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March 3rd 2011

Peony Paradise

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Strangely Peonies weren’t a love at first sight flower for me. While their enormous, overblown blooms are amazing and a favorite among most, I didn’t actually fall in love with them until just a few seasons ago.

Traditionally Peonies are famous for blooming on Memorial Day and decorate cemeteries all over the country in late May.


The first stems I sold were to a woman from the Midwest who had been laying them on her father‘s grave for the last 20 years. The thought of these old fashioned flowers, consistently marking such a special holiday, made me want to grow as many as possible.

If you frequent farmer’s markets or roadside stands you’ll often see big bundles of Peonies in soft pinks, deep fuchsia and white available for a steal in the spring. Most are picked a bit too open(pictured below), since shoppers expect to see what they are buying, and would last many days more if purchased in colored bud stage (pictured above).



My modest patch, which will hopefully someday be a field, is filled with the traditional wedding favorites in soft pink and white, with a handful of the coveted Corals thrown in for fun.



I love combining a big bundle of Peonies together with a few Garden Roses, Herbs and early perennials like Lupine, Columbine and Geraniums.



In recent years “designer Peonies” have hit the floral world by storm. You can find huge, bomb like blooms in deep crimson, cherry red, coral, magenta, pure white and even yellow. There are huge fluffy heads, rich cupped singles and the occasional oddity with thin scraggly petals sporting names like Swizzle and Peppermint Sticks.


My all time favorite Peony, Cythera (pictured above and below) is unfreaking real. The color, the smell, the SIZE. It’s one of the earliest ,so do keep an eye out at the start of the season and ask around with some of the more specialty growers. It will most certainly rock your worldJ




  1. Sandy on

    Do you sell peonies?

  2. ilovepeonies on

    Peonies, peonies, peonies. I just love peonies! And you did such an amazing job of taking pictures of them. Gorgeous, bold, fragrant – this is what started my passion for peonies. A passion that led me to developing a peony farm in Sequim, Wa. As a matter of fact, I can't hardly wiat for blooming season this year because I have 1,000 peonies planted. I wish you can come and enjoy it with me. All I can say is, keep on planting these gorgeous beauties.

  3. growingflowers on

    the beauty of your flowers, your photos and your life just floors me over and over again. I just can't believe how incredible it all is!

  4. Denise on

    Swimming in gorgeousness!

  5. Lotte Janssens on

    Your pictures are like a wonderful magical dream, gorgeous !

  6. botanical brouhaha on

    So beautiful! In South Texas we fantasize about growing peonies. Brides can't get enough of them. Love the bouquet containing your "favorite"!

  7. flwrjane on

    Lush, lush, lusciousness.

    Red charm is my heart throb, but I never say never to any peony. I'm a fool for a peony. And I always have a moment to spare for a lupine. But too hot to trot in Virginia for them. So I grow false indigo and pretend.

    xo Jane

  8. lovebirdstationery on

    Hello! I just came across your site through Wild Acre and am most delighted about this. Your photos, your writing, your flowers are divine. I'm glad I stumbled across your site…you provide me with much inspiration. Thank you!
    Bella x

  9. edi gardner on

    I found you only yesterday when growing for market arrived. Absolute bliss!

  10. The Monkey Flower Group on

    I wish I had better words to say how much I am enjoying this series of floral flashbacks. Can't wait to see the coming season's bounty!

  11. Catherine on

    wonderful pictures ! If only I could grow enough flowers to have a fresh bouquet every week !


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