In May when friends were staying with us we paid a return visit to the Centro Botanico Moutan, Peony Farm. Those of you that were reading my posts this time last year, I hope you will not mind me posting again about the Peony Farm for the sake of my more recent followers. I also believe these beauties and the place are worth sharing again.
The centre is open all year round for purchases, but if one wants to see the peonies in flower timing is of the essence to view this unique collection of Chinese Peonies at their best. Unfortunately we did not get it quite right this year, as by the time we paid our visit the majority of the peonies were past their best, but there were still enough in flower to make the trip worthwhile. Our friends certainly seemed to think so and the wife another keen photographer took loads of photos, someone after my own heart!
The centre was founded in 1993 and the name ‘moutan’ is a direct translation of the Chinese word for tree peony. The founders had for many years been passionate about peonies and decided to grow a themed garden, this desire grew as they studied the varieties and species available throughout Asia. Importing them to Europe and collecting them in one place whilst studying and promoting their cultivation has today led to this fifteen hectare estate cultivated almost entirely with peonies nestling at the foot of the Cimini mountains in the Viterbo region.
During April and May the estate is open for visitors to stroll amongst the peonies, over 100,000 thousand plants belonging to around 600 different varieties. It is a fantastic display and ones sense of vision and smell are literally bombarded, quite an experience.
At prices ranging from Euros 30 to 90 for mature plants these often rare specimens belong to many different species, some of which cannot be found any where else in the world. I have a catalogue of the species but not being an expert on peonies I shall not attempt to try and label my photographs in case I get them wrong. I hope you will enjoy the selection I have chosen to share with you, they were all so stunningly beautiful.
Slide Show of Our Visit to Centro Botanico Moutan
The centres own website is also well worth a visit and is available in English, French and Italian Official Website - Centro Botanico Moutan this is where I gleaned the information quoted in this post and you will also find a lot more detailed information.
It is well worth a visit if you are ever in the region during April/May and after touring the garden the cafe is a pleasant place to stop for refreshments.
More Peony photos can also be viewed in last years post or in My Flickr Albums entitled.
Peonies - Peonie - Centro Botanico Moutan - May 2011 Flickr Album - Centro Botanico Moutan 2011