Who isn’t impressed by a beautiful peony in full bloom? These plants are virtually unrivalled in their ability to bring impact and drama to a garden. Once established, they flourish for decades, bringing large quantities of flamboyant blooms in a magical range of colours, as well as outstanding, often finely cut foliage. And, as I write this, the buds on the peonies in my garden are swelling day-by-day. The excitement I’m feeling about them opening is palpable. In this blog post, I will tell you more about a special group of peonies: Itoh Peonies.
There’s nothing more quintessential and idyllic than a traditional chocolate box cottage garden, and creating one is easier than you might think. Whether you have large borders, a patio or even just balcony, you can get this popular look on a big or small scale by filling all plantable spaces with a great mix of floriferous varieties, planting them close and, above all, opting for lots and lots of colour.
There are essentially four different types of peony. Keen gardeners may wish to grow some of the wild species, though they are not usually the ones from which the dramatically colourful varieties are derived. There are also woody tree peonies, which have bare winter stems and are better suited to mid-way or the backs of borders. There are also hybrids, that are a cross between the tree peonies and the herbaceous types, which are becoming more popular (see the variety ‘Yellow Crown’, below).