Growing on the High Plains: Peonies

May 23, 2019

Peonies by William Jabez Muckley (1892)

For many Americans, Memorial Day is marked by leisure, outdoor cooking, and the start of Summer. However, we also remember that this holiday has a somber origin: an observance of lost service women and men throughout history—and there’s one flower that’s been the traditional choice to decorate soldiers' graves: peonies.

From white to flaming fuchsia, these lush, delicate puffs with tender petals are a fixture of this season. Though blooms are often short-lived, cool temperatures and ample moisture has been kind to the peony this year. Today’s Growing on the High Plains will have some insider tips on how and when to plant, as well as a few nots on spacing, supports, and patience. While they might take a while to emerge and unfurl, they can give your garden up to a half-century of color and elegance.