Pink Peony

Episode 33: Peonies

This week, I’m talking Peonies with Alec White of Primrose Hall Peonies. If you attended this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, you probably saw the amazing, gold-winning stand Alec put together in the floral marquee – it was the one with the bath, peonies spilling everywhere and the semi-nude model painted all over with peonies. It certainly caused a stir and rightly so, because it was stunning and if you didn’t want to buy one of every single variety they had on display, then I don’t think we can be friends.

I was delighted to chat to Alec because I frankly have a chequered past with peonies. I’ve had peonies with wilt and I’ve had peonies that don’t flower. The best peonies I’ve had in a garden were some I inherited in a house I bought in Surrey. When they flowered I rushed out to pick a load for the house and found they were overrun with ants. I’ve seen beautiful ones growing in other people’s gardens and frankly, I’ve had peony envy. Determined to get to the bottom of my lack of success with peonies, I asked Alec about the most common problems gardeners face and he answered all these questions and more.

We discuss:

The 3 main types of peony
Peony wilt
Moving, dividing, deadheading and feeding
The reasons your peony may not be flowering
Pruning tree peonies
Growing peonies in containers
Growing peonies from seed


Primrose Hall Peonies

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