Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tree Peonies, Part One

Early Monday morning I went to get something out of the refrigerator and found this:

The tree peonies were in full bloom, but there was a storm warning and my husband wanted to save some blooms. The door's bottom shelf became our "flower cooler."
Do you know tree peonies?
There are peonies and then there are peonies. 
Specifically, those known as Chinese tree peonies.

I had never heard of a tree peony eight years ago. I was introduced to them by a friend who convinced me to try growing a plant. I did and I was hooked. We still grow the herbaceous peonies (the peony that most will recognize), but the tree peonies have really captured our hearts.

Hardy in most of the U.S. (zones 4-9), as you can see, tree peonies need a bit of space. They will grow large when happy, reaching the size of a shrub or even larger. The plant below is only four years old. We have a lavender tree peony that is over six feet tall. 

They prefer sun, but not a whole day of it. To keep the blooms the longest amount of time, dappled shade would be perfect. They should not be planted close to a tree as the tree would rob the generous root system of its needed nutrients.

Most blooms open up to 6"-10" saucers. Besides their gorgeous colors, they also smell delightful.

Here is a yellow tree peony bloom; isn't it unusual to see a yellow peony?

One of my favorites is the white tree peony.

It has Attitude!

Do you grow any tree peonies?

Coming up, I'll introduce you to its other stunning colors...

Linking up to White Wednesday over at Faded Charm


  1. Gorgeous! What could be better than peonies in the fridge?

  2. I get the Cricket Hill Garden via email. It is filled with tree peonies. I have not had the courage, yet, to buy any and plant them due to our high altitude and frequency of hail in our area. Your sare so pretty. I'll just come by and visit your garden on your blog.

  3. Those peonies are gorgeous, that reminds me that one time on my birthday I found flowers in the refrigerator and the card was from my ophthalmologist, I was freaking out, because I had surgery with him but I didn't expect him to send me flowers and that my husband found them by the door and put them in the fridge,trembling I took the card and looked on the back.... phew! they were from my husband, just he didn't find a decent card but the ophthalmologist one and used it to write "I love you" on the back. That has been the only time that I found flowers in my fridge. That's the story of today Annie, thank you for sharing those beautiful peonies with us.
    XXX Ido

  4. Yes, Yes, we have tree peonies, as you know Ann!
    But finished flowering weeks ago!

    What a wonderful surprise for you early morning!

    Very interesting and informing post! Thank you.

    Greetings, karin

    By the way:
    Our Oleander is planted into the ground next to the Guesthouse, facing south. But before we had them for a few years in pots to give them time to 'aclimatice'. So far nor problems with frost or snow, if not too long.
    Helpful info?

  5. We don't have tree peonies in South Louisiana. Would love to have a peonie tree. Beautiful!

  6. They are completely gorgeous and I can almost smell their scent right through my computer screen! I've gotta go see if they'll grow in our climate--thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Beautiful peonies! And such a great grouping of colors, good for DH for rescuing them!

    Thanks for joining the garden party,

  8. Hello Annie,
    I just ordered some floral fragrances for my soaps, one of them is peony, as soon as my soaps are ready, I will send you some.
    XXXX Ido

  9. Gorgeous pics Ann. I love the peopenies and have a few bushes but it is tough to grow them here and I had ONE flower this year!

  10. Hi Annie~ ~
    It's nice to meet you and your tree peony's. I adore them but do not have any in my garden at this house. I had better get on the stick and buy a few. I love how they don't fall over like the standard ones. The branches are so much stronger.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  11. Coming over from Little Round Table's garden party to peek around! Gorgeous peony trees! love that yellow one! i host a garden party on Thursday's & would love to have link up sometime? xoxo, tracie



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