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Walking through a field of blooming peonies, seven-year-old Al Rogers was captivated by the glistening white and red-flecked petals of the majestic 'Kelway's Glorious'. Now, some sixty years later, he is still enchanted by these elegant, friendly perennials. For more than twenty years, he has owned and operated Caprice Farm Nursery, a major supplier of peonies, and with a lifetime of experience behind him, he has completed the first comprehensive book about peonies written in decades...
...Enthuasiastic amateurs and professionals alike will be thrilled with the complete and detailed information supplied in Al Rogers Peonies - an important book for any gardener's library.
I have grown peonies for a long time, but have recently become more interested in them. This book was full of information that I had not known, for instance, that it is better to plant a 3-5 eye section of a peony that a whole clump if you have to move it, or that you and propagate a tree peony by layering. I am trying to plant a memorial peony garden; I appreciated all the information. Fascinating.
I read the 2004 paperback edition of this book. Absolutely wonderful resource on peonies, chock full of information by an expert on the subject. The book contains sections on the history of peony breeding and culture, species peonies, how to grow and propagate peonies, and lists of recommended cultivars. I especially appreciated the chapter by Linda Engstrom on Landscaping with Peonies. She has some excellent suggestions for companion plantings and integrating peonies into the larger garden, and gives three very attractive planting plans. The photographs are lovely, but unfortunately are all half-page plates grouped together at the middle of the book. This is definitely a great book for anyone interested in peonies.
This book is outstanding in many aspects. First and foremost it is beautiful and interesting, like its subject, the Paeonia. Chock full of all the information I was seeking, with 143 beautiful glossy photographs. Rogers discusses the history, myths, magic and medicine of peonies as well as the culture and propogation, nurseries that provide rare cultivars, a discussion of important hybridizers, past and present, and advice regarding commercial growing.
I was particularly interested in Tree Peony cultivars and he did not disappoint and I greatly appreciated the sections of the book devoted to what we may expect from hybridizers in the near future. Written in the warm manner of a person who is both passionate and knowledgeable, this book is a gem.