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Welcome to our Head Gardener’s Journal

In this monthly column, we will share technical aspects of our work and also keep you up to date about ongoing projects. If there is any topic you might want to hear more about, please ask during your next visit!

Peony Joy

Peonies are stalwarts of herbaceous borders during the tricky period when the tulips have faded and the roses and summer herbaceous are just not ready yet to fill the beds with their glorious blooms. We use tree peonies, herbaceous peonies and intersectional peonies.

A very reliable tree peony growing in our Kitchen Garden is ‘High Noon’. 

Tree peony ‘High Noon’

‘High Noon’ is in fact a Saunders hybrid tree peony and much more reliable and predictable than its temperamental Asian cousins which grace the area around our tea house if and when they feel like it. 

Rockii hybrid in the Japanese garden

‘High Noon’ is vigorous, healthy, fragrant and our specimen even survived being moved as a mature plant!

Another gem in the Kitchen Garden is the aptly named intersectional peony ‘Garden Treasure’. Intersectional peonies are a recent and still quite rare introduction. They are also called ‘Itoh hybrids’, named after Toichi Itoh, the first hybridizer to successfully cross a tree peony with an herbaceous peony in the 1940s. Itoh hybrids resemble tree peonies in foliage and flower, but their annual cycle is like that of herbaceous peonies. They flower for a longer period than tree peonies and remain as domed herbaceous plants for the rest of the season before they are cut back in the autumn.

Itoh hybrid ‘Garden Treasure’

Next door in the South Garden, a collection of herbaceous peonies flower alongside German irises. Among them are the early flowering single ‘Krinkled White’ and the late flowering ‘Nymphe’ as well as the delicately scented ‘Elsa Sass’.

Peony ‘Krinkled White’
Peony ‘Nymphe’