Peony’s Envy

Using Mushroom Compost In The Horticulture And Floriculture Business

Peony’s Envy is a nursery and display garden in Bernardsville, New Jersey within easy access of New York City and Philadelphia. Peony’s Envy offers one of the most extensive collections of tree and herbaceous peonies in the Northeast, with over 30,000 peony plants featuring over two hundred and fifty distinct cultivars.

Kathleen Gagan, the owner, was recently asked, “What makes her plants so sought after and prized?” Her answer was, “It’s all in the soil.” She went on to explain, it took a few years to find the right amendment. She found it in mushroom compost after experimenting on her lawn than incorporating the compost into her gardens.

The results have been healthier plants, bigger blooms and less maintenance. Her source of pasteurized compost is Full Circle Mushroom Compost out of West Grove, PA. She commends Full Circle with “A+ Customer Service”, because they go out of their way to find solutions in delivery and application ideas. Furthermore she likes the “organic nature” of the compost. She enjoys knowing that it was used to grow a food product and therefore knows what is in it and how consistent the quality is.

In her lectures, Kathleen cautions students to research the compost they use especially biosolids and leaf mulch. She says, “If it is cheap there is probably a good reason for it – nobody knows what it consists of.” She has had a student utilize leaf mulch only to have their prized 100 year old peony die. Kathleen has found the compost from Full Circle to be reliable in delivery and consistent in quality.

Additional information on these two companies can be found on the web at: and


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