Chris has tried to grow peonies in our Pine Street garden, but the conditions aren't quite right and they don't bloom. She said she will try again one day as someone told her the "secret" to making peonies grow in San Francisco is to "trick" them into thinking there is a freezing winter here. You trick them by putting ice around the base of the plant during our "winter". SFGate also had an article about growing peonies in the Bay Area. Check this out here. If I chill, perhaps I too will bloom.