Peonies are quite possibly the most requested bloom in our store all year round. Unfortunately, they have quite a short season, only being available in Australia for about six weeks in October and November. They can, however, be imported from Europe in late Autumn for brides with their hearts set on a peony bridal bouquet, or lucky mums for Mother’s Day.
Peonies are renowned for their large, blousy, sometimes-perfumed flowers which consist of layers of rings of petals for double varieties or a solitary ring of petals with the centre clearly visible for single varieties. They are available in hues of white, pink, coral, red and burgundy, with yellow being harder to find. The Coral Charm variety is particularly special, and a favourite of ours, being a rich coral colour in bud and upon opening, fading to a cream as it ages.
History of Peonies
Peonies have been a popular flower for centuries and are one bloom that never seems to go out of style. The peony is the traditional floral symbol of China, and at one time was declared the national flower, which is why the bloom is often spotted in silks, carvings and artwork. The peony has been cultivated for thousands of years for its medicinal qualities and has traditionally been used to manage arthritis, help with depression, and treat asthma.
How to Care for Peonies
Choose peonies which are firmly in bud and look like tight little balls at the end of the stem. Don’t be fooled by the size of the bud, these will bloom into large and luscious flowers. Strip the stems of any leaves which will be below the water level of the vase, cut approximately 2cm off the ends of the stems on an angle and immediately plunge into cool water. Recut the stems, change the water and remove any spent foliage every two days.
How to Style Peonies
Because peonies are only available for such a short season we love to style them en masse in a beautiful feature vase. We always suggest November brides make the most of the season and carry beautiful abundant bouquets of fluffy open peonies. Some brides plan their entire weddings around the peony season!