The Peony Garden Blog

Fleeting Beauty, Enduring Value: the Nichols Aboretum Peony Garden

A presentation by Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum Curator David Michener

Tues., May 19, 7-9 pm

Ann Arbor District Library main branch
343 South Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

The Big Dig

Preserving and protecting the Nichols Arboretum historic peonies
Dr. David C. Michener

Deadheading the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden

By Joel Klann

The practice of removing spent flowers—deadheading—keeps peonies healthy for future blooming and growth

Work groups dedicated to maintaining the beauty of the peony garden have once again committed themselves to help complete a great task: deadheading all 700+ plants.

Broken Records - Fixing the Peony Website Database

By student guest blogger Richard Bryant
I work in curation at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. So what exactly is “curation,” you may ask?
Curation integrates the planning, collection, preservation, and maintenance of objects and data about those objects for management, historical, and research purposes. Adding a further layer of complexity, curation in a botanical garden also may include physical objects that are too big to hold, such as a grove of trees.

Post-Winter Growth Spurt Sparks Mega-staking Effort in Peony Garden

By student guest blogger Joel Klann

This year, for the first time in more than 80 years, every peony plant in Nichols Arboretum’s famed peony garden has been staked with bamboo reeds and biodegradable jute twine in order to provide pillars for support during what has turned out to be a period of bursting growth.

Peony Award Mystery

Cross-posted from the Matthaei-Nichols Garboretum Gab blog


There's nothing like a good local mystery. Your help is needed with these two black-and-white photographs from the Ann Arbor Flower Show held in the mid 20th Century. These (re)surfaced recently while sorting materials in our records room.

Welcome to the inaugural website for the University of Michigan’s Peony Garden Initiative!

Since 2008 a diverse team of staff, volunteers, advisors, and donors has been working under the leadership of Bob Grese, Director, to revitalize our historic peony collection that was established in 1922.

February 2010 Project Update

Believe it or not, winter is a busy time for the Peony Project! All of the planning for the upcoming year needs to happen now, because once May hits and the peonies begin to emerge, it’ll be all peonies, all the time. Over the last month or so, I have spent some time tracking the movement of peony cultivars throughout the peony garden. Beginning with the original 1927 garden plan and continuing through the 2010 garden plan, I have noted which plants were in which locations within the garden during which years.