The peonies are in full bloom! I can smell their beautiful fragrance before they are even in view. Many consider peonies a much loved perennial, not only for their floral beauty and fragrance, but often because they carry sentimental meaning. Peonies are hardy, low maintenance, long-lived plants. They have been around for a long time. Generations even. Each spring I enjoy hearing stories of, “grandma’s favorite flower”, and hand-me-down or family peonies. Often these plants began from an original clump that was dug and divided, then shared among all the children or grandchildren. You don’t have to see them blooming. Their fragrance fills our late spring air. When you catch a whiff you’ll remember why you love peonies too.
The perennial spotlight this week is on Peony Kansas. The double purple-red flowers produced by this variety have been enjoyed since the 1940’s. Many think it to be the best double red peony ever. They have excellent vigor and disease/pest resistance. Their strong 3′ stems are able to support the weight of those full fragrant flowers. Peonies grow well in average to good quality garden soil. They require full sun and don’t mind being divided. Always pay attention to planting depth when replanting peonies. Never plant them deeper then they were previously established at.