Imagine a plant with fabulous flamboyant flowers, that just gets better and better, year after year. One of the very best hardy garden perennials is the peony. Nothing comes close. And what’s more, peonies are surprisingly easy to grow.
Tree peonies or herbaceous peonies?
There are two different forms of peonies, the clump forming perennial herbaceous peonies and the shrubby tree peonies. Both types make fabulous garden plants, but if you want to really create the garden wow-factor, there is a much greater variety, and that means even more choice, within the herbaceous perennials. These are amazing plants for the garden border and will reward you with stunning blousy blooms in early to mid-summer that are perfect for cutting, or enjoy them in-situ as the flower buds form, swell and explode into the most exquisite garden flowers.
The lowdown on herbaceous peonies
Herbaceous garden peonies die back to ground level in early winter and then magically reappear in spring, bearing fat flower buds that open into the most amazing flowers.
Peonies are much easier to grow than some might think and with a small amount of care you will be rewarded by their stunning display each summer.
Rumour has it the peonies don’t like to be disturbed once planted, but actually that’s not true. Peony plants should be lifted and divided every 3-5 years. This will not only give existing plants a new lease of life but will give you several new plants to fill your garden borders or pot up and give as gifts.
With their big, blousy flowers and fabulous foliage, growing peonies in your garden will make you the envy of all your friends. There are masses of varieties to pick from so to help you with your decision we’ve selected three of our favourites, these super varieties are a wonderful mix of colours and forms to complete your flower borders.
Peony ‘Angel Cheeks’
A truly stunning variety with large, blowsy, ruffled, blushed-pink blooms, Peony ‘Angel Cheeks’ is everything a peony should be. Not only is it a showstopper with its beauty, its sweet fragrance is sure to knock you out! Compact and hardy, it’s great for any space in borders or even in pots, and is perfect for cut flowers, filling your home with its stunning sweet scent. Flowering from late spring into early summer.
Peony ‘Bowl of Love’
A charming, shorter and more compact version of the beloved ‘Bowl of Beauty’, one of the best known of all peonies! Its giant hot pink blooms and creamy buttery-yellow centres are teamed with a sweet, floral fragrance. An RHS Award of Garden Merit Winner, Peony ‘Bowl of Love’ is fully hardy, flowering from late spring into early summer and is perfect for borders and pots, and as cut flowers to fill your home with their beautiful scent.
Peony ‘Coral Sunset’
An RHS Award of Garden Merit winner, Peony ‘Coral Sunset’ produces gorgeous, bowl-shaped blooms, with ruffled petals that open coral pink and slowly change to apricot and soft yellow as they age. Its contrasting bright yellow, pollen filled stamens are loved by bees and other pollinators. Beautifully scented, this peony is fully hardy, flowering from late spring into early summer and is perfect for borders and pots, and as cut flowers.
Peony ‘Inspecteur Lavergne’
A real showstopper! With large double blooms and intense crimson-red ruffled petals, Peony ‘Inspecteur Lavergne’ is sure to be the centre of attention in any garden. Beautifully fragranced with tall straight stems, this peony is excellent for cutting and will last for a long time in water. Loved by pollinators, it is fully hardy, flowering from late spring into early summer, and is perfect for borders and pots.
This pretty peony is no joke! With gorgeous rosette-like double blooms, Peony ‘Joker’ opens a deep pink and fades to a blush pink as it ages, leaving a deep pink ‘picotee’ edging to give it a truly unique look. Its shorter stature makes it great for borders and pots, and its straight stems make it perfect for cut flowers. Flowering from late spring into early summer.
Peony ‘Lancaster Imperial’
Light up your garden with these elegant pom poms! Peony ‘Lancaster Imperial’ produces masses of showy, large, white, double-ruffled blooms, sat atop contrasting dark green stems and foliage. Loved by pollinators, this peony has a beautiful light and sweet, fruity fragrance and flowers from as early as April! Compact and hardy, this stunning peony is great for any space in borders or pots, and is perfect for cut flowers, filling your home with its scent.
For some Peony growing tips Click here.