Perennial gardeners have enjoyed a long love affair with peonies. They’re extremely long-lived, lasting two decades or more, they’re tough as nails, standing up to the worst northern winters, they require little fertilizer, and they’re among the showiest perennials around. It’s no wonder that peonies have such a devoted following.
Several different peonies are hitting the market that will attract devoted collectors as well as casual fans of this perennial favourite.
Cactus Flowered Peonies
These unique peonies put on a stunning display, with blooms very similar in shape to the popular cactus flowered dahlias. Many varieties feature twisted, distorted petals that really draw the eye. Smaller in stature than double-flowering peonies, cactus flowered peonies grow to about 80 cm in height. The more compact growth habit and the lightweight, single flowers combine to help these peonies withstand wind damage much better than their larger counterparts.
‘Pink Luau’ features fragrant blooms with spoon-shaped petals of soft pink, with dark raspberry streaks, resembling a single-flowered rose.
‘Pink Firefly’ has rich, light-pink blossoms. The petals have serrated edges that look as if someone made tiny little decorative cutouts with a pair of scissors.
‘Raspberry Rumba’ has a wild, untamed, tousled appearance of peppermint candy, with white petals streaked with pink and raspberry.
Rock Garden Peonies
Rock garden peonies are compact, some varieties less than half the size of other peonies. As the name implies, they look great in rock gardens, but they can also be used in small gardens. The introduction of rock garden peonies is a great new development, the first compact peonies that are actually named varieties rather than species types. Now you can enjoy them in a small garden without sacrificing any of the outstanding vigour and beauty!
Fairy Princess’ forms a beautiful, compact, forest-green bush that produces lovely, true-red, cupped blooms on red stems early in the season. The plants are 40-45 cm tall and wide.
‘Thumbellina’ is a fragrant, early-blooming, very floriferous peony, producing many rosy-pink blooms on a plant only 40 cm tall!