Peonies forum: Peonies for the mixed perennial garden: recommendations please...

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Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Oct 22, 2014 10:41 AM CST
Late spring is such an exciting time in the garden, and Peonies can easily be the stars of the show. I love the contrast they offer among Irises, Columbines, Roses, Spanish Bluebells, and hardy Geraniums. As much as I love them, I find some Peonies are just not for me, as I'm typically too overwhelmed with other activities in the garden to stay on top of staking and caging those that flop to the ground after a rain (those all get cut and brought inside).

Aside from strong stems that don't need caging, I'm also looking for overall plant vigor and abundance of blooms. What varieties do you recommend?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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LizinElizabeth
Oct 22, 2014 7:27 PM CST
What colors are you looking for, Neal? Most of the Japanese or Anemone type stand up well, all colors from white to chocolate reddish brown. Actually love all of the corals, Coral Sunset is a fav that stands up well. And the cactus dahlia bloom type are unique looking--smaller blooms than most popular peonies but tons of them and no staking required. They also make a large shrub fairly quickly, Raspberry Rumba and Pink Spritzer are two that jump to mind. Are you looking for scent, too?
Liz
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Oct 23, 2014 1:25 PM CST
Lately I've been really into the coral varieties, last year added Coral Charm and Pink Hawaiian Coral. I love all peony colors, but am most fond of bright, rich, saturated colors. This year I've added Blaze, Scarlet Ohara, America, The Mackinac Grand, and Fairy Princess, and have just placed an order for Cheddar Charm, Krinkled White, and Pink Kisses (buy 2, get one free sale from Songsparrow).

Now I'm going to be looking for some pinks that have a lilac or purple cast, and some dark reds.

Sounds like I need to further consider Pink Spritzer and Raspberry Rumba, having only seen close up catalog pics of them, I hadn't thought about how they look as a bush. Do you have any pics of yours?
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
LizinElizabeth
Oct 23, 2014 4:54 PM CST
The pic I found was from a couple of years ago, leaves of that one got hit pretty hard by hail last year because of the location. There was an absolutely beautiful picture of the shrub on GardenWeb Peony Forum spring before last.
Thumb of 2014-10-23/LizinElizabeth/b41661




Close up of Raspberry Rumba flower



Pink Spritzer


and Circus Circus
Liz
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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gemini_sage
Oct 24, 2014 5:07 AM CST
Lovely seeing them before opening completely- they remind me of broken color tulips. I like seeing the plant as a whole, and having a good idea of it's presence in the garden.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
LizinElizabeth
Oct 24, 2014 9:01 AM CST
All except the Circus Circus are open completely in the above pics, Neal. They never lose that curly, slightly cupped appearance until the petals start to fall off. All of mine are medium sized peonies, probably 32-34 inches tall max, with a spread nearly as wide when they're mature. Tons of blooms but they're smaller than most at probably around 4" across.
Liz
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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kousa
Oct 24, 2014 9:10 PM CST
I would recommend Salmon Dream and Whitecap, a really wonderful peony not only the colors are nice but it has sturdy stems and a nice rose scent.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Oct 24, 2014 9:21 PM CST
I used to have Dancing Butterflies and it did awesome for me, bloomed heavily, held up well and photographed nicely. I also moved it a time or two and it didn't seem to mind. I don't remember it having much fragrance though.

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