Gardening: My little peonies

Gardening: My little peonies View Gallery
Some peonies can be expensive, but they are long-lived: if properly cared for, they can last generations

Breeders have crossed the hardy herbacious peony with its flowery cousin

Who could imagine snipping off the burgeoning buds of peony flowers and using them as projectiles for a slingshot? Its hard to fathom cutting those tight petal-packed globes just before they reveal their luxuriant blooms, but that is exactly what Roger Anderson did as a boy growing up in Wisconsin. In fact, back then he thought that was all peonies were good for. Fast-forward a couple of decades – his grandmother’s love of peonies has rubbed off on him and Anderson has become one of the most successful breeders of intersectional or Itoh peonies, the new – much hyped – kids on the peony block.

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