Thank you - I find this forum helpful - my first year of gardening in Canada - come from South Africa where the plants are different and behave differently.
I read in a book by Jerry Bloom, that one should pinch out the leading buds of peonies in order to allow more buds to develop. Luckily I only tried this on some of the buds, because, where I pinched them out, the smaller buds died back (black). I also noticed that some other smaller buds did shrink away too on their own (without me pinching out the leading bud). Does anyone know why this happened and how to get all the buds to bloom in the future?