Can I grow peonies and other favorite Northeastern/Midwestern plants?
Unlike Kylee Baumlee, who gardens in Ohio and blogs at Our Little Acre, Southwestern gardeners can’t easily grow peonies like her lovely ones.
When gardeners leave colder, rainier regions to put down roots in Southwestern states, it’s natural to want the plants that are familiar and close to their hearts. Once here, though, it’s best to choose plants that can withstand our soil, rocky sites, and harsh, hot weather.
This impulse for northern plants is actually more ingrained in us than you might realize. The first botanists in the United States brought with them plants from their native European homes. They also brought along plants that were collected and treasured by British and European botanists, who were the world’s leading plant collectors at a time when interest in botany was skyrocketing.
And so, the plants that were brought with the Brits became very popular in the nursery trade, and so did plants that were native to Northeastern states. Along with the development of our nation, our gardening interests developed. Businesses responded to fill the need, so widespread garden knowledge was (and often still is) based on that Northeastern foundation, making us long for the beautiful plants, like peonies, that we have been “trained” to love.