A few years ago, the American Peony Society began awarding their 'Award of Landscape Merit' (ALM) designation to peony varieties that have great landscaping characteristics, including disease resistance and standing up to wind and rain. No doubt, there will be many additional varieties added to the list in coming years, as this award is in it's infancy and there are a number of peonies with these qualities.
We raise the following ALM peonies at Brooks Gardens: Bartzella, Charm, Coral Sunset, Cytherea, Do Tell, Early Scout, Garden Treasure, Hillary, Krinkled White, Lovely Rose, Many Happy Returns, Nice Gal, Old Faithful, Pink Hawaiian Coral, Prairie Charm, Salmon Dream, Topeka Garnet, White Cap, Canary Brilliants, Little Red Gem, Eliza Lundy and Mahogany.
There are many peony varieties with upright plant habitat that don't require staking. Stem strength is one of the qualities peony hybridizers keep in mind when selecting parent plants for their breeding programs. When choosing a peony plant at the farm, you can see the mature plant in the field and choose plants that fit your expectations. Peony plants grow in many shapes and sizes: upright peony plants, low growing border plants, heavy headed flowering peony plants that benefit from staking, tall stemmed peony plants for cut flowers, peony plants that make a statement, peony plants that make a great hedge row from spring to fall, tall wispy peony plants for height, etc. Walk through the peony field and see what types appeal to you for your garden.
Therese, May 17, 2012