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I have a bed of flowers which I would like to raise by 2-2½ feet (61cm - 76cm) with the soil added to the top, but I am concerned about the idea when I have well established Peonies.

Is it possible to raise the bed after cutting them down as close to the ground as possible and just add soil on top, or is it best to remove them from the ground first and replant once I have built the raised bed and filled it with soil?

Although the Royal Horticultural Society's webpage on Peonies says that they are hardy plants, where they are well established and flower very well every year, I am just concerned that things could go badly for them if I don't treat them correctly.

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Two feet of soil on top is too much, so I'm afraid you will need to dig them up, spread your extra soil, then replant. Best done in autumn, and you should really leave the extra soil for a week to settle properly, so if you can temporarily heel in the paeonies somewhere else in the garden, then move them into their new positions after a week or two, that would be best. Adding some composted manure or good garden compost when you top up the soil levels is worth doing too.

Unfortunately, paeonies are renowned for sulking and refusing to flower if they've been disturbed, but that doesn't always happen - just make sure you break as few roots as possible, and don't damage the growing points in the top when you dig them up. Water in well (unless there's very heavy rain for a week) both when you heel them in and when you move them to their final positions.

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