Forty years ago we started to grow tree peonies as a hobby in our backyard garden. We acquired about a dozen of named varieties every year. Root division method was used to increase our stocks. After having obtained many good named varieties, we started our breeding program by crossing selective named varieties and then raised new peonies from seeds. At first we only bred Moutans (Paeonia Suffruticosa).

Later we also bred hybrid tree peonies because we realised that to breed advanced generation hybrid tree peonies would offer us more challenge and give us tremendous possibilities.

The introduction of hybrids offers a great expansion of the colour range of the peony. The breeding potential of the first generation hybrids is limited by very low fertility. However the advanced generation hybrids overcome this disadvantage because they have a certain degree of useful fertility in many different crossings. Therefore they open a window of breeding opportunities by selective crossings:

  1. By further crossing between the advanced generation hybrid, we can improve the up-right habit or extend the colour range of blooms from some new breeding. Incidentally, selective crossing has created orange-shade peonies grown in our garden.
  2. By crossing between the pure moutan and the advanced generation hybrid, we can improve the vigour of growth of the pure moutan. This is easier to do now because a certain degree of fertility existed between these two groups.
  3. The common genetically unstable nature of the advanced generation hybrid gives us a better chance to create the intersectional hybrid by crossing between the advanced generation hybrid tree and herbaceous peonies.

Finally we have reached the stage that no more space is available for our new comers. We have to sell some mature plants to provide space for the new breeding as well as to let other peony enthusiasts, farms and nurseries share the propagation work.