Cheerleading For Frilly Flowers: Double Peonies

Pink peony

If ever a flower looked like it was wearing a petticoat, this is it. It’s hard to believe this bloom is only partially open. The yellow petals in the centre will gradually become more prominent, but I like the flower at this stage while the outer petals are still a pure pink, and are forming a protective cup around the inner petals.

White peony

The second peony has it all for me: I love the pearly character of the creamy white petals and the way those yellowy petals create an inner glow. 

Pink double peony

Double flowers don’t appeal to everyone. I love the way the mingled petals lighten in response to light and deepen where the petal folds create shade, creating a mix of colours.

I sometimes get comments from gardeners who prefer to grow single flowers, which tend to be more attractive to insects. I understand where they are coming from, but believe that there is room for all types of flowers; that anything that creates interest in gardening is, in general, good; and that more flowers, singles, semis and doubles, could be squeezed into most gardens, including every major garden I’ve ever seen.

Perhaps these peonies are a little on the frivolous side. They are excessive. And yes, peonies have a relatively short flowering season. Despite all that, I’m happy to be a cheerleader for them: imagine me, if you will, on the edge of the border, dancing and waving pom poms whenever I see them, because that’s what I’m doing inside.

40 Replies to “Cheerleading For Frilly Flowers: Double Peonies”

  1. There’s definitely room for everything and whilst I prefer simple, single blooms I do have that first peony (Bowl of Beauty) as a ‘statement’ in a prominent position. And boy, what a statement it makes. Fleeting yes, but it leaves lovely seed heads like jesters’ hats. Plus the foliage is gorgeous in both spring and autumn. What’s not to love?

    1. I love seeing the first tender-looking, reddish shoots pushing up through the soil in spring and the seed heads can be quite spectacular – like green moustaches.

    1. I’m sorry to have missed those. Cut peonies always seem the height of luxury to me so I can never resist them if I see them reasonably priced. It’s amazing how much flower can emerge from those tight, round buds.

  2. All these flowers are extremely beautiful, but the first one is really special, I would love to have one. How can not love them? I don’t think that nature has a frivolous side. It is magical. Have a great day.

  3. They are glorious, particularly the top one. However, the trouble with peonies is there is too much green and not enough flowers – and their season is so short.

  4. That’s quite an image, a cheerleader for flowers! Our town used to have a two-block street lined with peonies. Now, there’s just a bedraggled plant or two. Need a few more cheerleaders on that street.

    1. I don’t think cheerleaders can raise plants from the dead, but how sad! Do you think the people who originally landscaped it chose peonies that weren’t suitable for that particular area? That would have been an expensive and very disappointing mistake.

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