Don't get me wrong-- lilac blossoms are among my favorite flowers, but their blooming season is just too short.

Although the lilacs on Michigan's Mackinac Island are storied and can be traced back 200 years making them the oldest in the country, they aren't the only notable flower that blooms here in The Mitten!

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How much do you know about Michigan's peonies?

Because I'll admit, I don't know much. At all. That's why I was so surprised to learn that Michigan is home to the largest heirloom peony collection in North America and they're currently at peak bloom!

MLive via YouTube
MLive via YouTube
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W.E. Upjohn Peony Garden

One of the "world's premiere collections", the W.E. Upjohn Peony Garden at the University of Michigan's Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor holds nearly 800 peonies and over 10,000 flowers at peak bloom.

Now in its 101st year, the peonies were originally donated by pharmaceutical entrepreneur W. E. Upjohn and planted in 1922. The collection first opened to the public in 1927 and now each June the garden is filled with the sweet, citrusy aroma of peony blossoms.

Visiting the Garden

During the bloom nearly 75,000 to 100,000 visitors flock to Ann Arbor to view the peony garden at Nichols Arboretum. The visitor center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for those who would like more information on the peony beds.

The arboretum itself is open daily from sunrise to sunset and is free of charge. Find more information like driving directions, parking, and maps here.

If you're unable to make it all the way to Mackinac Island for the Lilac Festival a trip to Ann Arbor is a great alternative!

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