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Dr. Alex Fleming -

Posted by paula_in_PA z6 SEPA ChesCo (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 4, 05 at 10:05

Hi all,

I've never grown peonies, and I want to. I saw 2 or 3 over at Home Depot last night on the mark down shelf, and they looked in pretty good shape, despite being at Home Depot lol. I was thinking of going back over to grab them.

Is this an ok variety to start with, for a newbie? Bugs? Problems?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dr. Alex Fleming -

Paula, I bought some peonies from HD one year. Two peony roots came in a box, one was Shirley Temple and I forget the other one's name. They were healthy, but they didn't flower until the third year. So be prepared to wait.

I had the same experience when I bought one from Dutch Gardens. It didn't flower until the third year, but it's done very well ever since, increasing in size and number of blooms.

Paula in The Garden Spot

RE: Dr. Alex Fleming -

Hi Paula!

Thanks, yes, I am prepared to wait, I've been doing some reading in this forum, as well as general website stuff. I figure anything to help attract more of the wasp to my yard that eats Japanese Beetles, and I love fragrance, so what the heck is holding me up already lol!
I also already have some circle grid stakes to support them. I use them for my 'Purple Rain' Salvias.

So I guess Dr. Alex will be ok then, if it's not a variety that has any problems that anyone knows of?

RE: Dr. Alex Fleming -

  • Posted by Mozart2 Zone 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 28, 05 at 3:15


Although you won't find information on "Dr. Alex Fleming" at the site listed below, you will find numerous references to a whole range of plants. The source is the Kemper Center for Home Gardening at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO.

The link below is to the Paeonia lactiflora 'Duchesse de Nemours', which I am going to add to my garden this fall.

For information on other peonies located in the Missouri Botanical Garden, here is the link to all plants listed under "P"

Hope this site is useful in your gardening endeavors!

Best wishes,


RE: Dr. Alex Fleming -

Thanks Bill - I did go back over to HD and purchased them. Good deal, 3 for $12.00. I'm about to plant them soon, debating on the best location in my yard. I tend to move plants around, but I know peonies should be sited carefully, and once if possible.

RE: Dr. Alex Fleming -

  • Posted by Mozart2 Zone 5 Michigan (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 30, 05 at 20:05

Paul in Pa:

I suspect that there is nothing like receiving partial information from a fellow gardener. So here's the rest of it.
For a greater understanding of the world of Peonies plus many wonderful illustrations, I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of "Peonies" by Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall.

The book provides an excellent history, overview, and an good discussion of an extremely wide variety of different types of peonies with various lists - including those suitable for cut flowers, fragrance, etc.

Obviously, you can find copies at your public library or through their inter-library loan system. Or, if you wish to add this superb book to your own library, there are various sources for new and used copies in near mint condition. In addition to two excellent used book sources are listed below.

FYI - I have copied and pasted some information from below.

"Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall's book "Peonies" is a ravishing book--the sort of book that you covet from the moment you see it--but it isn't just lovely to look at, it is also a wonderful read. It tells the long and fascinating history of this most beautiful of flowers, tracing its origins in the wild to its cultivation in the Imperial gardens of China and Japan and its journey to the West. The characters encountered along the way include an empress who arranged for the planting of many thousands of tree peonies, yet murdered her baby daughter and in her 70s took two brothers half her age as lovers, and a French missionary who spent most of his life in China collecting over 1,500 species of peony, most of which were sent back to France. As befits its subject, the book is lavishly illustrated with paintings and photographs that are both informative and appealing.

But this is not just a wonderful story well told. It is also a serious work of reference giving comprehensive information on peony varieties, how to grow them, where to find them, and where to see them. It's written with the international reader in mind, so references include information relevant to the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand as well as Great Britain and Europe. --Stephanie Donaldson"

An customer gives the following review of this book:

"If you are a peony lover, you will treasure this book. Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall not only knows her peonies and traces their fascinating history through the imperial courts of China and Japan, but she interweaves this with a history of how peonies have been used in paintings and porcelain. The beautiful pictures included not only show the various peony cultivars, but show the peony as it is used in Asian porcelains, paintings and European paintings. This book and its photographs are so lovely, that I expected to pay much more for it. It's a bargain, if you are a peony lover. Al Rogers "Peonies" is a bit more explicit about growing and cultivation, but this book compliments his, because of the romance it brings to the peony. It is also practical, listing the cultivars, showing many pictures, and recommending the more successful cultivars. If you love peonies and want to know more about their place in history, I heartily recommend Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall's "Peonies." "

FYI - I have a copy of this book in my own personal library and I wouldn't be without it!!

Hope this more complete information is useful.


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