Peonies are a clump forming herbaceous perennial grown for their fabulous showy flowers. The most commonly grown Peonies flower in early summer and have large saucer like flowers, some with multiple ruffled petals and a central boss sometimes contrasting in white or yellow. Many peonies are scented and have multiple flower blooms with strong colours. In many ways, Peony are an ideal border plant.
There is a slight downside to growing Peony. Compared to many plants, their flowering period is relatively short, especially if we are unlucky to have poor weather because the large blooms, which are their very attraction, do not fare well in heavy rain or winds. In addition, Peonies need some attention requiring staking in early spring. This is a task I often leave until a bit too late, as a result it then becomes a nerve-racking task of trying to thread leaves and flower stalks into the plant support without breaking anything. Peonies only flower the once, so if a flower head is snapped, it will not flower again.
I have labelled them amber wheel barrow showing medium effort and maintenance. Peony are not fool-proof, but they return reliably every year.
At the end of the season, the foliage can look unsightly and it is best to cut it down. As a herbaceous perennial Peonies die right back to bare earth in the winter; the emerging spring growth is attractive, see image below right.