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I Spy – My Favorite Peony

June 23rd, 2014

Ah, I was so happy to see this bloom in the garden late last week. This plant made the long journey to Maine with us from our garden in Ohio. It was dug up and moved in December, which is not the ideal time for moving plants, especially in this zone.
peony 1
There were several peonies that made the trip, two of them survived, the rest did not. I was happy when I saw this particular peony had survived. This beauty was one of the first plants I ever purchased and planted in my garden in Ohio. That was probably 15 years ago.
Way back then I didn’t tag plants, take photos, or keep track of plant varieties. I have no idea what the name of this peony is. I’m sure with research I could find it, but I’m glad I don’t have to track it down to purchase it.
single_pink_peony 1
My ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peony didn’t seem to make the trip, so I purchase one this spring at a local greenhouse.  It’s one of my favorite peonies, so graceful.
peony 2
I also have an heirloom peony that came from my grandmother’s house, it was at the house when it was purchase when my mom was a little girl. She got starts from my grandma and I had one of it’s offspring growing in my garden back in Ohio as well. I need to get a start from that one once again so it can live on here in my garden in Maine.
peony 5
Peonies are wonderful garden plants, hardy and long lasting.  They truly are perennial unlike many other plants bearing that label.  Plant one in the right spot and you will be graced with it’s beautiful blooms for years to come!  I miss all the lovely peonies I had established in my garden back in Ohio. I know I had: ‘Dr Alexander Fleming’, ‘Bowl of Beauty’, ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, ‘Suzanne Kreckler’, and ‘Felix Crousse’ along with a few unidentified ones. Here are a few photos of them:
If you’d like to learn more about peonies, the different types, growing tips, etc – head on over to Peony’s Envy, they have everything you need to know about peonies.
Front Hillside Garden 7
Front Hillside Garden 8
peony 6
peony 1 (1)
peony 7
peony 3
peony 4
peony 2 (1)
At least I have photos of them and I know the names of my favorites, I just have to track them down. It certainly isn’t a cheap proposition to reacquire my favorite plants, luckily I was able to bring starts of many and I can get starts of many more from my mom and fellow gardeners.

Do you have peonies in your garden? Which is your favorite?

11 Comments to “I Spy – My Favorite Peony”
  1. Kay on June 23, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Peonies are by far my favorite flowering bush. I have 5 right now, and plan on adding 2 more next year. They are so beautiful.

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  2. Vanessa on June 23, 2014 at 8:11 am

    I have a couple white peonies with scant fuschia centers that I love, plus one all fuschia. I wonder, how do you manage to have blossoms not bowing over to the ground?

    Reply to Vanessa's comment

    • Susy on June 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      I think mine weren’t as prone to drooping because they were planted in clay soil which often produces more compact plants.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Erika on June 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I didn’t bring any peonies when I moved two years ago and really miss an heirloom I got from my mother-in-law. Big white flowers with a tiny little streak of bright pink. I was happy to see a tree peony at our new place, but its flowers are nothing special, just a typical medium size bushy ball of petals in a light pink.
    A friend has been to Peony’s Envy and is threatening to take me but I am a little afraid for my wallet!

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  4. Annie on June 23, 2014 at 10:06 am

    I had always heard that peonies were hard to grow etc., so when a friend gave me one I thought, oh goodness, I’ll surely kill it! It has done fine though. In fact, one of the easiest plants I’ve ever grown and I love mine. I only have the one still but plan on getting a few more. I think it is ‘Sarah Bernhardt’.

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  5. Sue on June 23, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I have two peonies. One is a pink one my mother had brought from RI to Maine in 1957, and has followed me from house to house in the Portland area. The other is a white one with a tiny bit of red on the inside. This was at my current house buried under bittersweet. Peonies are one of my favorites also.

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  6. Lorna on June 24, 2014 at 9:06 am

    My aunt gave me a peony for my 16th birthday (many years ago) and it has lived at my parents’ home in a prominent spot ever since. I love any and all flowers, but the peony has a special place in my heart since I think of her every time I see one. I would love to bring part of that peony to my new home 1500 miles away; I’ll check out Peony’s Envy and see if they give information on taking starts–I didn’t know you could do that, so thank you for saying so!

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  7. Mich on June 24, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I have quite a few varieties of Peony, I love them one of my all time garden favorites.
    They are in the flower border, in the vegetable garden….

    Reply to Mich's comment

  8. Colleen on June 25, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    My grandmother taught me to love gardening; she grew many peonies in her gardens. I now have several in my own gardens, ranging from a deep red to a yellow with pink centers and a most amazing coral colored, dinner plate sized tree peony. All of which i will need to research their names. I just purchased a ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ last winter, hoping it will bloom next year.

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  9. Anna on November 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I cringed when I saw that you transplanted this beautiful peony in DECEMBER! I live just a bit cooler than you do (in zone 4, Minnesota) and yes, usually we have deep freezing temperatures by then, not to mention a foot of snow or more on the ground! (We actually got that yesterday in my area, booo, came early this year.)

    But amazing plant, look at how beautiful and happy it is regardless! Where we live, we’re somewhat limited and there are certainly favorites of all around here- peonies being one of the favorites you see in most gardens. That list around here also includes daylilies, lilacs, and hosta. Oh, and the obligatory bridal wreath spirea.

    Beautiful photos, I wish I had come across your blog sooner.


    Reply to Anna's comment

    • Susy on November 11, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      The people who purchased our home in Ohio didn’t want any of the plants, I knew that it would be ripped out and composted if I didn’t bring it to Maine with me. Figured it might survive – thank goodness it did. In fact all but one of my transplants survived. I covered them well with pine boughs to help give them some insulation. Plus we have a good layer of snow most of the winter which actually helps plants survive better than in my Ohio garden that didn’t get much snow.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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