Tricia, I have about 22 peonies, but I don't know the names of many. When
we moved here long ago - nearly 40 years now, I bought a special from
Wayside Gardens of 12 unnamed ones. They have all bloomed and are
beautiful but I don't know names. They range from two deep red - nearly
purple - bombe types to several different pinks and one large white bombe
and one white Japanese (single) type. Since then, I have added quite a
few, and I have even forgotten the names of some of them, though I knew
at the time. My favorites, I do know, are 'Gai Paree' and the very old
This website has a picture of 'Gai Paree'
Some do bloom earlier than others - I have a pink that is about 10 days
earlier than the rest - but the season isn't really very long.
A few years ago I visited a commercial peony farm that grew them for
the florist trade. They said 'Festiva Maxima' was still their best seller
both as plants and for cutting. They told us that for the longest life
of the bloom you should cut it when the flower bud is still tightly
closed but when it feels 'squishy' when you touch it. I have found that
to be pretty reliable. I won't disbud for bigger blooms as we are told
to do for flower shows. There are often three or more blooms on a
stem, and I won't sacrifice the flowers. I can usually find a pretty good
singleton if I need one for a show. No shows at the right time this year,
I haven't the least desire to move South - having grown up there - but
if I even thought of it, the idea of giving up peonies and lilacs would
cure me at once.
In a message dated 6/9/2009 7:11:07 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
I just love peonies! I totally missed mine blooming this year. That just
happened to be the week I was gone to the Chelsea flower show. Which was
great but I still missed my peonies.
I try to take in as many as possible because of how fast they fall apart
outside. I didn't for years then someone convinced me to try cutting them.
Since that year I have cut and cut so that I can enjoy them longer. I just
really wish they bloomed for longer. Maybe I should research different
to see if there are some that bloom early and some later.
What varities do you have Auralie?
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