Prized for their blowsy, glamorous blooms and glossy, deeply cut foliage, peonies are held in deep affection by many gardeners, despite their shortish flowering season and vulnerability to peony wilt in damp weather. It's easy to see why. From the promise of early spring, when their red, mottled shoots push through bare earth and the handsome foliage unfurls from spherical red buds, to early summer, when the huge flowers burst open, peonies exert a fascination that few can resist. 'Karl Rosenfield' has fragrant double flowers of startling magenta, from early to mid summer among deeply cut mid green leaves. The reddish-bronze foliage of this striking peony provides interest from early spring and after the plant has flowered.
Garden care: Deadhead after flowering. In early spring apply a top dressing of a balanced, slow release fertiliser around the base of the plant and mulch with well-rotted compost or manure. If the plant shows signs of collapse or the leaves become spotty, this may be a symptom of peony botrytis. Remove affected leaves immediately. In the autumn, cut off all the foliage and dispose of it to prevent reinfection the following spring.