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    Peonies of the Butchart Garden .     

image Red Charm and Butchart Garden

Have you ever wondered what peonies could be growing in a world class garden?  We decided to treat ourselves with a visit to the Butchart Gardens with that objective in mind.  We timed our visit at the normal flowering time, but the weather was cooler than normal, so only the early varieties were blooming.

The plant identification person was very helpful, showing us a list (see below) of some of the named varieties; I was quite surprised when she produced a copy of “Peonies” by Allan Rogers.  We were able to identify and photograph several of the early  varieties that were in bloom such as Officinalis Rubra Plena, Officinalis Rosea Plena, Red Charm, and the tree peony Kinkaku. The other photographs are from our own collection.

Festiva Maxima Festiva Maxima Officinalis Rubra Plena   Officinalis Rubra Plena
Kansas Kansas Red Charm   Red Charm
Karl Rosenfield Karl Rosenfield Sarah Bernhardt   Sarah Bernhardt
Norma Volz

Norma Volz


Officinalis Rosea Plena Officinalis Rosea Plena    

Most of the peonies at the garden are of the old-fashioned vigorous type.  They would be suitable for most locations in the United States.  My favorite early-flowering peony, and one of our best sellers, was “Red Charm,” it was growing near the rose garden which is the only part of the gardens that is labeled. 

Red Charm

< Peony Red Charm



              Rose Garden >


Rose Garden

Karen’s favorite was the combination of “Officinalis Rubra Plena,” and “Officinalis Rosea Plena,” that were planted  alternately under some gorgeous flowering Hawthorn trees, which were in the last part of the garden as you exit.

              Peony Officinalis Rosea Plena and Red Hawthorn tree > image Peony Officinalis and Hawthorn Tree

The tree peony Kinkaku (or Souvenir de Maxime Cornu)  was flanked on both sides by unopened tree peonies with promising buds in the Japanese Garden.

image Tree Peony Kinkaku  < Tree peony Kinkaku


    Japanese Garden >


image Japanese Garden

There were many other peonies on the verge of opening throughout the gardens. In the perennial garden the peonies were mixed with other plants that would flower at the same time, such as lupine and iris.  They were contrasted with foliage plants like euphorbia, dusty miller, and various ground covers.

We hope you enjoy the photographs and urge you to consider a visit to the Butchart Gardens, a fifty acre gardener’s delight on Vancouver Island British Columbia.

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