The Manitowoc Public Library announces the release of “Flower of Power!” series

The following article was submitted by Jordan Cabatt, Professional Gardener and Operations Manager for Solaris Farms in Redsville.

We’re heading into early summer, and although the weather has been slow to catch up, the deciduous trees are almost full-leaved, the early blooming of perennials is over, and it’s just time to put in my favorite plant – peonies! – Their annual show.

as part of Flower effect! A series curated by the Manitowoc Public Library, I’ll lead you around my acre garden in Manitowoc to show you some of my peony collection, which includes a large selection of both herbaceous and woody specimens (don’t you know what that means? Find it outside!). I hope we shoot at an intersection when some of the earlier blooming plants are over and the mid-season bloomers are just beginning. This way you will see a wide range of different flower shapes and colors.

In addition to the different types of peonies that are available to the modern gardener (and why they greatly outperform the old flexible – or cultivar – varieties you’re likely to be familiar with), I’ll talk about aspects of cultivating and caring for this star plant in the garden where you can find some of the Develop these hybrids for yourself. Pro tip: It’s not available at the regular garden center or big box store!

As the year progresses, I will offer two more discussions as part of this series.

Jordan Capbat is a horticulturalist and Operations Manager for Solaris Farms in Reedsville

A midsummer show will have another of my favorite perennials: hemerocallis, or daylily, as it’s commonly known (and certainly not those orange lilies you see everywhere), and various lilies (lilies) of different hybrid origins. As with the Peony program, I will talk about certain aspects of the culture and care of these plants, and where you can find them for your own garden. Depending on what’s in bloom, we might also discuss some of the other perennials in my garden like clematis – another favorite, pronounced “KLEHM-uh-tis”, not “Kle-MA-tus” as we often hear!

Finally, I will be leading a discussion in mid-autumn that will focus on peony propagation, fall cleaning, and also some rare specimen trees found in my garden that will likely make a beautiful display of fall color. I hope I can spread awareness and appreciation for some of the most interesting garden plants available to us other than geraniums and marigolds – no offense if you love these plants, but there is a much wider world of gardening!

If it sparks your interest, follow me through my garden with MPL during the upcoming virtual show that airs Thursday, June 24 at 6:30 p.m. on the Manitowoc Public Library Facebook page (

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