Peonies are hardy plants which are perfect for the border, flowering reliably every year. Positioned in sun or partial shade, peonies produce large, impressive flowers, that can be enjoyed in the garden, or used as cut flowers.
Peonies come in various forms:
Herbaceous peonies form a compact, bushy habit and produce large blooms during June. They are usually used in herbaceous borders, growing to a height of around 70-90cm. Herbaceous peonies die down at the end of the season, then regrow the following spring.
Tree peonies bloom from early April to late May, extending the peony flowering season when combined with herbaceous or intersectional peonies. They typically reach a size of around 1.2m over time. Tree peonies are shrubby and don’t die down at the end of the season.
Intersectional peonies are a cross between tree and herbaceous peonies. The flowers of intersectional peonies are very intense in colour and are very long lasting.
Take a look at our choice of 10 beautiful peonies to grow – spotted at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2015.
Peony ‘Coral Charm’
Peony ‘Coral Charm’ flowers in June, changing colour as it opens. It starts salmon pink, then gradually opens to orange, then finally yellow. Growing to 90cm tall with strong stems, it’s a good size for a border.
Peony ‘Duchess of Kent’
Peony ‘Duchess of Kent’ is a vigorous Japanese tree peony, eventually reaching a size of up to 1.2m. Ruby tulip-shaped buds emerge in early May, and open throughout May to reveal large, ruffled blooms with a slight violet hue.
Peony ‘Duchess of Marlborough’
Flowering mid-season, this famous Japanese tree peony variety produces very large, pale pink blooms. Peony ‘Duchess of Marlborough’ grows to around 1.2m over time, flowering profusely each year
This unique variety produces large, apricot and magenta two-tone blooms with a rich, spicy fragrance. ‘Hillary’ is an intersectional peony with a ‘bush’ habit, growing to approximately 75cm.
Peony ‘Laura Dessert’
Fragrant French cultivar, ‘Laura Dessert’, has pale creamy-yellow blooms with ruffled, pompom-like centre. Flowering mid-season they bring a fresh scent to the border. Its eventual height is around 90cm.
Peony ‘Lollipop’ is an intersection peony with unusual pink-speckled apricot blooms. The foliage is delicate and the stems hold the flowers well. This variety is mid-season flowering and grows in a ‘bush’ form, around 80cm high.
Peony ‘Pink Hawaiian Coral’
Peony ‘Pink Hawaiian Coral’ flowers early on in the season, around late May, so is often used to extend the peony season in a garden. It’s vigorous and easy to grow, producing large coral-pink blooms. It grows to around 90cm in height.
Peony ‘Prairie Moon’
‘Prairie Moon’ is a herbaceous peony, growing to around 75cm in height. The white single blooms have a bright yellow centre. It’s an early-flowering variety, bringing interest to the border during June.
This eye-catching red and white striped variety produces lots of blooms, each of them are unique. ‘Shimanishiki’ is a sought after Japanese tree peony, forming a neat ‘shrub’ habit, around 1m in height.
Peony ‘Souvenir de Maxime Cornu’
This French tree peony has vary large, double ruffled peach-coloured blooms. The flowers hang downwards with their own weight, and as they mature, they become stronger in colour. Peony ‘Souvenir de Maxime Cornu’ has an eventual height of around 1.2m.
Thank you to Kelways for help with making this feature.