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We want all visitors to enjoy the Peony Garden and find answers or resources for the quesitons they have. For 2015, our main focus in on providing self-guided tours. In addition, our popular Peony Ambassadors will be in the garden on a posted schedule. Peony Ambassadors can assist with orientation to the garden, identification of peonies in each bed, answers to common questions, and guidance for further assistance. 


At present there are three main ways to deepen your knowledge as you explore the garden. One is web-based, the others are tour-based. In addition, during peak bloom our extended hours allow you to engage with staff. You are encouraged to address additional questions to:

  • NEW!  Web-based - random access (requires a smart phone or tablet)
  • Self-guided Tours - by theme
  • Drop-in Tours - as scheduled on short notice


Web-based for Your Smart Phone or Tablet  [release in May, 2015]

At each bed, use the key to the Peony Garden Photo Maps to 'click through' to each peony. We'd love your comments this trial season! Comments to:


Self-guided Tours

Visitors are encouraged to explore the Peony Garden with any of the self-guided tour fliers. All these guides are available at the Peony Garden in large, easy-to-read format during bloom season. These tours take you plant-by-plant to the featured peonies. If you'd like to print out your own tour flier in advance, click on any of the tour titles below to download a PDF. The fliers are formatted at 11x17 and can be printed at that size - or on standard size paper but the lettering will be very small. Please return the laminated guides to their post before you leave the Peony Garden.

The topics reflect public interest as well as the collection's strengths. If you have a theme you'd like to see developed, please let us know. 


Drop-in Tours

The peonies bloom on their own schedule - rarely ours. Consequently, advance notice for drop in tours is often only with a few days notice and no reservations are taken. Due to the physical layout of the Peony Garden guided tours are limited to 20 people so that all tour attendees can hear and see.

  • Schedules and times during peak bloom season are posted both on our Events Page and on the Main Page of this website - open the "Events" link. If none are posted, none are currently available.
  • Gather at the main Peony Garden sign near the Washington Heights entrance to the Arb - the guide will meet you there.
  • Cancellations will be made with no notice in the event of a National Weather Service Severe Weather Alert. 


A Special Note for Large Groups (as arriving by charter bus)

The Peony Garden can host several hundred visitors at the same time as long as they are enjoying the peonies in small self-guided groups.

  • We are not able to reserve times for large groups.
  • Although there is easy bus drop-off access at the Washington Heights entrance, there is absolutely no bus parking in the university hospital area. Please consult with your tour operator in advance.