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Large, showy and often fragrant, PEONIES forever stop us in our tracks, inviting us to take a closer look and admire their beauty!

Peonies are an essential perennial plant for any gardener looking to add strikingly beautiful blooms to their gardens. Although sometimes finicky to blossom, they happily thrive with minimal care once established, Their distinctive leaves also add ample greenery to your garden long after the blooms have faded.

I’ve tried to add a new type of peony into my cottage gardens each year and I love the way each different plant produces a unique looking bloom. Some of my favourites include: Bowl of Beauty, Sarah Bernhardt, Hermione and my favourite tree peony, High Noon.

I’ve loaded a few photos of this year’s blooms for everyone to enjoy. Simply click the arrows on the above photos to view all of my beauties.

Here are a few tips about growing peonies that you may find helpful:

1) Plant peonies in the fall, well before the first frost.

2) Plant them in fertile, humus-rich soil and mix well with bone meal and organic compost.

3) Peonies are not fussy but should be sheltered from strong winds, and also planted away from trees or shrubs, as they don’t like to compete for food and moisture.

4) They really love full sun and will bloom best in a sunny spot.

5) When planting, set the root of the peony so that the “eyes” face upward on top of the firmed soil, placing the root just two inches below the soil surface.

6) Don’t plant too deep, and remember to water thoroughly.

7) Crazy but true, I’ve found that peonies almost thrive on neglect. I rarely fertilize them and as of yet, have never divided a plant.

8) Deadhead the blossoms soon after they bloom.

9) Make sure you select a plant that will survive the winter temperatures in your area. Re-visit this post to learn more about hardiness zones.

Peonies are easy-to-grow perennials that never cease to amaze with their showy and sometimes fragrant blooms. They are the stuff of garden legends.