In Canadian gardens, there are not many flowers that are as timeless, elegant and beautiful as peonies. With their stunning blooms and captivating fragrance, peonies have long been cherished by gardeners across the country. Customers praise them and tell us about their love for this stunning flower and I am not surprised.  From their origins in Asia to their prominent place in modern Canadian horticulture, peonies offer not only aesthetic appeal but also resilience and versatility. Let's look at them a little closer and discover why they are a must-have addition to any Canadian garden.

First a little history: Peonies have a rich history dating back thousands of years, originating in China and later spreading to Japan and Europe. In Canada, they have been cultivated for centuries, beautifying our gardens with their stunning flowers. Their enduring popularity can be attributed to their attractive beauty and the range of colours and forms they offer.

One of the remarkable aspects of peonies is their adaptability to various Canadian climates. Whether you reside in the mild coastal regions of British Columbia, the prairies of Alberta, or the frigid winters of Ontario, there's a peony variety suited to your garden.

While peonies are relatively low-maintenance, proper care ensures robust growth and abundant blooms. Plant peonies in well-drained soil enriched with compost, and make sure they receive enough sunlight. Adequate air circulation around the plants helps prevent fungal diseases. In colder regions, provide winter protection by mulching around the base of the plants. Regular watering during dry spells and occasional fertilization promote healthy growth. Find a spot where you want them for a long time ....they don't like to be moved.

Peonies harmonize beautifully with a variety of companion plants, which helps the visual appeal of your garden. Pair them with perennials like lavender or allium bulbs. Underplanting with low-growing perennials such as catmint or geraniums provides a stunning backdrop for the towering peony blooms. Additionally, incorporating ornamental grasses adds texture and movement to the garden.

Beyond their ornamental value in the garden, peonies are prized for their use in floral arrangements. People couldn't wait for the ‘peony time’ in my flowershop. Their large, fragrant blooms make exquisite cut flowers, giving a touch of elegance to bouquets and centrepieces. To maximize vase life, harvest peonies when the buds are just starting to show colour and get the stems into water immediately. Changing the water every few days helps prolong the blooms' freshness.

I have some ideas on how to display your peonies in a floral arrangement right here:

Milk Bottle Bouquet (click here)

Tulip and Peony Arrangement (click here)

Single Peony on Wood Block (click here)  

Peonies epitomize the beauty and resilience of Canadian gardens, they are true showstoppers and a great conversation starter with people walking by your garden. Whether in flower beds, borders, or as cut flower arrangements, peonies add an unmistakable touch of elegance to any setting. As we nurture these breathtaking blooms in our gardens, we also cultivate a deeper appreciation for nature's enduring brilliance. 

By Elke Wehinger 0 comment


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