Welcome to The Secret Farm! We’re thrilled to share our passion for peonies with you. As a family-owned and operated pick-your-own (PYO) farm, we take pride in offering the finest fruits, vegetables, and flowers, all grown locally in the heart of Bedfordshire. Today, let’s dive into the enchanting world of peonies and discover how we grow these stunning flowers at The Secret Farm.

Why Choose Peonies?

Peonies are a favorite among gardeners and flower enthusiasts for their lush, fragrant blooms and long-lasting beauty. These perennials can thrive for decades, making them a perfect addition to any garden. With their vibrant colors and variety of forms, peonies bring a touch of elegance and charm that few other flowers can match.

Selecting the Right Peony Varieties

At The Secret Farm, we grow several types of peonies to ensure a diverse and captivating selection for our visitors:

  • Herbaceous Peonies: These classic peonies die back in winter and re-emerge in spring. Known for their large, fragrant blooms, they are a staple in many gardens.
  • Tree Peonies: With woody stems that remain year-round, tree peonies produce larger, earlier blooms and can add a unique structure to your garden.
  • Itoh (Intersectional) Peonies: A hybrid between herbaceous and tree peonies, Itoh peonies combine the best traits of both, offering robust plants with stunning flowers.

Planting Peonies

To ensure healthy growth and vibrant blooms, it’s essential to plant peonies correctly. Here’s our step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose the Right Location: Peonies thrive in well-drained soil and full sunlight. Select a spot in your garden that gets at least six hours of sunlight daily.
  2. Prepare the Soil: Enrich the planting area with compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility and drainage.
  3. Planting Depth: Dig a hole wide enough to spread out the roots, with the eyes (buds) positioned about 2 inches below the soil surface. Planting too deep can hinder blooming.
  4. Spacing: Space peonies about 3 feet apart to allow for adequate air circulation and growth.

Caring for Your Peonies

Peonies are relatively low-maintenance once established. Here’s how we care for them at The Secret Farm:

  • Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, especially during dry spells. Avoid waterlogging to prevent root rot.
  • Fertilizing: Apply a balanced fertilizer in early spring to support healthy growth and vibrant blooms.
  • Staking: Large peony blooms can be heavy and may require support. Use peony cages or stakes to keep them upright.
  • Pruning: After blooming, remove spent flowers to encourage new growth. In late fall, cut back herbaceous peonies to ground level to prepare for winter.

Harvesting Peonies

Peonies make beautiful cut flowers, and timing is crucial for the best vase life:

  1. Cutting Stage: Harvest peonies when the buds are still tight but show color, usually early in the morning.
  2. Stem Length: Cut stems at least 12 inches long to ensure longevity in arrangements.
  3. Storage: Keep freshly cut peonies in a cool place or refrigerate them to extend their vase life.

Visit The Secret Farm

We invite you to experience the magic of peonies at The Secret Farm. Our farm offers a picturesque setting where you can pick your own flowers, learn about sustainable farming, and enjoy a day in the countryside. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just beginning your floral journey, our farm provides the perfect backdrop for creating beautiful memories.

Join us on one of our event days and explore the wonders of The Secret Farm. From peonies to pumpkins, there’s always something new to discover. We look forward to welcoming you and sharing the secrets of our farm with you.