Garden Photo of the Day

A Peony Lover

A gardener discovers her favorite flower

Today’s photos come from Connie Prendergast from Sedgewick, Alberta (Zone 3).

Peonies are my favorite flower.  I didn’t know that until I was about 45.  At that point in my life, I had never had a garden. I thought I hated gardening. Then we moved to Alberta and bought a house. There was one red peony plant at the side of the house, and it was absolutely beautiful. A year later we moved again, and that property and the memory of the peony inspired me. That started my adventure of learning to garden. Now I have flowerbeds where I know the name of every plant, and I love every one. I walk around to each flowerbed every day during the growing season, looking for the progress from spring sprouts to blooming buds to full flowering beauties!

The peonies remain my favorites. And my favorite of favorites is the variety ‘Raspberry Sundae’.  I just can’t get enough of those beautiful, subtle, pink and cream ruffles.

During this journey, I not only discovered that I enjoyed gardening but that I also enjoyed journaling about and photographing flowers, hostas, and ferns, none of which I knew anything about until after I was 50 years old.

‘Raspberry Sundae’. It is easy to see why this is Connie’s “favorite of favorites.”

‘Coral Charm’ is a beautiful intersectional or Itoh hybrid peony. These types of peonies are hybrids between herbaceous and tree peonies, and they combine the best of both types. View our plant guide to peonies here.

This peony bloom is packed to the brim with petals, making for an incredibly beautiful, full flower. It is an unknown variety that came from Connie’s mother’s garden. Fully double peony flowers are very heavy, so make sure you stake them to avoid having those beautiful blooms winding up face down in the mud.

A closer look.

Peony flowers come in a wide range of colors. This one is a particularly beautiful dark magenta.

Peonies also can be an icy cool pure white.



Have a garden you’d like to share?


Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 07/16/2018

    Hi, Connie. I very much enjoyed reading your story and share your enthusiasm (ok, let's call it what it unbridled passion) for peonies...not a bad addiction to have! I love the color shadings in your 'Coral Charm' has such a soft shimmering glow. I also have the pink bomb type one which has such a wonderfully nostalgic fragrance. It brings to mind loving grandmothers and a simpler world.

  2. btucker9675 07/16/2018

    Peonies... the gateway drug??? HAHA!! I haven't tried them yet here in NC, but had many in my northern NJ gardens. During the blooming season, I always had at least 2 vases of cut peonies in the house - wonderful!

  3. carolineyoungwilliams 07/17/2018

    Your collection of Peonies are absolutely beautiful Connie. Peonies are one of my favorite flowers too. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome work. I look forward to seeing more.

  4. IngridMJanssen 07/18/2018

    I too have become a lover of peonies late in life and have been slowly building up a collection of herbaceous, intersectional and tree peonies in my garden. While I do not have Coral Charm in my garden, I do have a close cousin, Coral Sunset. Neither of these are intersectional peonies as you state in the article, but hybrid herbaceous peonies bred by Samuel E. Wissing of Lombard, Illinois.
    Ingrid Janssen

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest