Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pretty Peonies

As a 'Northern" gardener, one of my favorite flowers was the Peony. It was always thought of as the grandmother's flower, since a well-established bush can live for generations. Once I moved to the South, I was disappointed to find that it's nearly impossible to grow them here, in part due to the warm winters. I did manage to get a single bloom on my year-old bush this spring, but attribute that to the unseasonably colder winter we had.

This variety (left) is called "Bowl of Beauty", and certainly lives up to its name!

So what's a Peony-lover to do if they can't grow them? Well, head to your nearest florist! Many people aren't aware that Peonies are a cut flower that we can obtain for you for a short time in the spring. This year, I've had the deep rose, light pink and white varieties at Bloomers, and each is more gorgeous than the next! No sooner do I announce they have arrived, then they go right back out the door in the arms of a smiling customer.

Do cut Peonies need any special care? Not really. When purchasing them as a cut flower, they should still be in a tight bud. Resist buying the ones that are already blown out. They may be beautiful, but they'll have a shorter lifespan. As usual in preparing cut flowers, once they have arrived home with you, cut the stems underwater with a sharp knife (never scissors!) Remove any foliage that may be underwater. Add floral preservative to the water, and then let them drink, taking care to keep them out of direct sunlight. Then sit back, as those blooms scent your entire room.

Cut Peonies can be pricey, but that shouldn't keep you from enjoying them. Float a single blossom in a beautiful bowl, and place it where you'll see it often and enjoy their fragrance up close.

Of course, if you can really splash out, go for an exuberant arrangement of nothin' but! Isn't this centerpiece stunning?

If you're in the mood for Peonies, call or stop in to Bloomers quick! They won't be here much longer...

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