Garden flowers

Herbaceous peony, beauty of China


Queen of flowers in China, the peony was "launched" in France after the Chinese emperor sent a collection to Josephine.

Today, thanks to hybridization, it comes in many shapes and colors.

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Peony, for the record ...

Perched on its high stem, the Chinese peony charms with its round head made up of a multitude of petals. This oriental beauty, symbol of love in her country of origin, appeals to romantics ... and florists: she looks lovely in a bouquet! To the light shades of the beginnings were added many colors, some strong, from fuschia to bright red through purple. The flowers can be single (one or two rows of petals), semi-double (several rows of petals, the stamens are visible), Japanese (one or two rows of petals, the stamens are visible), double (the petals are numerous and hide the stamens), or globular (the petals in the center form a dome).

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Some varieties are fragrant, such as "Festiva Maxima" with white petals spotted with red, "Dr Alexandre Fleming" with a brilliant pink flower, or "Duchesse de Nemours" with lovely white pompoms.

Good care of peonies

Herbaceous peonies appreciate neutral soil and a bright exposure, sheltered from drafts. They flower from April to June depending on the species. Purchased in containers, they are best planted at the end of summer in a large hole, with a handful of compost to enrich the earth. You can install them in your vegetable garden: they love its cultivated soil and the company of vegetables and aromatic plants.

Water the first summer, then abstain, except in case of drought: the peony fears excess moisture. Add fertilizer (manure, compost, or bone meal) in early fall and in the spring after flowering. If your peonies don't bloom for the first few years, be patient. They may take a little while to flower, but once properly established, they will produce more flowers every year ...

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L. H.

Video: Tree Peonies and the Chinese Garden Aesthetic (October 2020).