The peony garden on the east side of the historic Cummins-Phipps-Grill House in Eden Prairie is currently in bloom.
A sizable peony bed, initially planted by Harriet Phipps in 1920, still thrives outside the city-owned historic house, situated across Pioneer Trail near Flying Cloud Airport.
According to Marie Wittenberg’s book “Eden Prairie Pioneers: The History of Eden Prairie,” the peony garden was established prior to 1920, boasting 400 to 500 plants of various select and unusual peony varieties. These plants were directly obtained from Chinese growers who had originally imported them from China. The flowers were sold in Twin Cities markets and shared with the local community for special occasions like weddings.
Kathie Case, president of the Eden Prairie Historical Society, recently shared on the society’s Facebook page (Eden Prairie Remembers) that the city has diligently cared for the 500 vintage plants gathered by Phipps.
Case noted that Phipps collected these plants while at market to sell asparagus, which used to grow in the area that is now occupied by Flying Cloud Airport.
If you plan a visit, note that peonies flower for a relatively short period of time, about 7-10 days.
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