Peony News

Oregon Peony Season

We open the farm for visitors April 29th through June 10th this year. Plan a visit to see the bloom, pick up a bouquet or buy peony plants to transplant this spring.

Every spring we anticipate and wait for the peonies to bloom – it’s what our world revolves around here on the peony farm (that, and dig season in the fall). And, it’s coming soon.

The early varieties are budded up, waiting to unfurl and dazzle; and, once we start getting a few sunny days, the peony procession begins.

While peonies are our specialty, we also maintain one of the Northwest’s largest historic bearded iris gardens, blooming at the same time as the peonies. You can walk the peony fields and stroll through the adjoining historic iris gardens, to get your fill of beautiful, fragrant flowers. The iris gardens are filled with over 1,000 varieties dating from the 1800’s through the late 20th century.

We started the peony farm in 2000 and now grow over 300 hundred varieties, including old fashioned and newer hybrid peonies. We offer over 100 varieties for sale in containers – ready to transplant this spring. We also offer additional varieties for fall planting in our online peony catalog; or, you may order here at the farm.

Peonies come in a range of colors, flower styles and plant habitats. Some people choose peonies based on the flower form; others zero in on the foliage; and, some are allured by fragrance. A great thing about peonies is that they are perennials – plant them once, and they bloom every spring. They can live in the same garden spot for decades without needing divided.

We’ll help you with selecting your style of peonies and give you planting tips for success on growing these easy-care plants.

Plan a visit this spring, and see what your favorites are. Bring your friends, share the good news – peony season is coming soon!

Hours are 10 am – 6 pm, daily April 29 - June 10, 2017.

Brooks Gardens, an Oregon peony farm located at 6219 Topaz Street NE, Brooks, Oregon, 97305.

I-5 exit 263, go 1 mile east to Brooks, OR; left (north) at light onto 99 E. We are just over one mile north of Brooks, OR (between Woodburn and Salem, off of 99 E).
We are about 30 minutes south of Tualatin, Wilsonville and Canby, OR. About 40 minutes south of Portland, OR. Follow our purple Peonies & Iris signs in the area.
Find us on Facebook; Instagram and Twitter @brooksgardens

Here we go – our 16th spring of flowers at Brooks Gardens. It’s the earliest start to peony and iris bloom season we’ve had. We open the peony fields and iris gardens tomorrow, April 22nd.

While the early varieties are blooming, many are budded up, ready to open over the next week. Today I cut Abalone Pearl, Chief Black Hawk, Command Performance, Coral Sunset, Coral Supreme, Joker, Kopper Kettle, Lavender, Lemon Chiffon, Magical Mystery Tour, Prairie Charm, Prairie Moon, Red Charm, Rosea Plena, Rubra Plena, Salmon Dream and Villosa to store in the cooler for display later in the season. I held off cutting Coral Charm buds; but, I will cut a few of them today.


The plants look so beautiful and healthy – loaded with buds. We have over 140 varieties of peonies available in containers – ready to  transplant this spring. You may also order peony roots at the farm or on our website. Peony roots are shipped September-November for fall planting. 

We invite you to visit during our bloom season. Hours are 10 am – 6 pm, daily April 22 - June 15, 2016. Cut flowers, bouquets and peony plants available. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @brooksgardens

We will also be selling peony plants at Artisan Amy’s Farmers Market at the Woodburn Company Stores (outlet mall) today from 3 pm – 8 pm.

Brooks Gardens, an Oregon peony farm & iris gardens is located at 6219 Topaz Street NE, Brooks (or Salem), Oregon, 97305. We are just over one mile north of Brooks, OR (between Woodburn and Salem, off of 99E) and 30 minutes south of Tualatin, Wilsonville and Canby, OR. About 40 minutes south of Portland, OR.

Peony & Iris Bloom Season 2016

With the ‘early spring’ we are having, we will open our peony farm and iris gardens to visitors on April 22 this year – earlier than our usual May 1st opening.  The farm will be open daily April 22 – June 15, 2016 from 10 am – 6 pm.


Potted plants, cut peonies and flower bouquets available.  We have over 140 varieties of peonies in containers, ready to transplant now. We also have many varieties available bare root, to plant in the fall. You may order bare root peonies online or at the farm.

Can’t wait till opening day?  Carmen and I will be here today, Saturday, April 16th for potted peony and cut flower sales: 10 am – 4 pm.


Ever wish you kept better notes, so you could quickly pull up facts about a particular gardening year?

Paeonia mlokosewitschii seedling

(Photo: Paeonia mlokosewitschii seedling)

If my memory serves me well, it was late April, 2011 when the Paeonia mlokosewitschii finally bloomed that long, slow, cool spring. It was the spring when the plants seemed to stand still for days, with virtually no growth noted during two to three weeks of cool temperatures during April and early May.  Those early species’ bloom like clockwork on or about April 15 and that year they were two weeks late.  

Naturally, months earlier, when my niece was selecting the perfect wedding date for peonies galore, I had assured her that May 23rd was an excellent choice, because most years the peonies are really popping after May 15th.  She had her heart set on coral and pink peonies. No problem, even if they are 10 days late, we’ll have them, I told her.  Well, as the days dwindled closer to the event, we got a little nervous. The early semi-doubles and doubles were all running two weeks late.

Luckily we have friends who also raise peonies and they grow a few each spring under hoop houses that are temporarily covered in plastic for a few weeks. They were able to supplement our limited supply of ‘Athena’ and ‘Sugar ‘n Spice’ peonies with some stunning corals. At the church, each pew up the center aisle was adorned with a basket of peonies. I overheard an Aunt who walked into the reception and exclaimed “Why, this is like walking into Better Homes and Gardens.”  Peonies were everywhere. The Bride got her peonies, and they were magnificent. 

Over the years I’ve seen the results of weather that cooled down and delayed the bloom season as much as two weeks; I’ve also seen the bloom arrive two weeks early when we had a warmer winter and early spring. After 16 years of growing peonies, I have seen as much as a 30 day swing in the arrival of peony flower season.

When a customer telephoned a couple of weeks ago and said, ‘I know this is a crazy question; but, with our early spring do you think there is any chance of peonies for an April 23rd wedding?’ I told her that was a long-shot and she’d best arrange for another type of flower. She’s thinking to use tulips; but, filled with hope, she plans to check back closer to the event - just in case there are peonies. Well, it just may not be a long-shot question this spring in Oregon.  

This year, like last season, we had a warmer winter and those Paeonia mlokosewitschii have been ready to break bud for a few days. Other early peonies with the sepals now opening include ‘Athena’, ‘Little Red Gem’, P. tenuifolia and ‘Sugar ‘n Spice’.  I may actually be able to supply a wedding in a week or so. Another species peony that we have growing in the shade is not quite there – and it has opened every year a few days prior to P. mlokosewitschii. Go figure.

Perhaps these very early bloomers were just at the right spot in the growth cycle when we had some warmer weather, as not all of our early varieties are this advanced.  With the fluctuation in the weather, many varieties of the mid and late season peonies are still very small and have barely started to grow. A few plants have yet to pop out of the ground. I am thankful for that – I always look forward to the longest peony flower season I can get. I’m greedy that way.  


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