Fantastic hybrid between P.lactiflora and P.officinalis resulting in a sturdy plant with really deep blood red flowers. They have large cup shaped guard petals and a centre of simarly coloured petaloids. A very early flowering peony, useful for stretching the season. Grows to about 90cms in height. Its rather like a highly refined version of the endearing Cottage Garden Peony but without the floppy habit!
Goregeous double glossy red that opens into a domed ball surrounded by large guard petals. Each flower blooms for ages. Flowers held quite upright on thick stiff stems. Early mid season.
Peonies are extremely hardy and adaptable. They grow best in full sun; you can expect fewer flowers in light shade but the blooms will last longer.
Single flowered cultivars seem to do better in shade than doubles. Peonies will grow in most soils provided they are not too wet in the winter. They well on chalk and in fact prefer slightly alkaline conditions. If your soil is acidic include a handful or two of lime at planting. A heavier soil is preferable to a light one, but it is always beneficial to add some organic matter, which will also improve moisture retention if your soil is dry. In exposed and windy areas, taller varieties may need staking.
Planting Your Peony
Good soil preparation before planting will reap rewards in future years.Dig a hole at least 30cm(12in) deep and wide. Mix in some garden compost and a handful of bone meal or general fertiliser. The most important rule is avoid planting too deeply. The top of the crown (the buds) should be no more than 5cm(2in) below the soil surface. Planting too deeply is the most common reason for a peony failing to flower.
DO NOT OVERWATER NEWLY PLANTED PEONIES, THIS IS THE BIGGEST CAUSE OF FAILURE, PARTICULARLY WHERE THEY ARE PUT INTO DECORATIVE CONTAINERS. IF IN DOUBT....DO NOT WATER
Container grown plants are already potted at the correct level, so plant to the same depth. Donít worry if the compost falls away while you are planting. If you are planting a group of peonies allow about 75cm(30in) between the plants. Flowering normally starts from the 2nd year after planting.