Tree Peonies – A Feast For The Eyes

Tree Peony

I planted my first tree peony 12 years ago. Knowing very little about tree peony, I just placed it in a section of the garden where I can look out of my kitchen window and admire it when I am doing the dishes and other kitchen chores at the sink. Would you believe, unknowingly, I chose a great location!!!!! The plant is now about 6 feet tall and equally wide. When in bloom, the entire plant is covered with deep pink flowers, a gorgeous sight. Needless to say, during that period the chores take much, much longer to complete. I took photos of the plant in full bloom but was unhappy with the results so am not posting.

The leaves of the tree peony are also attractive and the seed pods are very unusual. I wait until early spring to remove the pods as they add special interest to the winter landscape. Right photo: tree peony seed pod.

Tree peony has been associated with Chinese culture for thousands of years.
The roots, bark, seeds and flowers were used for medicinal purposes. Even today, medical researchers are evaluating peonies medical potential.
The beautiful flowers are found in many Chinese paintings/scrolls, on porcelains and embroidered on clothing.

My tree peonies were gorgeous this year so I decidedd to share a feast for the eyes instead of the stomach.

The flowers of this variety are 8 inches across

This is one of the four I planted last year, 2011

This is my first tree peony, planted 12 years ago

I understand yellow is a rare color

The petals of this tree peony crinkles like crepe paper (the description is crepe-textured flowers)

Another one of the four I planted last year

Tree peonies are low maintenance and surprisingly easy to grow. I am hoping to add a few more plants to my garden this fall and am preparing an area for them. I would like another yellow, a white, a black and other available and affordable colors.

Copyright © by Norma Chang

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About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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52 Responses to Tree Peonies – A Feast For The Eyes

  1. Jenny says:

    The location was a perfect idea. Makes me consider changing the view out my kitchen sink window. Your peonies are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the photos and info! I love the last two flowers.

  2. leduesorelle says:

    My favorite ornamental perennial, the symbol of wealth and honor!

  3. Look at all of those beautiful colors! We can’t grow peonies here (it’s too warm), so I’ve only seen various pink ones at florists. I love looking at them. Do they have a scent?

  4. Lou Murray's Green World says:

    What an awesome plant. I was not familiar with them, only bush peonies. Great idea to leave the seed pods for winter interest.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lou,
      I have the herbaceous peonies also but they need to be staked and cut back at the end of every season. Tree peonies on the other require neither. Really easy maintenance.

  5. ChgoJohn says:

    These are beautiful, Norma. I’ve a pair of peonies in my back yard, both pink, and they’re always a welcome sight in the Spring. I can only imagine how nice your yard must look with so many of these in bloom. :)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      Yes, among the peonies, first to bloom are the tree peonies followed by the herbaceous peonies. There is always something blooming in my yard year round, even in winter through the snow (the pink and white heaths poke through the snow, it is quite a sight).

  6. Kim says:

    Oh my they are beautiful!

  7. Eva Taylor says:

    Spectacular is really an understatement, Norma! I have one little peony plant in my garden, and when I saw all the beautiful buds a few weeks ago, I immediately thought of you and wondered if you had peonies! I kid you not.
    I love the idea of the peony tree, I shall have to investigate and see if it would do well in my area. They are my ultimate favourite flower.
    Hope you had fun in NYC!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Eva,
      I think tree peony would do well in your area since your climate is quite similar to ours.
      Tuesday was hot (temp was in the 90’s), humid and the sun was blazing, not the best day to be in NYC and we chose to walk, at the end of the day we were totally exhausted. But we had fun, I did not take photos, my daughter did so I may be able to do a blog about the trip.

  8. Pat says:

    They are beautiful! I love the yellow and the deep red!

  9. Hi Norma,

    Those peonies are truly beautiful but I have to say that last photo of the purple one is my particular favourite!

  10. The peony tree is one of my favorites :D
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful plant with us!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  11. Sissi says:

    Peonies are such beautiful flowers. I remember my grandmother used to have peonies in her garden, but I have never seen any yellow ones. It must be rare indeed!

  12. So bright and colorful. Very much a feast for the eyes!

  13. oh, Norma! as always, they’re gorgeous and even more so (to me because they’re PINK)! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend, my friend ;)
    XOXO
    http://TheSquishyMonster.com

  14. Lovely! Do you clip any of the flowers and bring them inside? I love fresh flowers, and I always have them in my house.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello FA,
      I would love to but cannot due to allergy. When friends come to visit they would bring me cut flowers only to discover I cannot have them in the house.

  15. I love peonies of all sizes. Their happy blooms put a smile on my face every time I see them. I used to grow heaps in Tennessee but alas none here in Australia.

  16. lrong says:

    Exquisite… especially the yellow one… it is a rare color for this flower…

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Lrong,
      I did not realize yellow was a rare color until a friend came by and saw it. I am hoping to get another yellow one but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it, I am cheap!

  17. Kristy says:

    And they smell fabulous! They remind me of my grandma. She always grew them in her yard. I was so excited to learn we had one in our backyard when we bought it too. It’s my spring time reminder of grandma. :)

  18. Kate says:

    Very lovely! I looked at ordering some last year. Very expensive! I’ll have to save my pennies a while longer.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kate,
      Yes, they are pricey, that’s why i purchase them in the fall when the local garden centers offer half price and also 1 – 2 years guarantee. The disadvantage is you have to take whatever is available. I was lucky to get the yellow and purple ones.

  19. Truly magnificent, Norma! Thanks for sharing them with us!

  20. Karen says:

    Your yard must be splendid when they are all in bloom. I think I would be staring out the window instead of doing chores.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Karen,
      There is always something blooming in my yard, I go out to do garden chores but end up walking around and forgetting the chores, oh yea, I spend a lot to time staring out the kitchen window.

  21. Charles says:

    Look at all those gorgeous colours – beautiful!

  22. You are very lucky Norma, this is truly a feast for the eyes

  23. mac says:

    Gorgeous peonies!

  24. Sophie33 says:

    I also have tree peonies but mine flowered 1 month ago/ I have them in white! I also love, love them: such beauty!! I agree! :)

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Sophie,
      I plan to add to my colletion this fall. I buy locally because the local nurseries offer a 1 or 2 years guarantee. I purchase in the fall because I can get them for 1/2 price. Hoping to get a white one.

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