The yearly visit to the Peony farm

I don’t have any peonies in my garden, not because I don’t like them but because their beauty is so fleeting plus they flower at a time of year when there are likely to be many rain storms and wet bedraggled peonies just look sad.

But I do like them and love the perfume of the tree peonies so every year I visit a peony farm not far from us where I can enjoy seeing them without the worry of having them in the garden. This post is for Julie at Peonies and Poses, from the name I’m sure she loves peonies; maybe one year you could visit Julie and see this amazing place for yourself.

Below is some information about the Centro Botanico Moutan, it is well worth visiting if you are in the area of Viterbo, Lazio.

The name Moutan comes from “Mu Dan”, the Chinese name of the paeonia arborea and chosen for this Centre founded in 1993 out of a deep desire to know all the species and varieties of Chinese tree peonies in existence, find them in the remotest regions in Asia, import them to Europe and bring them together in a single place, to look after them and promote awareness and diffusion of this plant. Covering 15 hectares, the Moutan Botanic Centre is home to the world’s largest collectionof tree and herbaceous peonies (over 200,000 plants).

It includes around 600 different varieties and natural hybrids belonging to known botanical species.

The pride and joy of the entire collection, apart from rare examples of the Delavay, are adult mother plants from the Rockii species, extraordinary peonies that grow wild on the high plains in Tibet, at an altitude of over 2000 metres, withstanding extreme temperatures that drop to below -20°C. The Moutan Botanic Centre has over eighty cultivars of these particularly rare valuable shrubs.

I’m afraid that what follows is pure bloom porn as Janet from Plantalicious would say!

Click on the image below to see what 200,000 plants of peonies planted together look like.


26 thoughts on “The yearly visit to the Peony farm

  1. I am in peony heaven – thank you Christina!! I really want to plan a visit – I have never seen anything like that. You are right that my name comes from my love of peonies and I do grow them despite the annual frustrations. Mine are in bud and my only tree peony has just popped its first flower of the season. The joy of these beautiful flowers for me outweighs the downsides of growing them. I even love the foliage, so if the flowers fall victim to the weather I still enjoy the foliage in my borders.

  2. Love them all! (But especially the yellow one, and the orangey one, and the windswept pale pink with the deep pink veins, and… you get the gist!) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the show – I love peonies too, though haven’t got any in the garden. I thought I wanted a red one, but after your pictures I found I loved the white ones best.

  4. Spectacular! I wish I had a peony farm nearby – maybe then I could get them out of my system. We don’t get sufficient cold to grow the herbaceous types and I haven’t had much luck with tree peonies. I do have one of the newer Itoh peonies but, so far, it hasn’t produced any blooms this season, although the plant appears healthy. My fingers are still crossed. Thanks for the show!

    • I don’t have any peonies but I enjoy my yearly visit to the farm! I hope yours do bloom for you this year although they sometimes need a couple of years to settle before flowering.

  5. What an exquisite place to live near and visit. I added several peonies last year and they are promising with lots of big fat buds, but actually last year I was terribly disappointed and heavy rains ruined the flowers just as they opened. Does the farm sell the plants or the flowers or both? The hydrangea is a nice bonus too.

  6. I always think peonies are quite decadent with their fleeting blooms. I have two in my garden, planted about 18 months ago. Only one flowered last year, but they both have lots of buds at the moment. I enjoy watching their shoots poke up from the soil early spring, and the shape of the foliage – but I will still be disappointed if this year’s flowers get ruined by wind and rain! The peony farm looks wonderful.

  7. I suspect there is one passionate peony nut behind this garden, it’s amazing. I never suspected that there could be this many peonies in one spot and it inspires me to not feel bad about any obsessive plant compulsion I get distracted with. I can’t imagine focusing on one single bloom long enough without being distracted by the next row! Really amazing place 🙂

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