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B'ville: Peak bloom at Peony fest

"Peak bloom" is the prediction for Baldwinsville's historic peony collection when Peony Fest 2007 takes place this Saturday on the Canton Street grounds of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse.

The vibrant pink, red and creamy white hues of the museum's peony beds are the inspiration, as well as the backdrop for the day's events, which will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 9. Activities include an invitational art show and sale, a peony flower show open to area gardeners, a sale of selected peony plants from the museum's heritage peony collection, musicians, garden walks, talks by the museum's horticultural staff, exhibits and more.

The museum grounds will be dotted with small tents and colorful panels bearing the works of local artists. A wide variety of media will be displayed and available for purchase. Photographic artist Marianne Miles will introduce and sign her newest publication "A New Englander Falls in Love with Baldwinsville, N.Y., A Love Affair in Photographs."

Garden walks and talks with the museum's peony specialist Doris Cross will be held throughout the day. The museum's peony collection reflects Baldwinsville's nationally prominent peony industry, which peaked in the 1920's. A century later, descendants of those premium plants continue to be propagated as part of the museum's local history collection. The story of Indian Spring Farms is also a major element of Peony Fest.

This year area gardeners are invited to bring stems of peony blooms from their gardens to display in the fest's first peony show. Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., each grower can submit up to five stems at least 8-inches in length. At 4:30 p.m., the "People's Choice Award" will be announced from the entries.

A selection of peony plants from the museum's collection will also be available for purchase. Plants are reserved by deposit in June and delivered in September when conditions are optimum for dividing and moving them.

Musicians Betty Lee and Jane Zell will add to the festivities throughout the day. Admission is free. Ample parking is available on the museum grounds.

For more information, call the museum at 638-2452.

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