Peonies are ideal plants for gardens in Central New York. They like the heavy alkaline soil and the cold winters. Dry summers are not a problem. Herbaceous peonies, the ones commonly seen in gardens, are hybrids of Paenia lactiflora and several other species native to Europe and Asia... Both tree peonies and herbaceous peonies have long been grown in Upstate NY. A couple of the most renowned peony hybridizers were based here, A.P. Saunders (1859-1953) in Clinton and William Gratwick (1904-1988) and his associate Nassos Daphnis in Pavilion, near Geneseo... Places with fine peony displays these days are Cornell Plantations in Ithaca, (607) 255-3020 and Root Glen at Hamilton College in Clinton, 859-4193.