“Had I but four square feet of ground at my disposal, I would plant a peony in the corner and proceed to worship”. –Alice Harding, The Book of the Peony
I cannot think of a more glorious flower in my garden than the peony. From the petal orientation to the fragrance, there is something beautifully mesmerizing about this spring blooming beauty. My love for peonies began as a young girl spending time at my grandma Esther’s farm in Decatur, Michigan. If you had the good fortune to know her, then you had the pleasure of seeing her magnificent gardens. I can vividly remember pulling off of CR 657 onto her winding gravel driveway, creeks on both sides, usually seeing her brimmed hat bobbing through rows of veggies and blooms as I made my way to the house. I guess you can say that this is where my love for gardening began.
Some of my favorite peony varieties include my beloved yellow peony, with its unusual foliage and rare, yellow blooms; the creamy white Ann Cousins peony for its enormous, full-petaled blooms; Butter Bowl because of the sweet pink petals and butter yellow center; the Festiva Maxima peony for its reliable high yield of flowers; Karl Rosenfield with its brilliant, almost red double blossom; and Sarah Bernhardt because of its huge blossoms with apple-blossom pink petals and its an effortless grower.