Peonies in the garden

by Caroline Brown

Peonies are one of those flowers that people become addicted to…you know the ones: roses, true lilies, daylilies, hydrangea, clematis….and peonies.

Besides their beautiful flowers, flowers in the Paeonia family have lush, attractive, dark green foliage. With their leaves, they make a beautiful arrangement. I cut these peonies from our front garden.

I'm not normally a cut-flower kind of person. I prefer to see flowers in their natural state–outside in the garden–and I like the idea of "sharing" the view of them with my neighbors.

But, I cut these and brought them in because they're so many of them, I can't see them from inside the house because of their location, and hardly anyone else can see them because they're drooping so low! This year I even used a peony support (which you can't see anymore) but it still can't keep those long stems from drooping under the weight of the big flower heads.

The plant is going wild with flowers, as you can see. Even though we have a shady yard, this one area is sunny. Our peony gets enough sun to do what it does best–make beautiful flowers–but I think the plant would be in best form if it had more sun. I'm not sure, but I think that's why the heads are drooping–the stems grow longer because they're reaching for light.

Peonies can live a very long time–up to 50 years! Ours is well-established and blooms consistently, so it's probably quite old–though I wouldn't be willing to guess exactly how old. They are usually hardy to US Zone 2, deer resistant, drought tolerant, and fairly low-maintenance (probably why ours is so nice.)

Once, a shady contractor that we were acquainted with who happened to know a lot about flowers, half-way jokingly offered to take the peony off our hands. Forget it, sleazebag….the peony's a keeper!

4 Comments to “Peonies in the garden”

  1. I am addicted to Peony.. I’m not ashamed to admit it!

  2. Me too–I could look at them all day.

  3. I love them, too. So Victorian. You’re so lucky to have them growing in your yard. They’re so beautiful…..

  4. These are gorgeous…wish the scent would come through too….that’s wonderful too. G

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