I am going to be sending some peony roots for a trade and I want to be sure that I am being generious and correct. I will cut the tubers with at least three eyes and the thickness will be about the size of my finger. Does this sound ok?
From my brief experience in purchasing and planting peonies - I'd suspect that as a traded item, you should be alright with what you're offering.
Two years ago, I purchased four peonies at a local Wat-Mart - 2 each of Felix Crousse and Sarah Bernhardt - which were about the same size as you appear to be offering and gave them to the horticultural program where I work.
This year, I ordered five peonies from A & D Nursery (http://www.adpeonies.com) was both surprised and pleased with the rootstock. The thickness of the least of them was thicker than my thumb and nearly all of the roots were nearly as big as the top of a good size carrot - an 1.25 or more inches in diameter and very long.
With good deep soil preparation, I have no doubts that the person(s) you're trading with will be more than pleased.
Since you're new to this neck of the woods, I recommended that you make good and extensive use of the "PlantFinder" search tool located within the Kemper Center for Home Gardening at the outstanding Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO.
It makes the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids look like child's play, but on the other hand the glorious MBG is well over 100 years young and still growing strong while the Meijer Gardens is just getting started and doing well by comparison.
I've given you the main link to this unique search tool below and have given you some examples of what can be found there. Most of the planted listed immediately below have been considered, but only a number of them have been planted.
Hope this link and the others to the plants below are more than useful in your new gardening endeavors.
1. Paeonia lactiflora 'Duchesse de Nemours'
Although I was initially intrigued with the "Duchesse", I decided to opt instead for the following white peonies from A & D Nursery.
The main peony page at A & D Nursery is here:
The photograph of "Florence Nicholls" is here:
and the photograph of "Moon Over Barrington" is here:
As you note, the link to information about Paeonia lactiflora 'Duchesse de Nemours' at the Missouri Botanical Garden provides you with a wealth of information from the garden's historical sources of purchase to online sources, from basic information about the plant to its suitability and "purpose" in the garden to its basic culture, care, and problems, etc.
Last Sunday I stopped by a rural garden center north of Manistee on my way home. In discussing the possibility of adding another "Northern" or "Inland" Sea Oats - same plant, but different common names to my garden - see the link below for more information - my eyes spied a nice lovely plant with wonderful fall leaves - a nice red to almost rose wine red. The owner - Jennifer - informed me that it was Geranium sanguineum 'Max Frei'. When I got home, I went to the Missouri Botanical Garden web site noted below and found it. It will be added - at least two or possibly three plants - to my garden this fall.
Here's the link to the information that can be found on this plant at the MBG for "Max Frei".
As for the "Northern or Inland Sea Oats', here's the link to information ata the MBGT.
Finally, I decided to add a fragrant flower - slightly tall plant - that would attract either or both hummingbirds and/or butterflies and would be suitable for zone 5. So I did a search in those areas, looked through some of the results and finally decided to add 2 Phlox paniculata 'Mount Fuji' to my garden.
Here's the link at the Missouri Botanical Garden:
Hope you find this information and the new resources at your disposal more than helpful.
Best wishes in your gardening endeavors in N.E. Michigan.
Here is a link that might be useful: Missouri Botanical Garden - Plant Finder - Search