Cricket Hill Garden
Heirloom Garden herbaceous peony pair
Two old world peonies which date from the 19th century and have been popular in the US since the early 20th century. When many remember their grandmother's peonies, they conjure images of these two iconic varieties; 'Festiva Maxima' and 'Sarah Bernhardt'. One a pure white flecked with red, the other a multi-shaded pink.
Both are intensely fragrant the way only a peony can be, with an intoxicating aroma of clove perfume. These two varieties are best suited as cut flowers. The stems of both are long and cannot support blossoms once fully open. For landscape use, additional support is necessary. These cultivars are best suited for the cutting garden, where blossoms can be brought indoors and enjoyed for over a week. There are many good reasons that these two varieties have been a favorite in the cut flower markets of Europe and the United States for over a century.
Bloom time: These showy peonies bloom in our USDA zone 6a garden in the first to the second week of June.
Zone hardiness: Proven in USDA zones 3-9.
Plant sizes: 4-5 'eyes' or buds with proportional roots. This size plant will most likely flower in its second spring in the ground, though many do bloom the first spring.
Notable characteristics: Pure white petals form a loose double. The edges of a few center petals are rimmed in crimson. Vigorous grower and generous bloomer.
Notable characteristics: Very large double flowers of dark, rose-pink with lighter edges. A few inner petals are edged in red. Floriferous and vigorous. Dark green foliage.