Help me choose tree peonies for Austin, TX
Hello all, I just bought my first house and I am looking to get some peonies. My grandmother had always grown peonies in SW Oklahoma, and they were so beautiful that I always planned to get some when I had my own place. Sadly, I just found that most people have no luck at all with herbaceous peonies in my area (Austin, TX, zone 8B). Apparently, my only option is tree peonies, and I have to admit I didn't even know there were such things as tree peonies until a few days ago.
I can't find any local nurseries that carry them, so I'm looking to get some online, but the choices are so vastly different that I'm left wondering if I'm doing the right thing. I am impatient, so my plan is to get some older plants. Most of the plants I find are 1 year, 2/3 year, 5 year, or 7 year. I'm willing to pay a bit more for a larger plant and to get blooms more quickly. The places I've found are Cricket Hill Garden and Treepeonygarden.com Both sell older plants, but the prices are better at treepeonygarden.com His plants can be had for between $75 and $125 for a 7 year old plant (depending on type), whereas most of the plants at Cricket Hill Garden are around that same price for a 2-3 year old plant (their 5-7 year old plants are more in the $400+ range).
My questions: has anybody ordered from these sources, and what type of plants did you get (how many woody stems, etc?)
And, any advice for growing tree peonies in Austin, TX? Any plants work better than others?
Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.