Peony season

Did you know you may extend your peony season by choosing early to late bloomers?

Peonies are surely the symbols of the late Spring cottage garden. In zones 3-8, peonies are perennials blooming over a period of 6 weeks, starting in April up to mid-July, and even later, depending where you are (the colder, the later).

It is easy to become peony-obsessed when one realizes the different colors and shapes available on the market. And this notwithstanding their endearing value as cut flowers.

Consider selecting different varieties and hybrids to extend the blooming time of your peony border as each flower graces the plant for 5 to 10 days and one plant may bloom up to 2-3 weeks. A little Internet search goes a long way to help you make your choice and stagger the bloom times. Here are some of my favorite hybrids in my collection.

Please note, some growers divide these in narrower categories. Also, exceptionally hot Spring weather may shorten the blooming periods and blur the gap between each category.

Very early and early bloomers

Very early to early bloomers include from left to right: Paeonia ‘Early Scout’, ‘Pink Hawaiian Coral’ and ‘Buckeye Belle’

Tree peonies like this 25 year-old prolific ‘Godaishu’ are usually among the most early bloomers.

Mid-season bloomers

The mid-season peonies are beautiful and prolific.
Top row from left: ‘Jeanne Cayeux’. ‘Krinkled White’.
Bottom row from left: ‘Gay Paree’, ‘Raspberry Sunday’, ‘Karl Rosenfeld’ and “Lemon Chiffon’

Mid- to late season bloomers

Late midseason brings the last but not the less.
Top row, from left to right: Paeonia ‘Bowl of Love’. ‘Charm’ and ‘Sorbet’.
Second row, from left to right: Paeonia ‘Primevère’, ‘Lady Orchid’ and Itoh ‘Bartzella’

Even when the Sarah Bernhardt are almost gone, a sure sign the peony season is ending, they may fill your house with beauty and fragrance.

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