A bonus plant

Oriental Tree Peony 'Zhuang Yuan Hong'

Oriental Tree Peony 'Zhuang Yuan Hong'

When I ordered some plants earlier this year from Spring Hill Nursery there was a bonus plant just for ordering.  (If you click on the link you will see a photo of it blooming) They didn’t ship it with the order since it wasn’t ready to be transplanted at the time.  So of course I had forgotten all about it until I got an email earlier this week saying it had been shipped.  I’m excited for my new small tree Peony since it is something I’ve never grown in my garden.  Now the only dilemma is where to put it.  It gets to be about 3-5′ according to the tag and prefers full-part sun.  Which is most of my garden so that’s not helpful in the least.  I’m considering removing an existing Nandina in the Arbor Garden since they are abundant in my garden.  Yes I know the Nandina domestica is a common plant that is over planted but I love the fact that they are evergreen which provides structure in the winter months.  Plus I use them as small trees to make my own shady areas.  Anyhow after doing some research online I’ve found this is a very easy tree Peony for the novice so I’m hoping it loves my garden & prospers.  

Arbor Garden - new home for Tree Peony?

Arbor Garden - new home for Tree Peony?

In the photo above you can see the possible new home for my bonus plant (the yellow oval to the far right).   If anyone has any experience with these plants I would love your input.  Here’s some more information on this new little tree I found online:

  • Paeonia suffruticosa ‘Zhuang Yuan Hong’ (which means no.1 scholars robe)
  • Red extra large double blooms that are highly fragrant
  • Can get up to 10′ but average 3-5′ tall & wide in the garden
  • Does best in full sun to partial shade conditions
  • Long lived tree that has been grown in China for centuries
  • Vigorous grower that blooms midseason

14 responses to this post.

  1. Racquel~~ You’ve got a gorgeous arbor garden. Love the outlines and structure juxtaposing the softness of the plants. Very nice. The spot you’ve got picked out seems perfect to me. I’ve never grown tree peony so I can’t help you there. What a great deal from Spring Hill. I bought three Sidalcea from them this year–first time I’ve ordered from them. I was very satisfied.

    Thank you Grace. It is the first garden I created here 12 years ago. 🙂 It was a nice bonus to get something free that I’ve never grown before that’s for sure.


  2. Do put it in a focal point. They are so pretty when mature and so fragrant when in bloom! You must be able to sniff it too. It will be lovely in your garden and lucky you to have full sun!

    Thanks Tina for your help with this planting dilemma. 🙂 This would be a good area then, since I would be able to sit on the bench & enjoy the fragrance! 🙂


  3. Wow, love the view of your Arbor garden. And your bonus plant will surely complement that look!!

    Thanks Kanak for the lovely comments! I do think the color of its’ blooms will blend in nicely in this garden. 🙂


  4. How exciting Racquel. There are a few tree peonies in the Learning Garden, though I have not direct knowledge of their care. I think they are wonderfully beautiful when they bloom!

    Thank you Janet. I will definitely have to visit the Learning Garden to observe all the wonderful plants you guys have there. 🙂


  5. Racquel .. your beautiful garden space is looking perfect and where the oval is would be just right !
    I don’t have one of these but you have me yearning for one now girl .. stop that ! LOL

    Hi Joy~thanks for the sweet compliment and vote of confidence! 🙂 Oops I didn’t mean to make you obsess over another plant, lol 😉


  6. I love this corner of your yard Racquel! I bet this will be so pretty there! Tina said fragrant….that sure gets my attention! Let us know how your new little tree does!
    Have a good weekend!

    Thanks Linda, I know you have a particular fondness of the Arbor Garden. 🙂 There are so many fragrant plants back there that bloom at different times that this is just the spot for it I’m sure. I’ll keep you guys & gals updated, promise! Have a lovely weekend Linda in the garden hopefully!


  7. Racquel your arbor garden is beautiful. How nice that you got the tree Peony – can’t wait to see it in bloom – it will look great in this area. I have a new peony we planted last fall that I can’t wait to see what it looks like.

    Thanks RG. I’m excited about having this beautiful tree Peony in the Arbor Garden. What a nice focal point it will make in that corner. 🙂 Hope you will post pics of yours when it blooms!


  8. How nice! That’s a great surprise peony. I’ve never had one either but I’d love to try one. I hope you find the perfect spot for it and that it does well.

    Thanks Kathleen, I guess it will fun to watch it grow & bloom next spring I’m assuming. 🙂


  9. Am intrigued how the tree peony will do. My neighbors have one, but its a different, wider cultivar. Bonus plants are good!

    You & me Monica! Bonus plants are always a good thing, I have nothing to lose. 🙂


  10. I have never grown these but have been reading a lot about them on blogs. I’m sure it will do wonderful for you!

    Thanks Darla for the encouragement. 🙂


  11. What a nice bonus gift. You can grow it in a pot until you decide where to put it. Their blooms are so fleeting, but so beautiful.

    Thanks Les, that’s a good idea. Maybe I will get a pot to put it in for now. I can always transplant it into the garden this fall when it goes dormant. Some of the most beautiful blooms are fleeting… 🙂


  12. Yes, a wonderful bonus plant and it needs to be where you can see it! Have a good week, I do think the forecast is for beautiful weather in the middle and upper south! gail

    Thanks Gail, I agree it definitely needs to be a focal point in the garden. 🙂 It’s raining here today (cats & dogs). No complaints though. 😉


  13. Posted by Susie on May 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Sounds like a great place for it to me Racquel. I’ve never grown it before myself. They don’t perform well for us in this zone.

    Thanks Susie, I hope it likes it in my area. We’ll just have to wait & see I guess. 🙂


  14. Racquel, Came to your blog last nite and read about the Peony Tree. Looked it up and had to order me one as well. Was fortunate that apparently the site I went to had a two for one special as well. I can’t wait for them to arrive. I especially wanted to say how much I like the arbor garden. After seeing the pics I think we are going to move in that direction in part of our garden. Thanks for the inspiration.


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