Paeonia Suffruticosa or ‘Belle de Nancy’ Peony
‘Belle de Nancy’
‘Belle de Nancy’ is a frequently grown form of shrubby peony. It is about 80cm (32 in) high with simple, salmon-pink blooms, up to 30cm (1 ft) across, appearing in early June.
Peonies are old standbys as ornamentals in the garden and remain so to this day. The colour range, from white, yellow, pink to dark red and purple, as well as the form of the, ranging from single blooms with conspicuous stamens and pistils to thick, double, globular ones, make them very good plants for a wide number of uses in parks and gardens. Those who are fond of peonies will include in their gardens also the wild species such as Paeonia delavayi with dark carmine-red flowers 5 to 6cm (2 to 2¼ in) in diameter and Paeonia lutea with golden-yellow blooms 5 to 10cm (2 to 4 in) across (both woody peonies).
In gardens peonies are effective planted in small groups of a single species, either in grass or in front of taller dark green plants or admist low perennials. Shrubs of handsome form and compact habit make very good solitary specimens and beds of peonies of different colours and different forms of bloom are also attractive and interesting. Peonies flower from early June for a period of 14 to 21 days, depending on the weather, so that when choosing companion plants it is advisable to select ones that flower later. Peonies are also very good as cut flowers. If they are to last long in the vase it is best to take nicely coloured, but closed, hard buds, best of all in the early morning before the dew has dried.