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About the Garden

The W.E. Upjohn Peony Garden at Nichols Arboretum presents a stunning spring display, currently with 350 historic herbaceous varieties (cultivars) from the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. These specimens represent many of the important American, Canadian, and European herbaceous peonies of the era – and over half are no longer commercially available. These fragrant spring beauties are arranged in 27 beds with each full bed containing 30 peonies. When filled to capacity the garden holds nearly 800 peonies and already over 10,000 flowers at peak bloom.

Dr. W. E. Upjohn, founder of the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan, donated the original collection of herbaceous peonies to the University of Michigan in 1922. This June, 2022, we will celebrate the centennial of this historic garden. Join us as we celebrate 100 Years in Bloom!

Schedule of Events

Events at Nichols Arboretum

Late May – Early June • W.E. Upjohn Peony Garden Bloom
Dawn-dusk, visitor center open daily 10am-4:30pm.

Enjoy the beauty of the largest collection of heirloom peonies in North America.  Peak bloom typically occurs in late May to mid June, with our tree peony collection followed by the herbaceous varieties. Visit our peony garden website for bloom updates.

Saturday June 4 • 100 Years in Bloom Centennial Celebration
Featuring performances of Korean choral works and a composition by composer-in-residence, Alexis
Lamb. Remarks from Nichols Arboretum director Tony Kolenic, Peony Curator David Michener, and others.
Free admission.

Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in June Shakespeare in the Arb, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Presented by Nichols Arboretum and the Residential College. Directed by Kate Mendeloff, Graham Atkin and Carol Gray. Shakespeare in the Arb is a 2 hour outdoor, moving performance that takes place within Nichols Arboretum.
Audience members should be prepared for light weather conditions, periods of sitting, standing and walking. 6:30pm-9pm

Tickets are sold in advance exclusively at muto.umich.edu. beginning May 16 for Matthaei-Nichols members and May 23 for non-members.

Events at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Saturday June 4 – Sunday June 5 • Cut Flower Show
Presented by the American Peony Society. A display of award winning blooms and floral arrangements.
Free admission.

Monday May 30 – Sunday June 5 • Bonsai in Bloom Exhibit and Workshops
Peak bloom time of the peonies at Nichols Arboretum coincides with the bloom of the Satsuki bonsai collection at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
Bonsai garden hours 10am-8pm daily.
Free admission to Exhibit. Workshop prices vary.
Visit https://mbgna.umich.edu/bonsai-in-bloom/  for additional information and registration.

Wednesday, June 1 • Peony Sale
Bring some vintage beauty to your garden with our online sale of heirloom peonies. Online sale with in-person pickup at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Plants cannot be shipped or delivered. Matthaei-Nichols members have early bird access to all our plant sales.

Saturday May 21 – Sunday June 26 • “Time in the Garden” Art Exhibit
Artworks in a variety of media depicting the relationships between nature, time, and change. 30 artists from across the community.
Visitor Center hours 10am-8pm.
Free admission.

Sunday June 26 • “Time in the Garden” Closing Reception
Meet and greet with artists on the final day to view exhibit.
Free admission.

Off-site Events

Saturday June 4 • 100 Years in Bloom Garden Walk
Presented with Ann Arbor Farm & Garden. Visitation of 7 private gardens in the Ann Arbor Hills and Geddes Heights neighborhoods and the W.E. Upjohn Peony Garden at Nichols Arboretum.
Tickets are sold in advance exclusively at muto.umich.edu beginning May 2nd.

Wednesday June 1 – Sunday June 5 • American Peony Society Convention
Annual peony growers and florist convention.
For additional information and registration, visit:  americanpeonysociety.org


Peony Weekend Parking Map


Members of Ann Arbor Farm and Garden gather in the Peony Garden.

Thanks to our co-hosts Ann Arbor Farm and Garden, and our generous sponsors!

Join the celebration by becoming a 100 Years in Bloom Sponsor today! This event provides a unique marketing opportunity for corporate and individual sponsors at all levels, that will increase your visibility and brand recognition in Ann Arbor and surrounding communities, and help support the the next 100 years of this beautiful and historic collection.

Thank you to our Individual level sponsors: Smilka Zdravkovska & Dan Burns ❀ Chris & Jackie Light ❀ Betty Upjohn Mason ❀ Sharon & Louis Balius ❀

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