Paeonia 'Garden Treasure'
Sunset zones: A1-A3, 1-11, 14-20. USDA zones: 4-8. Heat zones: 8-1.
Height: 29-33 inches (73-83 cm). Width: 36 inches (90 cm).
Late May to early June.
Large, yellow, semi-double flowers, with red petal bases, pink staminoides and lemon fragrance.
The leaves resemble a tree peony with its divided, deep green leaves.
Moist, fertile, deep, humus rich, well-drained soil.
In spring feed with a complete organic fertilizer. In fall add bone meal and side dress with compost.
Semi-ripe cuttings in summer.
Cut woody stems to within two inches of the ground in autumn, being careful not to cut off any above ground buds that are just above ground level. When gathering flowers for bouquets, do not take more than half the flowers. The plant needs the leaves to feed it for the following year's growth.
Pests and Diseases:
Although this plant is highly resistant, botrytis may be a problem.
Rainy Side Notes
Introduced in 1984 by Don Hollingsworth, the peony 'Garden Treasure' is a hybrid of P. lactiflora x P. lutea. Intersectional peonies, a crossbreed of herbaceous and tree peonies, have woody stems that you cut back in the fall after frost, since these stems rarely resprout. Because this category of peonies is still new, the hybrids are still expensive to buy.
I am patiently waiting for these beauties to come down in price. As I write this (2007), the asking price is between one hundred and two hundred dollars for cultivars such as this one. They are worth waiting for, but not just for their exceptional flowers. They're fantastic landscape plants! After the initial flower show fades, the handsome foliage remains until the first hard frost.
For the cutting garden, they are superior, blooming over a longer period than herbaceous peonies. P. 'Garden Treasure' adds a moderate lemony fragrance to bouquets. After the calyx colors-up, harvest bouquets when the petals begin to show.
Photographed at Boonbrier Farm, Kingston, WA.