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  • Writer's pictureHelen Avaient

Stunning Peonies in Tasmania Australia

The cool weather in Tasmania Australia is perfect for growing the delicate and fabulously showy flower, the peony. They are a rare and difficult plant to grow. It was a joy to visit the Gateforth Peony farm in Black River to see over six acres of them growing with such abundant beauty.

These colourful flowers range in colour from pale yellow to reds, pinks and even an almost black. They are among the largest garden flowers, and their profusion of blooms make for gorgeous cut flowers.

Phil and Fiona Medwin are the proud farmers of the Gateforth Peony Farm. The Medwin family must be doing something right. Seven generations have been farming the land at Black River and they are the eighth longest continually run business in Tasmania. They currently sell their flowers to people all over Australia.

The flowers are at their peak in spring. Growing up to a metre tall, the plants start to produce beautiful blossoms from their second year onwards. They grow even better with age.

Phil said that in the past they took off the side buds, but now they don't as it creates a wound and does not lead to much difference in the flower. They leave the heads on the nursery stock. For sales to the markets, the flowers are cut when they are just showing colour and are a spongy texture.

Once picked they are placed in water for 24 hours, and can last for up to two weeks at a temperature of four degrees celcius.

I asked Phil what he most enjoyed about growing these beauties. He said that he enjoys Spring when they flower, and the speed at which they grow and bloom is enjoyable to witness.

He takes great pride in the flowers, as well he should. It is hard work to grow these difficult and rare plants. It is a triumph that his fields are full of amazing healthy blossoms.

Some of the flowers are ruffled singles, some are in double forms. They are fragrant as well as majestic and are often seen in wedding bouquets.

In November each year, Gateforth host a Peonies in the Paddock day where guests can come and walk among the plants in all their glory.

Plants and flowers are available for purchase on that day at the farm, or online at

175 Boyndey Road, Black River, Tasmania, Australia

Happy Travels!

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