I just came in from inspecting my new peony from Hidden Springs Flower Farm. I have to admit I've already placed my second order.
I'm into heirloom gardening and am trying to build a garden based in the pre-1900's. Hidden Springs habit of dating every plant from its introduction is extremely helpful.
Everything came when it was supposed to and in great condition. My peony bloomed its first year. I'll use this nursery time and time again
RosemaryK Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) (5 reviews) October 7, 2011
Very willing to communicate their expertise about the history and culture of different peonies to help with selections. The roots are as large and healthy as you can get. I am also thrilled with their selection of peony plant cultivars because they clearly love Saunders peonies, and their offerings range from heritage to modern , and some less available cultivars.
kathyfc Saint Paul, MN (2 reviews) October 17, 2009
I received my peonies with plenty of time to plant, beautifully packed and healthy looking. My only suggestion would be to add planting instructions like Old House Gardens does.
juanwillis Winchester, MA (Zone 6a) (28 reviews) September 7, 2009
I ordered a hard-to-find peony from Hidden Springs Flower Farm; I received a good-sized root at the end of September, which bloomed and produced a healthy, true-to-name plant the following spring. A positive experience!
The customer service Mr. Harvey Buchite provides is excellent and unique. I just read that he is the American Peony Society President. I didn't even know!
He tailors his website to what customers are looking for.I recommend Chicago gardeners to order from him since his climate is similar to ours. He has a huge selection of award winning and hard to find peonies. He offers special discount prices if you order from him early.
He promptly responds to emails and phone calls the same or following day.
He provides a grower's perspective: truthful and detailed information about the realities of each peony. Without me asking, he warned about the risks in growing a certain hybrid I wanted and even warned about its short vase life. Then he advised me on how to handle those risks.
He offers special peony collections at a discount price based on what customers like. True Red collection, Antique and Historic collection, Cut Flower (lasts long in the vase) collection etc. These special collections he created reflect the detailed knoweldge he knows about each peony. I recommend reading his collection lists and entire website first before communicating with him.
As a novice gardener, I've learned there are realities to peonies customers should think about before purchasing. Afterall, we have limited space in our gardens and there are so many things to choose from! There are peonies that should be kept away from sprinklers, those that last longer in a vase than others, those that are better for landscpaing (won't flop over and have good shape), those that produce more flowers, those that have a more symmetrical flower form etc. Think about the specific purpose or goal you have for your peony before ordering. This makes it easier for growers who really want to satisfy us and who work hard to promote the peony which they love.
As a message to all peony companies though, I would encourage you to post photographs of what an entire mature peony plant would look like in bloom. It would help customers make better decisions, especially being that we have limited and oddly shaped gardening spaces that can only accomodate a certain plant size and shape. (this website helps me: http://www.mikejones.us/jtpeonies.htm). Also posting large pictures of an individual peony flower in full bloom from your own field helps. I've seen the same red peony look purple and even blue through google searches.
The best thing though is to visit the farms or see the real life plant growing in someone's yard. I wish peony companies could let people post pictures of their entire plants on company websites so customers can know the reality of the plant. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/226847/