I’ve now spent the entire day surfing on the internet, studying web pages in Ukraine, USA and finally Japan.
I got as far as to Daikon-island in Japan, next to the city of Matsue, and a garden there called “Yuushien”. On their web page I found information about the tree peony ‘King of Flowers’, which has been cultivated by Saburo Watanabe on Daikon-island!!! The same man also has cultivated another (tree?) peony, named ‘Hairaku’, The Yellow Crown (in 2003). That amazed me, since the ukrainian source said he had cultivated Kao in 1931… Technically both years COULD be correct, but… that would mean Mr. Watanabe had strated his career very, very young, and continued until almost a 100 years of age… I like challenges like this, and will continue to work on finding how to contact the Yuushien Garden, to ask THEM about Mr. Watanabes life and works. So far I’ve been unsuccessful, but surely I can find a name somewhere on their page to send e-mail to!
About the climate here in Finland: I am indeed lucky enough to live on the southwestern coast of our country, so the winter is quite short, and most of that time the temperatures remain somewhere between minus 10-20 degrees Celcius. But it allways pays to prepare the ground properly before planting ones peonies… Right now I’m planning to start a new “PeonyLand” on a slight slope I have in our garden. It’ll be just perfect I think!
Thanks again for your help! I’m sure sooner or later I will ask for more help from the friends here, or report about the growth and well being of my tree peony…
Enjoy the summer season!