Oh sweet peony, how we love you so! We truly despise having to see you go…
It is that season! The most sought after flower has been in bloom since about mid-May and carries through till the end of June. While we floral designers are known to pull a few tricks out of our sleeve, the precious peony is only available for just a few more weeks, and then we must bid farewell to the most popular seasonal wedding fleur of all time!
Last weekend, I purchased peonies from a grower in Oregon and they were the last of his crop. The shipment arrived on Tuesday morning and the flowers looked more like marshmallows tightly bound up in shape. As the week progressed I watched, as the blooms started to magically unfold exploding into their femininity like that of a woman. By Saturday they had opened up into their magnificence and were such a sight to be seen! As if I didn’t know before, I completely understand why us ladies adore this very, VERY, special flower.
We were in Vegas for a wedding and as you know, there is a lot of heat in Sin City. The temperature had its effect on the flower and I mean that in a positive way. The heat caused the phenomenal bloom, allowing the luscious petals to exude its full beauty. These peonies were so spectacularly gorgeous that I just had to pull a few out of the arrangements (after the wedding, of course) and left them in my hotel room overnight, hoping the maids took them home to enjoy!
There are so many varieties of peonies, some single, double or multi-layered, like the Sarah Bernhardt, which is the classic, double-bloomed, frilly pink peony that resembles that of an old-fashioned rose. Coral Charm Peonies are also quite popular, as they open into a bowl-shaped bloom revealing a glowing mass of stamens in a deep coral-peach shade. The Cerise Peony is more fuchsia in color and has an outer guard petal that protects the fluffy petaloids insides. Yellow tree peonies are one of my favorite kinds and actually grow trees as opposed to bushes so they aren’t quite as dense. It amazes me the number of peony varietals there are—over 3,000 cultivated types are known throughout the world!!
So enjoy these seasonal beauties while they last… I know Trader Joe’s has been quite a haute spot to pick up a bouquet of stems for your home at an amazing price!!! And while we can’t get peonies all year, we do see some varieties return in the winter months, like the Coral Charm in October, white in November and the deep burgundy blooms in December, right in time for the holidays. However, these lovely pink petals are on their way out, which does make me wonder if that’s why June has become known for weddings…it MUST be because of the picture-perfect PEONY season!