I first came to Peonies in 2005 as a result of frustration in my attempts to grow species  Rhododendrons in a garden which was fundamentally unsuited to the culture of the (to me) most interesting varieties. It is sometimes not appreciated that there are over 1000 separate species with a superabundance of foliage characteristics, and as I progressed in my Rhodoholic obsession I became more and more concerned with foliage above flowers. Unfortunately, these rarer species require perfect drainage, protection from spring frosts and acidic soil with a high organic content. I struggle to supply these conditions, and after years of failure and re-purchase, I finally gave up and decided to grow something else. One day I was searching the internet and came across the (almost) legendary Peony rockii for sale, and that was the start of my Paeoniaphilia. As I began to explore the world of paeonia, an exploration much aided by the internet and by Carsten Burkhardt’s superb website, I discovered the immense range of flower colour and forms. Whilst no species of hardy plant can rival the Rhododendron for foliage diversity, the peony has is own unique appeal Although my small garden does not have perfect drainage, having heavy soil, it is, by and large, adequate. However, I have had to subsequently extend raised beds to improve things.