When looking to buy peonies, look for the ones that say "landscape worthy" or "good stem strength or garden habit." Most of the newer varieties are bred to stand up to rain. Mind you, we're not talking tornado or hurricane strength rain, but an average rain. Check out Hollingsworth Peonies, Klehm's Song Sparrow, Adelman's Peony Gardens, Fina Gardens, Solaris Farms and Hidden Springs Flower Farm. They mostly tell you what will hold up and what will need staking. Oh yeah, Jo Ann, welcome to the addiction.
You'll find a bunch of enablers here.