Modeste Guérin was one of the first importers of Chinese peonies in the 1830s. His nursery in Charonne near Paris was famous for its peonies and is mentioned repeatedly in the "Revue horticole de France" (1847 ff.). In 1866, he transferred his collection to Etienne Méchin of Chenonceaux.
1839: rue des Trois-Couronnes, 84, Belleville-Paris
1843: rue des Boulets, 7
1861: rue de Madame, 22, Charonne-Paris
[From Allgemeine Gartenzeitung
, 1839, p. 316:] M. He has transferred his peonies to M. Modeste Guérin, excellent gardener, rue des Couronnes No. 24, near Chaussée de Menilmontant, who has taken over their propagation.
[From Annales de flore et de pomone, 1842-43, p. 37:] M. Guérin Modeste, florist in Belleville, rue des Couronnes, 84
[From L'Horticulteur Français, 1851, p. 6:] Today, M. Guérin (Modeste), nurseryman, rue des Boulets, 7, is about to obtain several new varieties...
[From The Peony, 1908, p. 89:] Modeste Guerin of Paris made rapid strides from 1835, sending out about 1837-8 such good varieties as Modeste Guerin, Duchesse de Nemours, Mme. Furtado....
[From The Book of the Peony by Alice Harding, 1917, p. 50-51:] "Modeste Guerin, starting 1835, in Paris, with plants brought from China and Japan, made rapid advances in improving the peony. From then until 1866, he introduced more than forty new varieties...It is interesting to note that Guerin succeeded in getting several of his peonies a touch of yellow, which up to this time was almost an unknown colour in this flower. Some of his varieties that had yellow in them were put out before the first yellow peony - P. Wittmanniana - was discovered....Guerin also produced some red peonies - chiefly with magenta tints - which owed their dark colour to P. Pottsii.
[From The Book of the Peony by Alice Harding, 1917, p. 55:] Tabulation showing successive owners of noted French collections of peonies:
Modeste Guerin, 1835-1866
A large part of this collection was bought by Mechin. The ground in Paris occupied by this collection and by that of Eugene Verdier was sold for building purposes, and the collections were dispersed.