Christie Brinkley's giant peonies are a 'dinner plate-size' delight – and surprisingly easy to care for

Supermodel-turned-home gardener Brinkley has opted for a unique variety of one of spring's most popular blooms: the tree peony

(Image credit: Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images via Getty Images)

When it comes to popular spring flowers, peonies reign supreme. We often see these glorious blooms popping up in vases on dining room tables, freshly cut, but they are also a great variety to grow in a garden. What's more? There's lots of variety within the peony family.

Case in point: Christie Brinkley's magnificent Chinese Tree peonies. The supermodel and home gardener posted a photo of her giant, white flower with voluminous petals.

'’I'm always surprised by the size of my Chinese Tree Peonies!' Brinkley states in the caption. 'They say they are “dinner plate” size, but mine look more like an entire serving platter!'

Slightly less common than peonies we typically see, tree peonies are floral showstoppers yet retain the delicate and feminine nature that is common in the flower family.

A post shared by Christie Brinkley

A photo posted by christiebrinkley on

'Tree peonies, Paeonia suffruticosa, are the larger cousins of the better-known herbaceous peonies that many gardeners grow,' says Gardens Content Editor at Homes & Gardens, Thom Rutter. 'As Christine Brinkley shows, tree peonies can grow to quite a size, with some varieties and species producing blooms that are comparable to dinner plates!'

Not only do these blooms come in a variety of options, but they also come with some classic garden companions.

'Tree peonies can be found in a range of colors, such as pale yellow, as Christine Brinkley grows, to pale pinks or deep, rich reds,' Rutter explains. 'Christine's tree peony, as can be seen in the images here, has pollinator-friendly blooms, with large, open flowers attracting bees, butterflies and birds. Indeed, these nectar-rich blooms are popular plants for pollinators, and if you are keen to add shrubs that will encourage wildlife, tree peonies are a good option.'

As with any flower, there are some key rules to follow when it comes to care and maintenance, so the peonies reach their (very) full potential.

'When considering how to grow a tree peony, these plants should be thought of as shrubs rather than trees, growing to a height of 4 to 6 feet,' he explains. 'Plant these shrubs towards the back of the garden border in a sunny spot with well-draining soil, and before too long, you will be spoilt for romantic blooms.'

Peony bulbs are available to shop below.

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.