Let’s talk about Peonies and a thing called seasonality..

Ok, perhaps this is a bit of a vent..
Let’s talk about Peonies. Seems these days it is the number one requested flower by brides, right?? Problem is, they often want this flower in August, September, early October and for the most part peonies are just not available. I know what some of you will say, that peonies are available from Alaska, Chile, Timbuktu, etc.
Ok, so let’s look at what these really look like at this time of year:

This is a white peony a friend of mine received for a July 4th wedding. The correct retail price for this little gem? $22.75 per STEM! Do you see how tiny it is?? Perhaps you cannot see it, because it is so tiny:

white peony bud

Only $22.75 per stem!

This little pink guy is from this past week, I got my hands on a few for a Sept. 2nd wedding. Yes, it’s impressive that I could get peonies this late in the season, but is it really worth it? The retail price for this stem? $12 per stem. Not bad considering it is September, although the wholesaler cut me a deal so that’s why the lower price.

Pink peony bud

Only $12 per stem!

WOW, right?

Plus, let’s face it, the brides expect the peonies to look like this:

white peony bridal bouquet

Bridal bouquet designed by Courtenay Lambert Florals of Kentucky

coral pink peony

Annabella Charles Photography

white peonies and clematis

White peony & clematis arrangement by Florali

Let’s face it, at some point we just have to let peonies go for the season and use lovely garden roses & dahlias instead..

Abstract Peonies

I am absolutely in love with these gorgeous images Kristie Shevin of Delilahs of Denver  captured of peonies in her studio last week.    Refreshing to see the essence and beauty of one of my favorite flowers.  Be sure to take a moment to take a look at the lush designs in her portfolio – here

Peony abstract


Peonies – the queen of flowers

The large sweet lovely ruffles of the peony petals are possibly one of my most favorite things.  Peonies is one of the most requested flower for weddings.  They simply exude femininity and prettiness.  Compound, packed with delicate petals, peonies are large, often sweetly fragrant flowers, ranging in color from deep burgundy, pink, white and yellow.  Marco Polo once described peonies as “roses, big as cabbages.”  Native to Asia, peonies were introduced along with hibiscus, camellia, chrysanthemum, azalea, magnolia, and rhododendron plants  to European and American gardens in the 19th century.   Peonies are great mass flowers and are admired for their natural composition.

Bouquet of Peonies by Edouard Manet

Peonies are often depicted in Chinese art as they are a symbol of peace, stability, distinction and wealth. As early as the 7th century It is also an omen of good fortune. Chinese peony paintings of are often hung in the home for good luck and in the office for good business.  The complementary of opposites is another traditional Chinese meaning associated with the peony which is often understood as a positive influence for woman and man living harmoniously together. The Chinese peony is an emblem of love and affection and is a symbol of feminine beauty. White peonies traditionally symbolize young girls who are distinguished mainly by their wit but also by their beauty.

Peony by Han Shiao

Interesting fact – The peony is also know to have medicinal qualities.  Peony plants are said to enhance the nervous system of the brain, increase memory power, lowering cholesterol and help proper liver function.

Availability – Peonies are available during late spring through early summer, peaking in June.  Burgundy peonies are available in November and December.

Vase Life – Approximately 5 days.  Peonies last much longer in fresh water than in foam.

Tips – Cut stems under water and place in a solution of warm water and floral preservative.  Let blooms hydrate for an hour before placing in cooler.   Buy when buds are fairly tight and showing full color.

Peonies with lilac and stock