Shipping Update

The frostiest April in 60 years, the wettest May since records began and also the coldest in 25 years means that as growers we have had a real struggle getting our crop to behave “normally”.

As a small independent specialist nursery who grow our plants in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way, our nursery people care for the crop without extra heat and wait for mother nature to kick in and do what she does best – make things grow. This ensures strong healthy garden ready plants. We feed and nurture the crop until they are fully rooted and strong enough to make the journey from the nursery to their new garden forever homes.

Unfortunately for 2021 this has meant we have had to wait an extra 4 weeks to be able to start sending our peonies to our wonderful customers. We so appreciate your support during this unprecedented year and wanted to thank you for your patience while waiting for your plants.

We are trying to ship as many plants as possible, diverting members of our small team to assist with shipping so we can clear the back log, we hope to have all pending back orders shipped within the next 15 days.

We do understand that everyone is excited to receive their new peonies and eager to find out where their orders are and as a result we are receiving hundreds of calls, emails (sometimes multiple from the same person) and social media messages every day. We are doing our best to reply to everyone but we would prefer to get the orders shipped and get your peonies to you as quick as possible.

Please bear with us, we are not ignoring you, you will get a reply within 7-10 days, sooner if we can, and notification of shipping will take place 24 hrs before your peony arrives as we only use a next day courier service. Our system does not allow for earlier notification at this stage.

Other than that once again, thanks to our customers! Without your support we could not grow the peonies we do.

The Primrose Hall Peonies team. (All 13 of us)

Virtual Chelsea Flower Show 2020

A Virtual Flower Show Extravaganza!


This week would have been one of the most exciting events of the year, the event that all gardeners look forward to, hours of television coverage, oodles of garden and planting inspiration and of course a star studded occasion filled with celebrities and the beloved British royal family for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show an event that started in 1913.

We are sharing our press day from 2019 to highlight what we are missing this year! We are however very excited to be part of the Virtual Chelsea Flower Show this year! The show is jam packed full of videos and wonderful gardening advice pieces, you can read our planting tips for growing beautiful peony blooms on the RHS website right now.

We have also created our own mini Chelsea inspirational videos which we have featured in this article. Head nurseryman Alec wanted to provide some inspiration for the gardeners that are still searching for right peony for them.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us! Without our wonderful customers and fans, this would have been a very difficult year indeed. We are looking forward to #Chelsea2021 with our wonderful collaborators  Theo Fennell.

Happy Chelsea Week. Please enjoy the show and tell your friends.

Plant Of The Month – April

Plant Of The Month – April 2020

‘Paeonia Claire de Lune’

The ‘Claire de Lune’ Peony is a single bloom creamy, lemon yellow coloured petals with a strong vibrant yellow centre and contrasting reddish stems. Breeding peonies is only for the most patient of horticulturalists and this particular variety took well over 500 crosses every year for 8 years to achieve this beautiful creamy-yellow Peony!

We have picked ‘Claire de Lune’ as the peony of the month in April as it is one of the early flowering peonies, it usually blooms in the garden Spring or early Summer. This peony copes well with rain and will flower for approximately 10 days. We always suggest planting the earlier flowering peonies together with some mid and late flowering varieties so that you are able to have a peony budding and flowering throughout Spring and Summer in your garden.

‘Claire de Lune’ is a reliable peony, needing very little in terms of maintenance, most importantly make sure your soil is free draining and you plant your new peony in full sun. All peonies benefit from a feed once a year but it is not essential for your plant to stay healthy. This peony plant grows into a lush green bush, usually reaching 60 -70cm in height and spreads up to 90cm, with fantastic green divided foliage which stays full until either the first frost or until Autumn arrives, when very often your peony will start to change colour into lovely orange and golden hues.

A great addition to the garden for pollinators, butterflies and bees are attracted to the sumptuous pollen in the peonies centre. If your garden has friendly wildlife visitors such as deer and rabbits, don’t worry, they are not interested in your peony, they are virtually pest free. Only thing to keep an eye out for is peony wilt but if you notice any wilt on your plant , cut the affected parts away and burn to dispose and your peony will nurse back to health in no time.

Peony ‘Claire de Lune’ is a versatile plant which can be treated as a specimen plant or planted in groups within the border and beds of larger gardens who have generous amounts of space like a classic English country garden. Peonies are also great in pots so perfect for city gardens, they do well in containers on balconies or rooftops as they are pretty drought tolerant and enjoy the sun but are also hardy down to -25C so will tolerate the UK and colder climate winters.
Another great use for ‘Claire de Lune’ is as cut stems for a vase, peonies make excellent cut flowers when they are cut while in soft bud, they will last a week in a vase bringing joy to your home.

Plant a peony for decades of blooming gorgeousness in your garden!

Shows Update 2020

Update: Peony Exhibit and shows for 2020

We wanted to inform all of the keen gardeners out there that would be attending the RHS Flower Shows and Garden Festivals around the country that unfortunately the decision has been made by the RHS that all shows up until the 30th June will be postponed until 2021. A number of other garden shows during April and May have also taken the decision to postpone or cancel shows.

We would suggest that if you currently have a ticket for a flower show this Spring and early Summer that you check with the organiser if this is still going ahead before making any travel or accommodation arrangements.

We are really looking forward to exhibiting our peonies at the rest of the shows which are still going ahead in the latter part of the year though. Please support these shows and come and see us. We are most importantly still growing and shipping our beautiful peonies all over the world so you are also able to shop online and buy our peonies. Please see our Coronavirus statement to see how deliveries are being carried out.

Maybe some social distancing, isolation and possible all out quarantine is the best time to make sure your garden looks amazing this year! Stock up on peonies and when the virus hits peak while all we have to gaze out at is our gardens, your peonies will be cheering you up with their gorgeous blooms and stunning scent.

Please see the RHS statement below and a link to the full statement here.

Latest RHS update in summary:

All four RHS Gardens (Wisley, Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall and Rosemoor) are currently closed;
The following RHS Flower Shows are cancelled: Flower Show Cardiff, Malvern Spring Festival, Chelsea Flower Show, Chatsworth Flower Show and Flower Show Tatton Park, as well as two RHS London shows, RHS Garden Wisley Flower Show and RHS Garden Harlow Carr Flower Show;
The following RHS Flowers Shows are postponed: Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival will now take place 10–15 September (it was scheduled 7–12 July). RHS Garden Hyde Hall Flower Show will now take place 2–6 September (it was scheduled 5–9 August). RHS Garden Rosemoor Flower Show will now take place 18–20 September (it was scheduled 14–16 August);

Following the Government update on 16 March 2020 and ongoing situation with COVID-19, all RHS Shows, Garden Events and school visits will be cancelled with immediate effect until 30 June 2020.  RHS Gardens remain open, with a number of increased precautionary measures in place.This is a worldwide unprecedented and challenging time for so many people and of course the health and safety of our members, visitors, exhibitors and staff remains our number one priority.With the Government no longer supporting mass gathering events due to the impact on emergency services and heightened actions to encourage social distancing, the following RHS Shows will regrettably no longer take place in 2020: 

  • RHS London Spring Launch & Orchid Show, 7-8 April
  • RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show, 17-18 April
  • RHS Flower Show Cardiff, 17-19 April
  • RHS Malvern Spring Festival, 7–10 May
  • RHS Chelsea Flower Show, 19–23 May
  • RHS Chatsworth Flower Show, 11–14 June

Coronavirus Update

UPDATE 09/07/2020

We are very pleased to let all of our customers know that our shipping terms are returning to normal and our current shipping terms are 7-10 days for in stock items.


We recognise the increased uncertainty that Coronavirus may be causing in the UK and indeed the world and would like to offer our reassurances that the health and wellbeing of our nurseryman, customer service team, you our valued customers and your loved ones is always our number one priority.

At this time our nursery is open for business as usual. We are still shipping plants all around the UK and internationally. We are following the guidance provided by the British government and making sure we are keeping our staff and customers safe.

Our current shipping terms for during the coronavirus pandemic are 28 days for in stock items, although we endeavour to get your order out to you sooner we are unable to guarantee delivery times. All items that are now listed on backorder on our website will only be available for dispatch in April/May 2021. If your ordered item is a gift and is back-ordered, please contact the customer service team to arrange an alternate product if you wish your gift to be sent to your recipient this season or alternatively if the item is for yourself and you do not wish to wait until 2021, please let us know and we can advise on what products are in stock and similar to the peony you have ordered.

We will continue to monitor the situation very closely and will amend our procedures if guidance changes.

Our peonies are growing beautifully and will soon be ready to be shipped to their new homes. Make the most of your time at home and make your garden as gorgeous as possible. As the situation is extremely fast-moving we will issue updates on any changes if further announcements are made by UK Government.

UK Parcel delivery
With immediate effect, our courier will no longer ask customers to sign our handheld units and instead our drivers will sign it on their behalf. They will record the consignees name and a 'Delivered on Authority' message in the signature section of the unit. This now forms our proof of delivery process for all deliveries until further notice. At present all parcel operations continue as normal. Our preferred courier depots and hubs are all working as normal and currently have no closures. They are also ensuring business continuity measures for all of their departments.

International Parcel delivery
At present all international parcel operations continue as normal.

For further information on coronavirus please refer to

Plant peonies for a garden full of colour

Nurseryman Alec White of Befordshire’s Primrose Hall Nursery urges us to fill our gardens with peonies, that most lushly petalled beauty.

Peonies are possible the most indulgent of all flowers. Impervious to the harshest of winters they emerge soring after spring and light up the garden with masses of beautifully decadent blooms. Then, before we’ve really had time to appreciate them, they’re gone – petals scattered on the spring breeze leaving nothing but their perfume in the air … read more

Why every garden deserves at least one beautiful peony

Peonies offer a decadent and luxurious display that is well worth waiting for. Alec White, nurseryman and peony grower, shares his top planting tips and talks about why these beautiful flowers are a garden highlight. Every English garden deserves at least one beautiful peony to grace its borders… read more

Garden Jobs for October

The Beginning of the New Gardening YearEchinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit', Large 3lt (17cm) Pot

The beginning of the gardening year? Yes – because it’s the ideal time to plant many types of colourful perennials and shrubs to enjoy next year. Hardy plants planted now will settle in over the winter and will start growing much sooner and faster in spring.

What to do if you haven’t much time

  • Apply a fine mulch (not bark) to soils to feed them and improve their structure. A 2-3” (5-8cm) layer added now and lightly forked into the top couple of inches will start to be incorporated into the soil by the worms. Around plants that you find have roots close to the surface, like hostas and some shrubs, just lay the mulch on top and don’t fork it.

Other jobs

Trees, Shrubs & Hedges

  • Plant container-grown climbers and shrubs
  • Move evergreen shrubs
  • Prune climbing roses to reduce damage from the strong winter winds.
  • Prepare ground for planting bare-root trees and shrubs
  • Trim conifers again if necessary
  • Plant hedges of evergreen and deciduous plants
  • Prune climbing roses
  • Take hardwood cuttings



  • Cut back perennials
  • Plant new herbaceous perennials
  • Lift and divide overgrown clumps of perennials, adding planting compost or mulch
  • Finish planting all spring-flowering bulbs and lilies now
  • Lift dahlias, gladioli, cannas and other tender tubers and bulbs – before the frosts. Allow to dry out a little in a well ventilated, dry shed or garage and then store in a cool but frost free place that’s also well ventilated.



  • Continue planting containers with spring-bedding plants and bulbs
  • Don’t forget to buy perennials and shrubs for winter colour



  • Rake out thatch, aerate and top-dress lawns
  • Make new lawns – with seed early in the month, or with turf all month


Vegetables and herbs

  • Dig in green manure crops
  • Finish lifting main crop potatoes
  • Continue lifting carrots and beetroot
  • Plant out spring cabbages, autumn onion sets and garlic
  • As soon as crops have been harvested, start winter digging of heavy clay soils, adding lots of well rotted organic matter such as mushroom compost or farmyard manure. The frosts will help to break down the clods of clay for you. Do NOT dig sandy soils at the moment as that will increase the rate at which nutrients are washed out of the soil over winter.



  • Finish picking main crop apples
  • Clean up strawberry beds
  • Spray peaches and nectarines against peach leaf curl
  • Prune blackcurrants, blackberries and hybrid berries


Under cover

  • Buy bubble polythene
  • Sow sweet peas for next spring
  • Grow radishes, mustard, and cress for winter salad

Garden Jobs for September

SEPTEMBER IN THE GARDENAster_Monch_in_border_Oct_07_LMWHelenium 'Sahin's Early Flowerer'

This should be the time of mellow fruitfulness, so it’s time to enjoy the garden and fill in those gaps left by other plants that have gone over.  If you use perennial plants you won’t have the same gaps again next year, which will save money and effort in the long run.

What to do if you haven’t much time

  • Plant perennials for autumn colour and for next year. Try asters (there are now new, compact forms that don’t get mildew), rudbeckias and Japanese anemones
  • Deadhead perennials, bedding and basket plants
  • Mow lawns as required



Other jobs

Trees, Shrubs & Hedges

  • Move evergreen shrubs
  • Plant container-grown shrubs and trees – they’ll have time to start getting established before the winter, ready to grow fast in spring. Use Rootgrow when you plant to speed up this process and so improve their chances of surviving if we have another harsh winter
  • Start pruning climbing roses


  • Keep collecting seeds
  • Cut down and divide perennials, adding soil conditioner as you do so
  • Support tall-growing clumps of perennials such as asters



  • Plant spring flowering bulbs, including bulbs to naturalise in grass


Annuals and bedding

  • Sow hardy annuals
  • Lift tender annuals before autumn, for overwintering in a greenhouse or cool porch
  • Plant out spring-flowering biennials and bedding perennials such as sweet williams, wallflowers and foxgloves



  • Plant autumn containers – if done now, they’ll get going before the cold weather and look better all through the winter. Don’t forget to use a little controlled release feed like Osmocote.
  • Stop feeding permanent plants growing in containers. If you used controlled release fertiliser in the compost, it will slow down or stop releasing nutrients as the weather gets cooler.


  • Start mowing less frequently
  • Remove thatch from the lawn and aerate the soil if it’s compacted and drains poorly
  • Top-dress immediately after aerating
  • Treat broad-leaved weeds with a lawn weed killer
  • Established lawns can be fed now, with an autumn feed
  • Sow grass seed or lay new turf


Vegetables and herbs

  • Cut down asparagus foliage
  • Pick marrows, pumpkins and squashes
  • Begin lifting root vegetables
  • Get onions under cover to dry out and store
  • Sow a winter variety of lettuce
  • Plant out winter cabbages and autumn onion sets
  • Continue harvesting fruit; protect your crop from birds with netting
  • Prune blackcurrants


Under cover

  • Remove shading
  • Start preparing your greenhouse or polytunnel for winter – clean up all debris, disinfecting with Jeyes fluid or similar to cut down on overwintering of disease spores
  • Reduce watering and ventilation. Change to watering in the morning if possible, so plants don’t got to bed wet
  • Bring in tender plants
  • Sow the last spring cabbages

Garden Jobs for August

What to do if you haven’t much time

  • Deadhead perennials, bedding and basket plants and roses to encourage more flowers. Apply high potash fertiliser (e.g. tomato food) to enable the growth of lots more flowers.


  • Mow regularly if the grass is growing. If the soil is very dry, raise the blades to leave the grass longer, which helps it to stay alive in a drought. Trim the egdes of the lawn – it makes such a difference!


Other jobs

Trees, Shrubs & Hedges

  • Continue to deadhead roses
  • Trim lavender lightly to remove dying flowers
  • Give a final trim to your hedges
  • Prune rambling roses
  • Propagate clematis by layering
  • Complete the summer pruning of wisteria
  • Continue to take semi-ripe cuttings
  • Layer rhododendrons and azaleas



  • Cut back perennials that have collapsed
  • Start dividing perennials (if you’re around to water them well in the coming weeks)
  • Take cuttings of alpines, penstemons and other slightly tender plants for overwintering under protection
  • Plant daffodils, narcissi, colchicums and madonna lilies
  • Pot prepared hyacinths and other bulbs for flowers at Christmas
  • Divide congested clumps of snowdrops (if you know where they are!); take care to minimise damage to their roots if they have started developing already
  • Continue collecting ripening seeds
  • Mulch soil around cut down perennials to tidy, improve the soil and suppress annual weeds
  • Continue to propagate carnations and pinks
  • If peony leaves are looking starved, give them a little liquid feed to keep them going


Annuals and bedding

  • Continue to deadhead and feed annuals (tomato food)
  • Take cutting from pelargoniums, fuchsias and other tender perennials
  • Collect seeds from hardy annuals



  • Continue watering and feeding plants in containers


  • Mow the lawn regularly
  • Apply a fertilizer with high potash content
  • Don’t water unless absolutely necessary
  • Prepare for sowing seed or laying turf next month

Vegetables and herbs

  • Sow green manure crops
  • Harvest onions
  • Harvest beans and freeze them
  • Sow Japanese onions, salad crops, spring cabbages, parsley
  • Continue earthing up celery
  • “Stop” outdoor tomatoes by pinching out the growing tips
  • Pot up other herbs such as chives
  • Take semi-ripe cuttings from shrubby herbs


  • Harvest early apples and pears
  • Continue pruning summer-fruiting raspberries – chop already fruited canes down to the ground
  • Summer-prune trained fruit trees
  • Plant new strawberry plants

Under cover

  • Check greenhouse heaters
  • Damp down regularly in the morning (NOT in the evening)