Home Gardening Flower Aristocracy: Grand Dames of the Garden

Flower Aristocracy: Grand Dames of the Garden

Flower Aristocracy: Grand Dames of the Garden

fragrant white lilyRegale Lily, one of my favorite flowers, beautiful, fragrant and easy to grow.

As a guest speaker at the Vashon Island Garden Tour, I’m about to grab my gardening soapbox and expound on the wonders of my favorite flowers: Roses, Peonies, Lilies and Dahlias.  I call them the Grand Dames of the Garden, but that may be too stuffy a reference. Each of these flowers brings an excitement and unbridled enthusiasm to the garden, as well as a cooperative bloom sequence, one right after the other with little overlap. Their floriferous fireworks are always lighting up the landscape, beginning with peonies, moving into roses, rounding out mid to late summer with lilies and mid-summer to the first frost with dahlias.  Below I’ve listed some helpful links for growing these dreamy bloomers, so you too can have an audience with garden royalty.

pink peony flower close-upPeony “Mrs. FDR” is the brightest smile in my spring garden.


Orienpet lilies fragrant showstoppers


colorful bouquet of summer dahlias Who can say no to a bucket full of dahlias?


David Austin roses soaking and sipping up a drink in the sinkSome of my David Austin roses taking a dip and a drink in the kitchen sink.


Check out these links and then get out into the garden! And if you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it in a timely (and hopefully accurate) way.


  1. I’ve always been incredibly jealous of folks that can grow roses. Yours are, by far, the most beautiful of all. I’d hate you…..if you weren’t so darn “nice” about it all.

    • Now Sue, that is a compliment. 😉
      If it’s any consolation, any time I head down to Napa or Sonoma County, CA, I look at the local roses and feel the same way; they’re bigger, better, without blackspot, profuse in bloom. Thank goodness, the area’s libations can calm my angst.

  2. Tom
    Dhalias and Peonies are my favorite too. Steven’s mother grows multicolored Peonies in her garden back East. A true explosion of colors. Before moving to the US I never saw a live peony flower before just those depicted in Dutch paintings. Life is beautiful

  3. Lilies grow at Christmas time in this neck of the woods… Rick never buys me flowers at any other time of the year, but at Christmas it’s always Lilies – he knows I love that delicious scent 🙂

  4. Perhaps you can help me with a quest I’ve been on since I was a girl, Tom. When I was young, we lived in Texas where there is a bright yellow (yep, that one) single rose that smells of both cinnamon and a very heady rose scent. I don’t think the Texas wild rose survives in my area (south-central Pennsylvania), but there surely must be a rose somewhere that is similar. Might you know of such a one?

    I’ve enjoyed this post and your lovely photos.

  5. Wow, on that peony and David Austin roses are always the very best! Plus lilies and dahlias to boot. Gorgeous all … thanks for sharing, Tom. You are feeding my soul–thank you!


  6. Tom – your flowers are stunning! I think they are all my favorite – to hard to choose. I must read through your “how to” lists, and thank you for sharing such beauty! 🙂

  7. Thank goodness there are people like you to make the world beautiful. My brown thumbs just don’t cut it. Everything looks gorgeous – wish I lived close enough to see your garden in person. Enjoy the summer show!

  8. Stunning flowers & such variety! I also have 3 peonies but in white!

    Your pink one is so beautiful & who doesn’t love dahlia’s!!! Such beauty!


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