A Love Affair With Peonies

A Love Affair With Peonies – Book Review & Interview

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Before I start, I would like to thank Alec and his promotional team for sending me a copy of this book to review.

There were no obligations that came with this, they just offered me a copy, and I was happy to receive it. Now let’s get to the review.

Great Read
A Love Affair With Peonies

RHS Chelsea Gold Medal-winner Alec White shares his expertise and personal experience in this illustrated celebration of the peony. Varied chapters introduce each of the qualities that make this remarkable flower stand out, their many varieties, scents and colours, how to care for and cultivate your plants and the historical and cultural significance of the peony.

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If you grow or are thinking of growing peonies, this book is for you.

It is packed full of advice gathered over decades of growing peonies.

Step-by-step photos show you exactly how to get the best out of your plants.

Packed Full of Useful Advice
Packed Full of Useful Advice

Even if you don’t plan on growing peonies but enjoy flowers, then you will enjoy this book.

There is page after page of gorgeous images, many spanning two pages. As well as tales of Alec’s journey into horticulture and peonies.

Gorgeous Photos
Gorgeous Photos

Who is Alec White?

Alec is the founder of Primrose Hill Peonies, a specialist peony nursery with up to 50-60,000 peonies at any time!

He also holds a national peony collection and has won a prestigious gold medal at the Chelsea flower show.

Alec White
Alec White

So if there is one man who knows about peonies, it is Alec. I was lucky enough to chat with him quickly when he sent the book over.


Why peonies?

I was initially attracted to growing Peonies because of their sheer size, beauty, and so many to choose from. I also realised how hardy they were to grow and look after.

I also loved that many Peonies are fragrant and low maintenance.

What is your favourite peony?

I have a few favourites – Lollipop being one of them as it is so striking with pale yellow and purple

What are your three top tips for growing peonies?

  • Plant a mature peony
  • Plant in full sun or partial shade
  • Plant in any fertile free draining soil, but do not plant too deep ( see page 53 for more info)
  • Do not overwater

If you couldn’t grow peonies, what would you grow?

If not Peonies I would probably grow mixed perennials

Can you grow peonies in pots?

Peonies will also be happily planted in a container, just make sure you feed your container-grown peonies once a year to ensure they have enough nutrients.

Also bear in mind how big your peony will get, so have a look at the height and spread of your chosen variety and plan for your peony to be able to spread out in its new pot and have enough room to grow on your balcony or patio.

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