Marcel Wories, together with his wife Elvira and his sons Koos, Ties and Cas, cultivates over 1,5 million peonies in France. The whole family is passionate about peonies; seems like they all have been infected with that infectious peony virus!
In France, the peonies are cultivated in heavy red soil under lots of sunlight, which results in heavy and powerful peonies. The nursery is located in Le Luc in La Provence. Peonies that grow here are a bit later than those cultivated in the southern city of Hyeres, but a lot sooner than those cultivated in the Netherlands.
Marcel targets high range peonies varieties and focusses on value for money. He knows which varieties to pick. Marcel: “The market is asking for peonies with large, thick buds. If a variety doesn’t seem to be successful, we remove it from our assortment.” Karsten Agricultures SARL cultivates on about 10 hectares of land where you’ll find Sarah Bernhardt, Red Sarah Bernhardt, Dr. Alexander Fleming, Coral Sunset, Coral Charm, Flame, Mother’s Choice and Duchesse de Nemours. These are important varieties for this nursery because of the big buds and pure colours. Furthermore, the peony varieties cultivated by Karsten Agricultures SARL are bigger than those of the competition.
Karsten Agricultures SARL is one of the bigger players. Nurseries that ship in large quantities often have trouble keeping quality standards high. But not Marcel Wories. According to him, it’s his different approach to cultivation that makes a difference. Marcel: “A healthy, nutritious soil is just as important as the peonies themselves. By improving the soil, we improve our plants, so in turn they can produce more and nicer flowers. That’s the circle of life: be good to nature, so she’ll be good to you.”
Marcel is a perfectionist and critical of the use of pesticides and growth stimulators. “They work fine for a little while, but they weaken the soil and make the plant immune in the long term. That’s why we try to let nature do her own thing.”
The “peoneers” of the Wories family are a great team and we have no doubt that their wonderful nursery will continue to grow and flourish. And we couldn’t be happier here at My Peony Society.