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Here Come the Peonies

May 31st, 2009

I’m so excited that my double peonies are starting to bloom. They’re such great plants, hardy and drought resistant, they bloom year after year and seem to thrive on neglect.
It seems like you wait and wait for those giant buds open, and then all at once they’re all in bloom. I’m not sure what kind of peony I have, I inherited them from the previous owners. Someday I’ll try to figure it out to label them properly.
This year I’m planting 5 new peonies that I bought and my mom is giving me a few of hers. In a few years they should all be blooming nicely. On Tuesday my mom and I are headed to Stan Hywet to see their peony collection in bloom.

So what about you, do you love peonies? Do you have any in your gardens?

21 Comments to “Here Come the Peonies”
  1. Mangochild on May 31, 2009 at 6:37 am

    No peonies here…. but I do have a question: How did you decide which flowers to plant? Was it by personal preference? What grows best? I can’t seem to make up my mind for front-door-area plants and the days are ticking by!

    Reply to Mangochild's comment

    • Susy on May 31, 2009 at 8:34 am

      I just always look at what other people have in their gardens that I like. Truth be told I have moved things around and changed the arrangement several times. Most plants don’t mind being moved, although peonies do resent it.

      It is tough to make a decision on what to plant. I tried to buy drought resistant plants that were tough so I wouldn’t have to water once they were established or do much to take care of them. That works for me so I can invest my gardening time elsewhere.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Sherri on May 31, 2009 at 7:07 am

    I absolutely LOVE peonies! I’d love to get some from my MIL – she gives us lots of plants (they’re on 27 acres, so they have a whole lot of dividable perennials, etc). None yet though. There are many in bloom around here right now and makes me want to go get some! Maybe next year though – I think we’ve exhausted our garden $$ for this season!

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  3. kristin on May 31, 2009 at 7:43 am

    We have the BEST peonies. Really. There are several bushes right by the road, and people will actually drive up to the house to ask us what kind they are. And, um, I can’t tell them, because I know nothing about flowers. We also have a whole row up by the house, a mix of white and hot pink. They’re all in full bloom now, but won’t last much longer. One good rain storm will knock ’em right out. The sad truth about peonies.

    Reply to kristin's comment

  4. Julia on May 31, 2009 at 8:17 am

    I have the same peony you do, and was also inherited, so I have so idea what kind it is either. But it’s gorgeous and in full bloom right now.

    Reply to Julia's comment

  5. Judy on May 31, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Those are beautiful :-) I don’t have any of these planted in my yard (but might have to look into it!).

    Reply to Judy's comment

  6. Daphne on May 31, 2009 at 9:03 am

    I mostly love peonies. The thing I hate about them is they are over so quickly. Last year my blooms lasted only four days. I hope we don’t get any heat waves this year when they bloom. I put mine in about four years ago. The one in the partial shade and competing with the Norway maple is the biggest of the two. I never water them, never fertilize them and they just keep getting bigger. I only wish I had planted more of them near the maple tree since nothing else grows well there – well daylilies, but they get boring.

    Daphne’s last blog post.. This and That

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  7. Kim on May 31, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Oh, yes. I love peonies. Ours bloomed for the first time this year, and now I’m totally hooked. I want MORE.

    Kim’s last blog post.. Somebody Stop Me, PLEASE!

    Reply to Kim's comment

  8. IDMike on May 31, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I have a peonie left to us by the previous owner of our house. You’re right, they thrive on neglect! My favorite in that catagory is hostas. It’s always the hosta’s that have me thinking, “oh, right, there’s a hosta there…” when they miraculously resurrect in the spring.

    Reply to IDMike's comment

  9. Claire on May 31, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Peonies are my favourite flower. I would love to see more photographs of your second peony – it looks so intriguing!
    I have two Duchese de Nemours, which are big White flowers and then one pink one that I don’t know the name of. I definitely want more!

    Claire’s last blog post.. Easter

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  10. Renee on May 31, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    I love peonies, but I don’t have any. Buying plants around here seems to be ridiculously expensive. Do you know if they can be started from cuttings? My friend has some absolutely gorgeous peonies, and I’m sure she’d let me take some cuttings. I just don’t know if they can be started that way.

    Renee’s last blog post.. Good Night Bumble Bee, Sleep Tight

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    • Susy on May 31, 2009 at 9:37 pm

      Yes they can be propagated by root cuttings. Take a piece of the root and plant it. It may take a while for it to come up and bloom, but they should do fairly well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Andee on May 31, 2009 at 10:10 pm

        I have found that the best time to divide peonies is in the Fall (which is true for most perennials actually). I suggest digging up the entire plant, letting the dirt dry enough so you can shake and pull the individual crowns apart, and then replant the pieces. The BEST peonies are the shared ones.

        to Andee's comment

  11. dig this chick on May 31, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    When we moved into our house the yard hadn’t been watered in six years. Our entire lot was dirt and weeds except a giant maple tree, wild roses, rhubarb and a peony! Hardy, yes.

    dig this chick’s last blog post.. let the bees and spiders go

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  12. Helen at Toronto Gardens on June 1, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Hi, Chiot’s Run,

    Just came across this great link for identifying peonies. Check it out and perhaps your mystery will be solved.

    Love peonies, but can’t grow them in my garden; the air circulation isn’t good enough and the buds are blackened by botryitis fungus. My sister has great luck at her place in the country, though.

    One thing to remember when planting your new peonies is not to plant them too deeply. The eyes of the new shoots shouldn’t be more than an inch from the soil surface. It’s one of the top reasons for failure with these otherwise tough customers.

    Helen at Toronto Gardens’s last blog post.. Help! Valley-strangling vine!

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  13. pam on June 1, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    My peonies have just finished blooming. I hate to see them finish!

    pam’s last blog post.. Pimento Cheese Burger

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  14. Jan (ThanksFor2Day) on June 1, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    It is gorgeous;-) Absolutely LOVELY! I had some this year that I loved…but I’m sure yours is even prettier. My pink bloom was the only one on the bush! It had no blooms last year, so maybe next year there will be a whole bunch. I hope so!

    Jan (ThanksFor2Day)’s last blog post.. Garden Bloggers’ Muse Day: June 1, 2009

    Reply to Jan (ThanksFor2Day)'s comment

  15. Alice Joyce on June 2, 2009 at 6:18 am

    Ah, peonies. I surely do love them, and miss them I greatly. They were a high point in my Chicago garden, but not in my California garden. Nope, peonies are not among the wonderful trove of flora that thrives here. I’ll just have to set my nose upon these virtual blooms to enjoy them fully!

    Alice Joyce’s last blog post.. Biodynamic Gardens / Historic Battery Park

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  16. Amy on May 1, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Peonies are definitely the “IT” flower. Vibrant, fragrant, gorgeous. I know, I started with 25 varieties and look at me now, I have a Peony Farm in Sequim, Washington. Ladies, check out my website “” for great selections. Especially, Pink Jitterbug. If I were a bride, I’d definitely choose it for my floral bouquet. Looks like somebody made it up!

    Reply to Amy's comment

  17. Peonies Wedding on May 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Yes we have tons of peonies. We started growing peonies as a hobby in the ealry 90s and now like Amy above we have a peony farm also. Please visit http://www.bridgewatgergardens to purchase cut peonies flowers or peony plants.

    The light pink peony above lookslike Sarah Bernhardt.

    Reply to Peonies Wedding's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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