A park of a thousand peonies will be established in Kotka. Fruitful discussions were carried out and resulted in the launch of a cooperation project between The Finnish Peony Society and The City of Kotka. The construction of the peony park will begin this Autumn by planting about 200 peony roots, which represent about fifteen different varieties. The Finnish Peony Society donates these peonies and is responsible for planting them. The location of the new park is close to the city centre. It will be at the corner of Puistokatu and Urheilukatu.
Jyrki Karppinen, a board member of The Finnish Peony Society has lived with his family in Kotka for 16 years. He has followed the development of the parks in his city closely over the years. Due to the many rewards granted and the vast amount of international recognition gained, Kotka can be considered the capital among Finnish parks. The Southern seaside city of Kotka is only an hour’s drive from the Finnish capital city, Helsinki.
Jyrki envisioned his local parks being decorated with peonies. He spent a year thinking about his vision after which he decided to take further action. In the beginning of this year he approached the head gardener of City of Kotka, puutarhaneuvos (Finnish honorary title) Heikki Laaksonen. Fruitful discussions were resulted in the launch of a cooperation project between The Finnish Peony Society and The City of Kotka. A park of a thousand peonies will be established, starting this Autumn. The principle of the cooperation project is that the Finnish Peony Society donates the peonies, is responsible for planting and handling the maintenance. Kotka City park office is responsible for establishing the planting groups and for handling the irrigation of the area.
The location for the peony park has been decided upon together, involving The City of Kotka as well as The Finnish Peony Society. The location at the corner of Puistokatu and Urheilukatu, next to the recently renovated Gunpowder Cellar, was chosen. It is both favourable for the peonies, as well as centrally located for visitors. The construction of the peony park will begin this Autumn by planting about 200 peony roots, which represent about fifteen different varieties (Updated on 27 October 2020: a total of 250 peony roots, representing 58 different varieties were planted in autumn 2020).
The Finnish Peony Society and its chairman Riitta Juonala have been closely involved in the planning. Riitta and Jyrki have drawn plans for the planting. The objective of The Park of a 1000 Peonies will be pursued by expanding plantings over a timespan of several years. This will be carried out by increasing the number of different varieties, resulting in impressive peony borders of both early blooming varieties, as well as later blooming ones.
The purpose of the peony park project is to provide visitors – both locals and tourists – with new experiences, as well as spread peony awareness in accordance with the objectives of The Finnish Peony Society. The Kotka peony park will provide a large, impressive exhibition garden.
The peony park will be established in this area
You can see the photos of the peony varieties to be planted in the peony park this autumn here.