Ron Illingworth and his wife Marjorie have been interested in Peonies since the early 2000’s.
The couple says it started as a fluke.
“It seems that our peonies bloom at a totally different time than anybody else’s around the world.” Marjorie said.
Almost 20 years ago the two had met several tourists at the University of Alaska Georgeson Botanical Garden who noticed local peonies blooming at a unique time.
“Peonies are done blooming in the lower 48 by mid June at the latest,” Marjorie said. “We don’t start until the end of June and various areas in the state go as late as September.”
The couple started their family farm, North Pole Peonies, with only 25 plants in 2004. By 2010 the peony farm had started selling their flowers worldwide.