one of my favorite places to hike can be found right in the center of ann arbor, a place where i always return, the nichols arboretum. it’s a lovely, quiet, sweeping park where there is natural beauty to be found in any season. one of the most stunning displays is the blooming of the peony garden. unlike any i have ever seen.
the nichols arboretum peony garden is the largest public collection of historic (pre-1950) herbaceous peony cultivars in north america. the university and botanical gardens are currently in the process of rebuilding this historic garden to be an internationally significant, scientifically-documented and culturally interpreted living reference collection.
the garden, open since 1927, boasts more than 270 historic varieties of peony, cultivated in the 19th and early 20th centuries. nearly 800 plants are arranged in 27 beds at the arboretum’s peony garden, drawing flower lovers from across the region when they bloom each spring.
- note – early morning and evening are when the peony fragrances are best.
“flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful;
they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”