HD has some summer bulbs for sale starting this weekend, and they have a variety of peonies as well. I know nothing about them, but would like to try if they will grow in my zone.
Not sure if they will though, or if they need any special treatment.
Herbaceous peonies are not good candidates for garden subject's in zone 9. They do need a certain amount of winter cold to bread dormancy in the spring. Tree peonies would more than likey do ok there.
I disagree with Leon about non-tree peonies. Although peonies are not likely to flourish in your area if the roots are cheap enough give it a try.
With the weather changes we have had temperatures and weather conditions are constantly changing. He lives in Kansas on a sand gravel mixed with clay soil. I live less than 100 miles almost due East of him with deep loess and clay particle soil. Our weather conditions are very different but temperature zone is within the same band. This is one of the reasons I wish people would give location and growing conditions.
Well, my location is the San Francisco Bay Area, not on the coast, so I get a lot of sun and no fog. Summer temps are in the high 70's to mid 80's, within winter low temps may get to 35F, but not much lower.
I've been working my soil each spring and fall for the past 5 years, so it's condition is well draining, rich, and everything I plant at this point does real well.
I figure they had some many peonies at HD, that they should grow here, but i know nothing of the plant itself, so that's why I asked. I figured no point researching the plant if it has no chance to grow. Also, would it grow as an annual? Assuming it needs a winter chill, it would. Would I need to chill it before planting, similar to tulips?
Winter chill is normally below 40F so you might be able to grow herbaceous peonies. Rick Rogers has been doing tree peonies in the SF area. See URL link You can send him an email and discuss the possibility of what you can grow.
He does have other peonies other than what the shows on his website. He has many of the American tree peonies. He grows his tree peonies in pots. I have purchased several tree peonies from him and they have all been of good quality.
Here is a link that might be useful: Brothers Tree Peonies
I found a nursery in San Jose that sells peonies. I attempted to link but Gardenweb does not like. You will need to cut and paste the link.
Sure you can grow blooming peonies along coastal northern California. Although most local nurseries do not sell them I have been growing them and have started lots of my fellow gardeners in the monterey bay area where I used to live. Here in the north bay we even have a peony nursery in Sebastopol. Al