This peony portfolio shows a number of beautiful peonies and discusses the differences between herbaceous, tree and Itoh varieties.
If you held a gun to my head and made me choose my favorite flower it would undoubtedly be the graceful and majestic peony. Today I am sharing a nice peony portfolio from my garden.
A Peony Portfolio
The first two shown above are traditional herbaceous peonies which means they die back every year. These are the same ones that grew in my grandmother's yard and maybe where I first feel in love with their beauty and wonderful scent.
These next two are famous award-winning double blooms named after famous people and known for their fragrance. Dr. Alexander Fleming, the scientist who discovered penicillin, and Sarah Bernhardt, a famous French actress from the 18th century.
One last herbaceous beauty is a single flower and has a very different look. It actually gets quite large putting on a nice show in the garden.
Then there are the tree peonies introduced to me by my good friend Lisa. These beauties do not die back but are more of a shrub. They are deciduous, which means they lose their leaves in the winter. They bloom very early in the season.
Finally we have a Intersectional Hybrid or ITOH. The ITOH is a cross between a tree and a herbaceous peony, giving you the advantage of a lot of flowers lasting longer in the season, on sturdy branches that do not need staking. I love the way this one starts out as a peachy-pink and then turns a buttery yellow.
They make great floral arrangements. Worried about ants? Just swish the flower heads in a bucket of water and they will come scrambling out.
For more you can read Praiseworthy Peonies from last year and a great tip about keeping them as cut flowers for up to a month in your refrigerator.