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Tree peonies and herbaceous peonies and intersectionals, oh my!


Normally I’m really hardcore when it comes to road trips. We pull out of the driveway and we don’t stop till we reach the destination, with the exception of short food, fuel, and bathroom breaks. However, I knew that on the drive back from Rhode Island this week I’d be within a few miles of Peonys Envy, a peony grower in New Jersey that’s supplied several tree peonies for one of my clients. I also knew that we were in prime bloom season so how could I pass it up?


After a few hours that should have taken less time (lookin’ at YOU, Connecticut) I pulled into a space at the end of the farm’s driveway. Kathleen, the owner, had warned me that I was coming in the lull between the most amazing bloom periods. The tree peonies were mostly wrapping up and a driving rain a few nights before had wiped out a lot of remaining blooms, and the herbaceous peonies were just getting cranking. Still, is this not the prettiest rest stop you’ve ever made while on a 10 hour road trip?


I wandered, looking for gorgeous blooms. They’ve mixed in some wonderful irises, so I was not lacking for color.


I mean come on – who could complain about this?


And of course, just because the blooms haven’t popped that doesn’t mean herbaceous peonies aren’t completely enchanting. If I didn’t have to pick up the landscape dawg from boarding in the morning, I may have considered sitting and waiting for this beauty.


If you’re looking for a grower of wonderful peonies, definitely check out Peonys Envy. We planted several tree peonies a few years ago, and let me tell you something about planting tree peonies: it’s terrifying. You (or in this case, your client) spends hundreds of dollars on these plants. They ship bare root, meaning you get a stick in a bag of sawdust wrapped in newspaper, accompanied by really complex planting instructions. Amazingly, because Kathleen grows such stellar plants, they live and eventually set blooms of their own in a few years. In fact, I’m pretty sure we planted one of these:


If you get the opportunity to visit a peony farm in bloom season you simply have to go. If that’s not an option… want to create a peony garden at your place? I know a guy. Let’s do this.



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