Peonies

Hi all, new gardner here, in Atlantic Canada.
Being sort of against the idea of spending lots of money on annuals that just die at the end of the year, I'm thinking of planting some perrenial shrubs and such.
Peonies are just beautiful, I love the large flowers. Are they difficult to care for? Would it be too late in the year to plant some now?
Thanks!
KD
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snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM.ns.sympatico.ca says...

Don't know about your climate, but mine in NW Ohio seem to be nearly indestructible. They grow a large root/tuber that can store a lot of energy. One bush that was inconveniently located survived about ten years of regular mowing-off. I finally had to dig it out, apparently missed a few pieces of root and had to dig again the next year. I think I finally got it.
On the good side, they don't seem to be highly invasive with long runners like some plants, and like to form a tight cluster.
Mine are all doubles, and I have never tried to get seed, just multiply vegetatively. A sharp spade will turn a large bush into two or three smaller ones every few years without much thought or effort. I'd normally wait a little later in the year for the foliage to die off, but you probably won't kill them transplanting now.
Probably late for most things from seed, unless you wait really late, let them freeze in the ground, and hope for germination next Spring.
My $.02, YMMV
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Here is a link to some good, basic information on peonies: http://www.songsparrow.com/2004/plantinfopeonies.cfm
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They're very easy to grow. You just need patience. Peonies usually doesn't flower the first year you plant it.
It's not too late if you plant a peony in container.
Regards
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