Peonies…stunning blousy blooms

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Peonies are one of my favourite flowers.

Pink Peonies

When we moved into our new house four years ago, I was so happy to see that there was a peony plant already established in the garden. Normally it would have been in flower by now. But although it has buds, I’m still waiting for them to unfurl…. At the RHS Chelsea Flower Show last week, many people commented that we’re about a month behind in our gardens, due to the prolonged cold weather that we’ve been having in the UK.

Pink Peonies in Bloom

Peonies, whose Latin name is Paeonia, come in a range of colours including red, yellow, white and various shades of pink. Popular varieties include Sarah Bernhardt, Bowl of Beauty, Buckeye Belle and Duchesse de Nemours. There are also wonderful new varieties called Coral Charm and Coral Sunset.

White Peony Flower

You should plant peonies just below the surface, with their crowns no more than 3cm below the soil. They won’t flower in the first year, but gradually they’ll build up flower production every year after that. With regards to care, it’s best to chop back the foliage to the ground in July.

Peonies fully in bloom

When the peony plant in our garden does bloom, I’ll be making the very most of the flowers’ fleeting appearance. But what’s great about this herbaceous perennial is that the plants themselves generally have a long life, returning each year to reward you with their blousy, very beautiful blooms.

P.S. Did you know that in the Language of Flowers peonies represent shame, devotion and bashfulness?

PPS. Sarah Raven sell peony plants on their website, although they won't be available to purchase until next Spring, you can add them to your garden wishlist, and enjoy browsing through them!

(Images : Flickr : 27307412@N07/78428166@N00/wdwbarber/thebees)

Thanks for reading,