By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Peonies have been called, “The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty,” (as Henry Mitchell the famed garden writer once put it). They are certainly among the most popular flowers of all, and this weekend you can learn how to grow them from seed at a free talk at Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College.

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Peonies are usually propagated by dividing the roots – there’s a bit of a trick to it where you have to make sure each piece you cut has enough ‘eyes’ to grow. But peonies can also be grown from seed as Bob Johnson will tell you. He learned from his grandmother how pollination produces seeds and continued his hybridizing interests into college. Today, 2-year-old peony seedlings from his efforts are grown to blooming size in nursery fields in Oregon.

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To learn more about growing peonies yourself, just be at the Wister Center at Swarthmore College, this Sunday, October 26, 1:30 to 3:30 pm.

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The workshop’s free and you’re invited to stay after for a reception, peony sale and auction with members of the Mid-Atlantic Peony Society.