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Touring the Peony Garden

We want all visitors to enjoy the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden and find answers or resources for the quesitons they have. For 2015, self-guided tours are available, and our popular Peony Ambassadors will be in the garden on a posted schedule. Peony Ambassadors can assist with orientation to the garden, identification of peonies in each bed, answers to common questions, and guidance for further assistance. Please note that we are not offering guided tours of the Peony Garden this year.


Self-guided Tours

Visitors are encouraged to explore the Peony Garden with any of the self-guided tour fliers. All are available at the Peony Garden in large, easy-to-read format during bloom season. These tours take you plant-by-plant to the featured peonies. Please return the laminated guides to their post before you leave the Peony Garden.

If you'd like to print your own tour flier in advance, click on any of the tour titles below to download a PDF. The fliers are formatted at 11x17 and are best printed at that size - on standard size paper the lettering will be very small. 

The topics reflect public interest as well as the collection's strengths. If you have a theme you'd like to see developed, please let us know at


A Special Note for Groups (as arriving by charter bus)

The Peony Garden can host several hundred visitors at the same time as long as they are dispersed to enjoy the peonies in self-guided groups. The garden's physical layout limits conversational groups to about 20, so plan for this in advance.

  • We are not able to reserve times for large groups.
  • Although there is easy bus drop-off access at the Washington Heights entrance, there is simply no bus parking in the university hospital area. Please consult with your tour operator in advance to organize drop-off and pick-up schedules.


Drop-in Tours

The peonies bloom on their own schedule - rarely ours. Consequently, advance notice for drop-in tours is provided only with a few days notice and no reservations are taken. Due to the physical layout of the Peony Garden guided tours are limited to 20 people so that all tour attendees can hear and see.

  • Schedules and times during peak bloom season are posted both on our Events Page and on the Main Page of this website. If none are posted, none are available.
  • Gather at the main Peony Garden sign near the Washington Heights entrance to the Arb - the guide will meet you there.
  • Cancellations will be made with no notice in the event of a National Weather Service Severe Weather Alert.