peony season.

Peony season is way too short!

pink peonies

I wish we could make it last longer.  Unfortunately they are predicting a hot and humid weekend coming up for us in Minnesota, and really hot weather tends to zap the peony blossoms.  Heavy rain spells doom for them as well.  So, I decided I may as well cut some and bring them in to enjoy.

peonies and watering can

I just picked up a new peony to add to my cutting garden.  It’s called Raspberry Sundae and is the one on the bottom here …

new peony

Isn’t it yummy?  I love the pale pink fading away into white and then into a pale creamy yellow towards the center.  I like to buy peony bushes when they are blooming so I can see what the flower will really look like.  The photos on the garden center tags can be extremely misleading.

peonies in watering can 2

Peonies can also look quite different once they open fully.  I purchased this one a few years back without realizing that it was a Single.

single peony

I much prefer Doubles.

I’ve had the white peonies (these are Doubles) for quite a few years now.

white peony

 The medium pink peonies (in my first photo) were here when we purchased our house.  That means they are at least 30 years old or more.  Imagine that!  I’ve moved them a couple of times, although peonies do not like to be moved.

I put in a hot pink peony about 3 or 4 years ago.  This one looks gorgeous out in the garden with those vibrant pops of pink.

hot pink peony

For the most part, aside from this bright pink version, I don’t think peonies look that good in the garden.  They are gorgeous for the very short couple of weeks that they are blooming, but after that they are pretty boring. Mine are very susceptible to powdery mildew too, which looks pretty awful.  I’ve tried all kinds of different remedies for it, none of which worked.  But I’ve read that although the powdery mildew can weaken the plants, it won’t kill them.  It mainly just looks ugly.  For that reason, this year I’m planning to move several of my plants to my cutting garden out behind the carriage house once they are done blooming.  They can look ugly all they want to back there.

Moving peonies can mean a year or two without many blooms.  That’s OK, I can steal some from nnK next year.  Shhhhhh, don’t tell her, but I stole these for a photo shoot last week …

nnk's peonies

You’ll see more of them on Friday when I post the pink dresser!

How about you, are you a fan of peonies?  Have you got any tips for getting rid of that pesky mildew?  If so, I’m all ears.

25 thoughts on “peony season.

  1. As a little girl I remember peonies being very under appreciated because of ants! Now those are a favorite and I agree so fleeting! Q…I really enjoy your staging and it peonies or furniture!


  2. Peonies smell so heavenly and you are right they bloom such a short time. But they are such showy, in your face blooms that you forgive them. I had them in St. Louis, but haven’t tried them in Texas due to the heat. Although I did talk to a lady a couple of weeks ago who has successfully grown them so I might try in a year or so! Yours are beautiful and look so good in your photo shoots.


    1. Thanks Laura. They do smell heavenly! Except those bright pink ones, they have almost no scent at all. They must have bred them for their color and lost track of the scent along the way.


  3. I too am a fan of Peonies ! I have the double pinks in a few areas around my house. I have tried a few sprays and powders for the mildew without success. I had read that it can spread to other flowers so I usually cut them down a few weeks after they have dropped all their blooms. I noticed this year that mine are not as fragrant as they were years before. Do you have any ideas why?
    Love your blog!


    1. Hmmm. That’s an odd one. Mine are as fragrant as always this year. So, I’m curious, when you cut your peonies back that early do they send up new shoots again, and do they come back fine the next year?


  4. Big fan of peonies. When my husband and I built our first home each of his grandmothers gave us a peony from their yard. When we moved our garden was in full bloom and the buyer fell in love not only with the house but the garden. So they did not come with us. I definitely would like to add some to our current garden. All I know it they like a sunny location and sprinkling in the mid-morning but that is difficult when you work unless you have a sprinkler system on a timer. The thinking here is if the spores land in the water they die. There are fungicides to treat powdery mildew but I try to stay away from chemical treatments for homemade remedies if possible.


    1. I’ve tried both home remedies and chemical sprays. I rarely water my gardens unless we are having a serious dry spell. Of course, it’s impossible to time the rain. I’ve also read that you should plant them where they have good air flow, and mine do. I’ve also been careful to cut the plants right down to the ground in the fall to remove all infected foliage. As usual, it seems like the newer fancy cultivars are more susceptible to the mildew. The 30 year old peonies are never affected!


    2. Oh, and one more thing, I’m so sad that you didn’t get to hang onto those peonies. What a lovely idea for your grandmothers to share those with you. Maybe whomever lives there now would divide them and share some with you.


    1. Those were from Arlene’s garden (don’t worry, she gave them to me, I didn’t sneak over after dark like a garden ninja). She gave some to Debbie also. She has two huge plants and they are still covered with blossoms. You couldn’t even tell that she had cut any after giving away two huge bouquets.


  5. Yes, I love peonies. Growing up we had 8 or 10 plants bordering our side yard. My mother would cut them and put them in two large milk glass vases. Our whole house smelled amazing. My husband just planted four bushes behind our day lilies for me last year and I’m so thrilled they bloomed for us. I cut a small bouquet and brought indoors and they remind me so much of both my mom and dad and the home we had when I was a kid. BTW, my daughter has those two milk glass vases today. She has no peonies to put in them but has gorgeous roses in her yard. Perhaps I’ll have to give her a few of mine. You are right, the bloom time is so short, enjoy them. I especially like the dark pink ones you have in the white pitcher.


  6. I do love peonies more than roses! They smell wonderful! I am lucky and haven’t been hit with the mildew too bad here in CT. Never thought of drying them…hmmmm something to try!


  7. My most favorite flower! They are finished blooming here in North Central Missouri. My friend has a ton of them in her yard (she reminds me of you in regards to gardening) and she brought vases of them into our office this year. I don’t even mind the occasional ant that came along for the ride! Yours are beautiful! PS…I prefer the doubles as well!


  8. Mine are buded but not blooming yet. Your blossoms must be because you are way out West from me…here in cent. Wisconsin. Wink wink


    1. The peonies in Minneapolis neighborhoods always bloom just a bit earlier than mine, maybe you’re on to something with the ‘west’ thing 😉


  9. Peonies are my absolute favourite bloom! The season really is tooooooo short! It’s sad that they don’t last longer …. there really should be a peonies support group for someone like me 😉 lol! I am doing some interior design work for a Tulip farm and they just gifted me a huge arrangement of stunning white peonies from their field (literally a field) of peonies!! It’s like peony heaven there right now! I hope you have an amazing day!


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