We're Glad You Stopped By To Meet Our Family (And A Few Friends)
The story of Pagoda House Peonies began in seed form when Samantha began thinking in earnest about starting her own business. She loved gardening and flowers and began searching the internet for business opportunities in the floral industry. She came upon information about a burgeoning movement in Alaska – growing peonies, a favorite flower of hers. More searching led her to attend the Alaska Peony Growers Conference in Fairbanks, Alaska. A follow up visit to an Alaskan peony grower with Mom and some more research convinced her that she wanted to become a flower farmer.
Samantha’s sister, Erla, was immediately interested in the project. Erla had been borrowing books from the library on chicken farming and organic cow farming, desiring something that would involve her children in the outdoors and require some good old–fashioned elbow grease. The prospect of farming flowers instead was too good to pass up.
In 2014, Samantha purchased 5 acres outside of Fairbanks, Alaska and Pagoda House Peonies became a reality. Erla and her husband drove from Indiana to Fairbanks with five children between the ages of 4 and 14 in a 20–year old RV to establish a base camp. The adventure had begun.
After several years of cover crops and soil amendments, we planted our first roots in 2017 with subsequent plantings in 2018 and 2019. We continue to add varieties to include the most desirable colors and forms.
The main benefit of this on-going adventure has been the re–connection of our two families. Samantha’s life journey routed her through high–stress jobs on the East Coast and Erla’s life journey has been wrapped up in being a stay–at–home, homeschooling mom. Relationships were stretched thin with distance and busy lives. We are both so thankful that this opportunity has created time to reconnect as family. The secondary benefit is being able to spend time cultivating gorgeous peonies – a treat to all the senses. We love our peonies and we love sharing their beauty with others.