The popularity of peony flowers is robust in recent years. In the spring, we fill vases with peonies - decorating tables, rooms and porches. Gardeners love them, because as perennials, the plants sprout each spring - plant them once and enjoy flowers each spring for decades. This fall is the ideal time to plant your peonies.
One of the great, fragrant old fashioned peonies is ‘Festiva Maxima’, introduced in 1851 by Auguste Miellez of France. The full double, white peony with crimson highlights continues to enthrall with its beauty and fragrance. After 164 years, it is still sought after and is truly an heirloom peony.
Over the years, peonies have been introduced in new colors, such as ‘Coral Charm’. It tantalized people when it was introduced in 1964 by Samuel Wissing of Illinois. The large, semi-double coral peach colored flowers are simply mesmerizing. Hard to believe these peonies have been gracing gardens and bouquets for over 50 years, now.
And, of course, we have the world of intersectional peonies, which started in the 1960’s with the introduction of Toichi Itoh’s yellow peonies and escalates today with new introductions almost annually. These peonies, a cross between a tree peony and a bush peony, captivate our senses with their exotic flowers and wonderful fragrances. They grow as a bush peony, emerging from the ground each spring and are prolific bloomers. Callie’s Memory is a delightful intersectional peony (also referred to as an Itoh peony). With maroon flares in the center, the creamy yellow blended colors can vary year to year, depending upon cloud cover or sun exposure in a given season. It was introduced by Roger F. Anderson, Wisconsin in 1999.
With the advent of Pinterest, the peony continues to gain recognition and is definitely ‘on trend’ with brides, flower lovers and gardeners – but, we always knew that, didn’t we?