Are your peonies blooming?

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

I visited a peony garden that had well over a hundred acres of peonies in numerous varieties. It was an ocean of flowers, so overwhelming that I didn't even know which way to look. The flowers in the pictures were all tree peonies. The herbaceous types had not started to bloom yet. The flowers were all enormous in size. The pictures with my sister and her daughter in will give you some reference for the size of the flowers.

The peonies in my own garden have not started to bloom yet. Yours?

This message was edited May 2, 2012 7:21 PM

Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville
Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

I have compressed the pictures to very small sizes, but still failed to post. I will have to try fewer than 5 pics each time. Here we go...

This message was edited May 2, 2012 1:35 AM

Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville
Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)


Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville
Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)


Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville Thumbnail by donnerville
Temperanceville, VA(Zone 7a)

donnerville, Since you are at the highest point in Montgomery County, I am not surprised your peonies haven't bloomed yet. Mine have huge buds but none have opened yet, and they are all at the front of the house where the micro-climate is an 8. I can remember when I lived in Damascus, I got stuck in beautiful downtown Damascus, couldn't get up the hill in front of Tom & Ray's, so had to call in to work in Gaithersburg. My boss didn't belive me until I showed him pictures and the article in the paper, this was before cell phones. Took about 3 hours for the snow plows to come thru! The pics are georgeous, where were they taken?

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Pam, Damascus does have a season shorter by a few weeks at each end because of its elevation, unfortunate for us gardeners :-(.

The pictures were taken in China that I am visiting at the moment ;-). The Chinese have been growing peonies for a few thousand years.

This message was edited May 2, 2012 7:31 PM

Thumbnail by donnerville
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Just beautiful! What is the secret to growing them that large?
In one of the pictures, you can see the ground. It looks like a lot of clay.
They must like it.....

When will you be back?

Here are your Poker Primroses waiting for you...

Thumbnail by Gitagal
Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

Hahaha! Gita. No worries. I am flying back this Saturday. Wouldn't miss the swap for anything :-). Thank you very much for getting the primroses for me. They look very healthy. Cannot wait to get them into my garden.

The soil in the pictures looked like the red clay that's also very common in mid Atlantic, but actually it was very sandy. Those peonies must have been growing there for a long time and are well established. I really do not know the secrete of growing peonies to that size. Is it just a matter of variety? Maybe others can shine some light on this one.

Thumbnail by donnerville
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Getting big. fat buds---but, NO blooms yet....I DO have 5 Peonies.

The hot temps this week should help. I cannot believe it is already May!!!!!
Almost half the year gone already! HUH????????

Seems I spend all my gardening time getting the Swap plants organized
and labeled correctly. Making sure all I have promised will actually be delivered.
Als--getting all my Brugs re-planted, root-pruned and mixing up the best soil for all that.

It is getting ridiculous......The price I pay for my Type "A" personality....
Don't ever recall putting this much effort in any other Plant Swap......Must be Holly's fault!!!


annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Donnerville thankyou so much for sharing such an extraordinary experience. I know what you mean when you say overwhelming and not knowing in which direction to look! So much beauty.

I once got to help Mrs. Zilske cut peony branches full of blooms bigger than my head for the vases on stage at my Kindergarten graduation. The bushes stretched a whole block! And the bumble bees were so busy and loud. Magical. Peonies were the first bush I wanted to live beneathe, then came lilacs...Many of us don't get to be around full grown long lived plants like peonies. Your pictures and family are beautiful too.

My one peony bush, a single white finished its three blooms about two weeks ago The bumble bees like it too.

Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Oh Donner, Those pictures are wonderful. Thank you so much for posting them.
My old peony isn't blooming yet but it is getting ready.
I do have pictures of the new one I recently purchased. It was blooming when I bought it but it hasn't put up new blooms yet.
Here is the new Pink Hawaiian Coral.

Thumbnail by HollyAnnS
central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Wow are they gorgeous!!!
I don't have any peonies cause they seem to attract ants

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Donner, when I first saw the peony posts, I was thinking where is there a 100 acres of peonies around here? and I need to get there before they are done blooming... LOL, should have realized that you were in China. Gorgeous.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

And your niece is a cutie too!!

Warrenton, VA

I am so very proud to actually HAVE peonies, after a lifetime of admiring others. Last Fall, I planted four, including my all-time favorite, Festiva Maxima. I have buds on three plants, although they are of a wee size in this first spring (I was not expecting ANY buds).
I ordered a "Coral Sunset" peony in the group, it opened a week ago and here is the early color (it is now faded to an ivory as the description said it would). What do you think?!

Thumbnail by Gracye
Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Terri, We must have all been thinking the same thing: where are those gardens? Donnerville, thanks for sharing those pictures. I was just over to OrchidFancy's house yesterday and asked/begged for two of her peonies when she divides them..I have two white ones on the side of my house, planted by previous owner and white flowers are not my favorites. I'm a pink/purple person..these are white with a light pink tinge on tips of the flower..have no idea of the variety.

Guess I had better add these to my Wish list: Karl Lagenfeld or Kansas, Sarah Bernhardt, or raspberry sundae come to my mind. I had Sarah Bernhardt at my former home but it was Feb. 7 yrs. ago when we moved and the ground was frozen so I had to leave them behind. If anybody is interested, one can go on Adelman Peony Garden's website and they have a chart that it gives you the Peony Bloom Season and its list which variety of peony blooms Very early Season, Early Season, Midseason and late season, that could be printed off for reference material. It is also on the back of their catalog order form of their 2012 catalog.

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

Holly, the peony plant I got from you, do you know the name of it? I'd like to make a metal plant marker for it as it gets planted.

I'm going to try to find the man that does my prunning and mulching today and see if he can come by one day this week and cut down and dig up a few hydrangea bushes on the side. The previous home owner must have planted those 20-30 yrs. ago and they are so big..I didn't have Mr. B. here in March to prune them back and feed them or my clematis(Dr. Ruppel)and I could tell my Dr. Ruppel's blooms were not as great this Spring. I try to have him twice a year, mid March and late Oct or November for the prunning and mulching and anything that I can't manage myself. I think the hydrangea may be Nikko blue variety taking into consideration the timeframe it was probably planted. This house was built in 1977 and the previous owner died in 1995 and the house was left to the son that sold it to us in 2005. We are only allowed foundation type flowerbeds here, no islands or circles, and I need to divide and transplant a lot from the two beds in front..especially the one beside the garage.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Again this year my white peony bloomed a tiny bit. My rescued ones from my mom's had one bud , but I was happy enough to see them all put out leaves. I think the white peony is planted at the right depth. Do peonies need to be fed?

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

I normally give it a handful of slow release fertilizer at the beginning of the season. Maybe organic fertilizer would have been better.

Mine were blooming last weekend. The rain is great for the garden, but it may not be good for the peony flowers although my peonies were staked. I will know when I get home on Friday. I have two types of peonies both of which have enormously heavy flowers. They always flop when it rains :-(.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I guess better late than never---right?

I have 5 Peonies. Will post pictures--two per post...

Thumbnail by Gitagal Thumbnail by Gitagal
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

The white one above is my oldest one. have had it for eons...has been moved 2 times.
Seems 3 of my 5 Peonies are the same colors. The deep pink one I have 3 of.

Have a little story to tell you all--re my Peonies.

The first 5 year I worked at my HD I was in Garden. Specifically--I "owned" the Green House.
One year--we had so many Peonies left over (out of bloom) that no one bought them.
The garden Supervisor (a young guy) was going to toss them all.
Realizing how many years it may have taken to grow a Peony to sell in a 3gal. pot--I intervened.

"Give me a price on these!"--I said to the him "I will buy them all!".
He thought a while and said--"OK! $2 each!". SOLD! I went home with 32 pots of peonies.
(This was still in the Arthur and Bernie days of HD. We could price things ourselves for clearance--
with just the Supervisor's OK).

Spent a lot of time "selling" them, for $3 (how honest can I be??) to any neighbor and friend
that wanted them. I kept 3, I think. My neighbor, Olga, bough 3 as well. MAN! She got some beauties!!!
One of them still dazzles me--to this day. So full a bloom--it cannot even hold its head up.

Will find a picture of it. #2. Bingo! First try--got it!

Thumbnail by Gitagal Thumbnail by Gitagal
Dover, PA(Zone 6b)

Sorry Pippi, I have no idea what it was. One of our neighbors moved to West Va. and she told me to come and dig what ever I wanted. She didn't have much in her yard but she did have the peonies.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Sally: I think peonies are considered heavy feeders.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

thanks happy- feeding is always my last to do...constantly in denial of the need for it.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


What is recommended to feed Peonies?
Being a Tuber-type--would "Bulb Tone" be enough?

If it needs to be fed with some kind of regular fertilizer--which one?

Thanks, Gita

Damascus, MD(Zone 7a)

I didn't know that some peonies need enough winter chilling to bloom :

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Good link.
Not only do my peonies likely need food, they also may suffer from my acid soil, and too much shade. I swear-I read that they like some shade years ago and that's why I moved them to where they are now! AAGGHH

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

Gita: I don't know what the optimal fertilizer is. I always underfertilize, not on principle but just because I don't get around to it. And my peonies are in too much shade so we don't get a great show, but enough to make us happy.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

I was absolutely taken with a peony bush (leaves) and flower at a local fav garden center. The owner had gotten in four bushes of itoh peonies.. Itoh are a cross between herbaceous and tree peony types.

Do any of you grow these? Have any of you seen them? One of the things to recommend them is that they bloom for a month instead of a week or so.

Sallyg, your lilacs may benefit from some soil sweetening, too.

Chevy Chase, MD(Zone 7a)

I have one, and haven't been impressed by it -- but then, we don't grow peonies under optimal circumstances. The Itoh peonies tend to be very expensive.

Warrenton, VA

When I ordered my Peonies from Adelmann Gardens, they sold me some of their own brand of peony fertilizer. The consistency is like Espoma Garden tone, Holly tone, etc. I cannot vouch for it as my peonies are so new, but at least I can say that a special fertilizer does exist! I'm probably going to order some more.

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