|Dan Furman, Manager of Cricket Hill Garden|
According to Dan's fact sheet, there are many good reasons to grow peonies beyond their gorgeous flowers such as they are drought-resistant, deer resistant, and extremely long-lived.
There are three types of peonies; tree peonies, herbaceous peonies and intersectional peonies which are a cross of the first two types. Peonies prefer sun, but the tree peonies can live in partial shade, too. Dan prefers to use Neptune's Harvest Organic Fertilizer, azomite rock powder and an annual application of compost to maximize peony growth and vigor.
|Deep red peonies are cherished|
|This pink is so vibrant|
I saw evidence of many organic land care best practices at Cricket Hill Garden, which I wanted to highlight. Dan uses ground covers, some of which could be considered weeds, rather than having sterile beds of endless mulch. White clover, sedums, mustard greens, and many other plants surround the bases of the peonies. To some this looks weedy, but Dan says he likes to let other plants live among the peonies and hold back the pressure from more invasive weeds.
|Jack in the pulpit are everywhere!|
|Milkweed and clover for pollinators|
|A Small Medlar - a European fruit from the rose family|
|Paw paw with grafted varieties|
I suggest you make a trip to Cricket Hill Garden to experience the magical place for yourself. But if you cannot, they can ship you peonies when the plants are dormant to ensure a successful transplant.
Go to treepeony.com and check out what they have to offer. The hard part is selecting which peonies are right for your garden, with so many cultivars to choose from!
|Umbrellas shade the peonies to prolong bloom time|
|Glass sculpture from Mundy Hepburn add to the beauty|
|Dan uses Root Pouches, made of recycled materials|
|Rows of young fruit trees|