If you know me at all, you know I love peonies...and one of my favorite things to search for in spring are the tiny little peony points sticking up out of the ground. They are a deep, bright maroon red and are actually a bit pointy when they first come out of the ground. After a week or two, they start to stretch up to the sky and the tips open up a bit.
After a few years in the ground, your peony will grow into a large, dark green plant with a rounded habit that does not need pruning. The flowers are only one of the reasons I like peonies in my garden. The other is their shape and habits. Happily, my neighbor is getting rid of many of her perennials, so I am the mommy to a bunch of peony divisions (along with irises and roses and coneflowers and more to bulk up flower arrangements!). Sadly, this summer has been a wet one so far and one of my peonies is suffering from a little blight. See those few black edges?