One of the joys of any garden, stunning large scented flowers adorn these plants during the summer months. Peony, like roses, are feeders and enjoy heavy, fertile soil. While they do well in heavy soils, the trick is to make sure drainage is impeccable!
The Peony rose is one plant I would not recommend you put in a container, as from experience, it loves to have plenty of space in the ground! So plant them in a bed or border. They make a stunning feature in any garden and you can create a beautiful cottage garden with them, as they come in lovely romantic shades of pinks, crimsons, creams and whites. Paeonias do take a few years to settle into position, so this is not a plant for the impatient gardener, but if you have the virtue and wait, you will be rewarded with flowers year after year – or even a lifetime, and you can't ask for more than that!
Paeonias can be divided every few years to get new plants. This invigorates the older clump and ensures a good supply of flowers each year. When planting, dig in plenty of Wetland Farmyard Manure and John Innes Multipurpose Compost. The best granular feeding is a slow release as it will last in the ground for 6 months and give an additional spring boost with sulphate of potash.
Some of the loveliest varieties are:
Paeonia 'Lady Liberty' – a stunning bicolour variety with rose pink outer petals and rich cream, white ruffled petals. A really free flowering variety!
Plena Red – a rich crimson variety with very strong stems and an abundance of flowers. A must for all Paeonia lovers.
'Sarah Bernhart' – my favourite, but then I'm a romantic when it comes to gardening. I love soft pink lavenders and mauves.
Paeonia 'Karl Rosenfeld' – crimson, pink, one of the most reliable to flower in poorer soil.
Great companion plants for you Paeonias:
Hosta, Zantedeschia 'Solomon's Seal', Evergreen Azaleas, Japanese Maples, Camelias. I love to have a few ferns interplanted throughout as well.