Peonies are virtually unrivalled in a their ability to bring impact and drama to a garden. Once established they flourish for decades, bringing large quantities of flamboyant blooms in a magical range of hues and outstanding, often finely cut foliage. This informative guide highlights the best peonies for gardeners, paying particular attention to the tree peonies, herbaceous hybrids and the latest cultivars of Paeonia lactiflora.
The Chinese have been growing tree peonies for 1600 years but these exotic plants still make a novel addition to the Western garden. A full-size plant bearing dozens of flowers is an awesome sight and the selection here includes the best of the Chinese and Japanese cultivar ranges, the classic hybrids and the sought-after hybrids raised by Arthur Saunders in the 1930s that range in colour from yellow to mahogany-red. Enthusiasts of herbaceous peonies will delight in the selection of Paeonia lactiflora cultivars along with the new complex hybrids between P. lactiflora, P. wittmanniana and P. macrophylla. Over 200 photographs accompany the detailed plant descriptions to provide an invaluable reference source.
Advice on buying peonies along with detailed cultivation requirements for the individual groups will ensure success in the garden, while information on the history of peonies, conservation issues, and morphology complete this authoritative review.