If you're not in the mood for classics, why not branch out to score double takes with your peony garden? These lacy flower forms are strikingly ornate over lush green foliage. The flowers are long-lasting in cut floral bouquets, and the foliage stays attractive even after the bloom season is through. The Fantastic Frills Peony Collection will make your green thumb look impressive, but it's actually very easy to care for. It will remain beautiful through decades—truly a generational plant. Put it in borders and watch spring butterflies dance over the blooms. All three varieties—Plainsman, Gay Paree and Bowl of Beauty—are delightfully fragrant.
Peonies have few requirements: give them a sunny well-drained location, plant 2-4' apart, with the eyes (new buds at the crown) no more than 2" below soil level and apply fertilizer or compost in spring. They take a while to establish, often 3 years before the first bloom—but the wait is worth it. They are heirloom quality. Let them grow undisturbed and they will bring joy to you and your loved ones through the decades. Paeonia 'Bowl of Beauty', 'Top Brass', 'Gay Paree'