Watermelon peony
In the Garden

Peony Royalty: Tree Peonies

Most people are familiar with the Herbaceous peonies that lose their leaves in winter.

In our garden , we do have several traditional peonies, but the true stars of our spring garden are the Tree peonies, otherwise known as Chinese tree peonies.

Pink peonies copy

Hardy in most of the U.S. (zones 4-9), tree peonies need a bit of space. They will grow large when happy, reaching the size of a shrub or even larger. Tree peonies do lose their leaves in winter, but their woody stems remain and form dazzling sculptures when covered with snow.

Deep pink peony

They prefer sun, but not a whole day of it. To keep the blooms the longest amount of time, dappled shade would be perfect. They should not be planted close to a tree as the tree would rob the generous root system of its needed nutrients.

Most blooms open up to 6″-10″ saucers. Besides their gorgeous colors, they also smell delightful. Their scent is rather green, multi-layered, fresh and a combination of a fruity/rose aroma. Its scent is delicate yet strong.

Their flower petals are too delicate to offer up enough oils to use in perfumery, so if one is smelling a perfume with peony listed as a note, it is an interpretation that draws on a combination of other flowers to mimic the gauzy translucence of the peony petal’s aroma.

This tree peony that is over six feet tall.

Back bed web

Here are a few of this year’s blooms. Needless to say, our garden smells delightful!

Lavender tree peonies web

Dew lavender tree peony

From bud to bloom:

Tree peony story 5-15 copy

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