent errors they may have made.

Who We Are

We are a Society dedicated to the growth and development of Peonies. We are always looking for new members and enthusiasts to join the Society, so join us and come and share your passion!

Support The Society

Support the Canadian Peony Society. Click the "Donate" button below. Enter the amount you wish to donate in Canadian dollars. You have the option of paying using any major credit card or by Paypal.

Contact Info

Canadian Peony Society
4338 Line 26
St. Pauls, ON N0K 1V0