The early June rain, which is so vital to all growing plants, is putting a bit of a damper on the finale to the peony bloom season at Cricket Hill Garden. We need the rain, but are sorry to see it hit the blooms. The garden umbrellas do help prolong the bloom; we could use many more.
Right now we are seeing the lactiflora type herbaceous peonies. This species originally comes from China, but has been widely cultivated in Europe and North America since the 19th century. Lactiflora herbaceous peonies are what many gardeners think of as peonies. They tend to grow to about 3′ x 3′, have single to large double flowers and a sweet or clove like fragrance. Many of these varieties also have weak stems and are better suited to grow as cut flowers than landscape plants. We do have several varieties with strong stems that stand up well without support. This is an excellent characteristic which we always make note of in individual variety descriptions.