I ordered four peonies from Peony’s Envy last spring. They arrived beautifully packaged and clearly labeled. The roots looked strong and vigorous and were large. Their website said not to expect any blooms for the first two years, but two sent up buds within a month of planting. I didn’t realize that the buds would bloom in a vase, and since I wanted the plants to establish their roots, I cut all the buds except one, which was just lovely. I wish I’d put the others in a vase!
My husband planted them for me, and the one that bloomed was supposed to be “Lady Alexandra Duff”, but it looked more like “Mother’s Choice”, which he also planted. It could easily have been “user error”, or maybe the pale blush blooms *were* Lady Duff, but the color was lighter because the roots were not established yet. At any rate, the plant grew very strong, and I’m pleased with the bloom I got. The other three plants didn’t grow quite as lush and tall as the one that bloomed, but I think they’ve made a great start. I’m very much looking forward to seeing more blooms next spring!
I also want to say, I really love their website. The information is all very clear, and I think they make a huge effort to make sure their customers will be able to create a thriving peony garden. I’m very much a beginner and really appreciated the advice and pictures.
Posted on March 28, 2013, updated October 8, 2019
I ordered several peonies two seasons ago, along with several from a different company, and they were all planted the same way in the same general location. When they came up, I was very surprised at how small and scrawny the peonies were from Peony's Envy. I've never received such disappointing peony roots (and I have a lot of peonies).
Curious, I looked on their website and found a warning that it will take many years for peonies to grow well and flower. Yes, of course they take time, but it's all relative. Good roots will give you good results. These are just not good quality roots!
I wrote them an email informing them of how poor the plant material was and I received an email to the effect of "we're sorry you were disappointed." That was it; lousy roots and lousy customer service.
The peonies are coming up again this year and the difference between the ones from the other company (5-6 stems) and Peony's Envy (0-2 stems) is striking. On October 8th, 2019, fern4 added the following:
Some years down the road . . . the worst was yet to come. The peonies from this source were not what I had ordered. Of the four I ordered, only one was true-to-name. Since I had ordered only double forms, it's pretty obvious that anything blooming single form is not what I ordered. The fancy website and fancy packaging are just that, not what ends up in your garden. And it's goes without saying that if a plant takes years to bloom, one is not going to be able to persuade the seller that you got the wrong plant.
ejefferies Tryon, NC (3 reviews) February 28, 2019
I sent an email asking for a list of my purchases. SHE emailed back asking for a phone number which I sent, but said DO NOT CALL. Shortly I got a phone call. The woman is stupid and I still don't know what I have bought from her. No problem, just won't do business with Peony Envy again and judging by the preponderance of negatives, no one should
linnea56 Buffalo Grove, IL (1 review) August 13, 2016
Vendor does not stand behind her product.
Problems are ignored: she does not answer emails.
I purchased peonies from Peony’s Envy the last 3 years in a row at the Antique and Garden Fair at the Chicago Botanic Garden. 4 the first year and 2 the second, 2 this last year. Total of 8. The 2 Buckeye Belle I purchased in 2014 were the most expensive, at $ 34 each.
The color scheme I was planting was white and red, to accompany existing Festiva Maxima peonies I had bought from someone else in 2012.
I was disappointed when 2 did not survive to 2015. I talked to her about it at the 2015 fair, and she said they must be just sleeping, give them more time. They were dead. I bought 2 more as replacements in 2015 (more fool me). One of those did not survive to 2016. I am not an inexperienced gardener: rather, I have gardened for over 35 years. So the deaths are not my fault.
I was still waiting for the supposed Buckeye Belle to bloom, however. This year it finally had one flower, blooming AFTER the April Chicago Garden Fair so I could not complain in person. It is most definitely NOT Buckeye Belle. I posted on a gardening forum for confirmation. It is some kind of bomb type in magenta, which I could have bought anywhere. Common as dirt. I am very disappointed, especially considering I paid a premium price from a specialist grower to have something that should have been rare and unique. The other "Buckeye Belle" has not bloomed yet, and had no buds, so I have no way of telling if that one too is misidentified.
Based on the track record of this company’s peonies of half of those purchased either dead or misidentified, I am not too confident that it is.
I requested a refund or replacement. None of my emails have been answered. It’s time for her to answer and do the right thing.
shinesign Asheville, NC (5 reviews) April 14, 2016
The peonies are expensive but I really wanted a substantial red peony. It bloomed the second year and was pink, other folks coming to visit our garden noticed the lovely pink peony. I called the company, I emailed them and NEVER heard back. VERY unhappy with the company.
I wondered if all was ok at Peony's Envy. On December 9th I ordered a $50 gift certificate online. An email arrived promptly, followed by an invoice and hand written thank you note from Kathleen usps. In the next few days, while cleaning house in my email inbox, I carelessly deleted the email. I have emailed 3 times with no response and today tried to call and got the message that the mailbox was full. I hope all is ok.
ellenfoster Hinesburg, VT (10 reviews) September 20, 2015
I bought 2 herbaceous peonies at the Philadelphia flower show in March, but live in VT so I couldn't plant them for 6 weeks. They came up anyway and bloomed 1 flower each that year and did great this year. Their web sight is a great source for information. Only a moderate selection. Prices are similar to other sights. Kleim Song Sparrow has a much better selection with a more detailed web sight. But you have to hand it to them, this is one of the best names for a company ever.
aloutcha San Francisco, CA (1 review) July 23, 2015
Seriously problematic company, in my opinion. I ordered bareroot peonies from them in February including payment for priority mail delivery. When they didn't arrive 3 weeks later, I called and was told they don't ship out orders until March. Fine. When my order didn't arrive by the end of April, I made another inquiry -- lots of phone calls and email with a lot of confusion and no result. One day their parcel arrived -- it was in transit for 38 days; I assume they used some sort of bulk ground shipping method. I refused to accept the plants that were so compromised and went through another series of futile phone calls and email messages. I sent the plants back and waited for a replacement for .... 45 days. I had to file a complaint with the credit card company regarding this transaction. When plants arrived in July it was obviously too late for bare root planting and they have already sprouted. Because they were in a horizontal box, all buds came on one side making the future brunches crooked. I planted them anyway, I just couldn't deal with another round of dealings with this woman.
First, the good news: the owner was extremely knowledgeable and helpful on the telephone, and there is a lot of very good information on the website - probably the best we've seen about tree peonies. The bad news: we have been ordering tree peonies from another seller for years, and usually buy five-year-old plants. This year that seller was sold out of five-year-old plants, so we ordered from Peony's Envy. The website gives pictures of the flowers, but says nothing about price or age of the plants. When we talked to the owner on the telephone, she assured us that the plants we were ordering were beautiful five-old-plants. When they arrived, they were tiny - about 1/6 the size of the five-year-old plants from the other seller. We had ordered a few two-year-old plants from the other seller, and these were barely bigger. We paid over $100 a plant, somewhat more than we were used to paying. She offers no guarantees, refunds, or exchanges. We have planted the peonies (very deeply, according to her instructions). They are barely visible above ground, but we hope this method will produce vigorous plants some day soon.
daylilly99 northern, VA (Zone 6b) (4 reviews) May 22, 2013
Posted on May 20, 2013, updated May 22, 2013
Bought a bagged plant of Fat Concubine from this company two years ago. It finally bloomed this year and it is pathetic. I don't think it can possibly be the right plant. Never again.On May 22nd, 2013, daylilly99 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I owe this company an apology. For some reason the first blossom looked nothing like a big double white bloom. Now, several days later, the blooms look completely different and I believe this is the correct plant.
So sorry for the earlier negative review.
Loretta_NJ Pequannock, NJ (Zone 6b) (3 reviews) February 22, 2013
This is a very nice place to visit during the blooming season and the staff was very nice. However, I made the mistake of buying a bareroot plant because I wanted a certain variety. It was May. The plant tried to grow but there were no feeder roots so the growth kept dying back. Wrong time of year to sell these? Lesson learned. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a potted plant but no more bareroots for me.
Posted on August 26, 2012, updated November 17, 2012
I bought herbaceous peonies at Peony's Envy's stall at the Philadelphia Flower Show, after speaking with Kathleen about exactly what I wanted. One of them was a white, full peony, and she recommended and supposedly sold me Fat Concubine. When it bloomed the expected 3 years later, however, it was light pink and not very hardy. I tried emailing her more than once, with no response. I tried calling and left a message, with no response. I am a member of the PA Horticultural Society, and they contacted her on my behalf. I was supposed to get a call from Kathleen "right away" after the representative of the Society spoke with her, but it's a week later, and I never received a call. Good customer service is just as important as good quality plants, and I will never buy from this vendor again. On November 17th, 2012, Mary8 added the following:
As an update on November 17, I never received a call from Kathleen, but today I received a replacement peony in the mail. Again, the quality of the peonies is not an issue for me, it is the customer service.
I purchased 3 tree peonies from this company. Planted them soon after they arrived. The following Spring 2 did not come up. I contacted the company and was told they needed to review my planting/growing conditions. I responded that I have 1,125 tree peonies growing in my field - I might know how to grow them. No replacement. The following Spring the 3rd tree peony failed to grow. She has good hype - but a good company must stand for their product, not just take money from trusting people.
I ordered a peony root, a Chinese tree peony and a Rockii tree peony.
The peony root arrived late October and was like a rectangular block of root - no real roots.
I never received either of the tree peonies.
I emailed the address on their website three times (late October & mid and late November) asking when the tree peonies would be shipped - no reply. I called their phone number and left a message requesting information - no reply.
It is now after the first week in December and I filed a dispute with my credit card company asking for a refund of the two $99 peonies plus the shipping.
Do NOT order from this company.
I met Kathleen (the owner) at a farmers' market in the town I moved to in 2007 and, though I could not get it together to plant that fall, I did place an order for 10 peonies the following year. She was very patient and helped me select fragrant varieties and I received absolutely first-rate roots. All but one came up and are thriving -- I will be back now that the building site is turning to garden once again. The only possible quibble I'd have is the no-replacement policy, but having seen how people garden when they do it two weekends a year, I suppose a small grower does what needs to be done.
Amazing place, nestled in a cozy clearing in middle of huge trees - in a cute old town -great display garden and the owner, Kathleen was very knowledgeable and helpful & shared a bit about the forms and characteristics and the advantages of being on OWN ROOTS.. I was looking for fragrant upright TREE PEONY. She located a blooming Fragrant Jade in the field and i got to see its shape and experience the fragrance. I bought a huge 5-7 branched FRAGRANT JADE tree peony in an extra deep pot for $99 [own roots/not grafted]. Decent price, considering others in same age/range can be much more at other nurseries. specimen looks very healthy AND is on its OWN ROOTS and I can't wait to see it grow! lots n lots to choose from and i could've gone BLIND from the huge selections of both TREE and HERBACEOUS. the fields were rich and well managed the shipping/packing and labeling area sharply organized. She really loves her peonies-it shows.
- she also threw in a bonus of a small bottle of fish emulsion to start my tree off and let me take a few shovels of mushroom compost from her massive mound -talk about customer service!! I will be back to catch the peak of blooms in a few weeks.