Peony ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ has been loved for generations. This new hybrid began as a sport and is a chip off the old block, but with a little more daring.
With equal vigour, it produces both cerise pink and baby pink blooms. There are even some that have a blend of both these sumptuous colours in various proportions. This late season Peony is well worth a grow.
Why not spoil yourself and enjoy an abundant spring to summer display of intoxicating loveliness. Peonies are vigorous, long lasting garden plants with prolific and opulent blooms. Their bushy growth and prolific flowering look wonderful in the garden and they make the most wonderful cut flowers.
Bear in mind, you will have to be patient to enjoy the flowers of Herbaceous Peonies as they need a little time to establish their roots – they have big blooms to fuel. But the wait will be justified for many years to come as they are extremely long lived.
It will take two to three years depending on conditions to get a good display. They might not look like they are doing much above the ground, but under the soil they are working hard. Mature plants can have a rootball that weighs almost 30kg and stretches up to 90cm across – this takes time to develop.
The exotic flowers of Peonies have been cherished since the 5th century. During their long and illustrious history, Peonies have been the flower favoured by Emperors and Gods. Fortunately, they are now accessible to the common gardener.
Peonies are heavy feeders, so you need to fertilise them regularly (Anzac Day and Cup Day are easy ways to remember when). They like lime, and lot’s of it, so be sure to indulge them. Plant your Peonies just beneath the surface with around 2cm of soil covering them. If they are too deep, they won’t flower well for you.
Peonies need cold winters (3-7C nights at least for around six weeks) for best flowers. As a general rule, if apples can grow so can Peonies.
If your climate doesn’t get that cold, but you still want to try your luck, Tree Peonies need a bit less cold so you could give them a try. But if you still can’t resist their charms, to give them the best chance in warmer climates you should seek out a cool spot, with shelter from the hot afternoon sun. Ideally you should mulch well (but not too close to the tuber it needs to remain shallow). They need a winter rest, so if they aren’t naturally going dormant, you can force them into it by cutting them back hard in early winter. Freeze an ice cream tub of water and put it on their roots overnight in July to give them a bit of a chill – don’t let this allow them to become waterlogged though. All these things will give you the best chance.
Supplied as: Bare rooted