Peony season is here! Here’s everything you need to know about getting your hands on some beautiful peonies, as well as lots of pretty pictures to pour over.
Peony season is most definitely ‘a thing’ and, really, who are we to resist it? These beautiful blooms look gorgeous in your home and in pictures, come in the most picturesque of pinks and are an aesthetically pleasing shape with huge, soft petals.
“May through to the end of June is all about peonies,” says Bloom & Wild’s lead florist, Caroline Grimble.
Their appeal is proven: Bloom & Wild says that, during peony season last year, it sold two peony-focused bouquets every minute. Its top two most pinned Pinterest posts were also all about peonies. That’s a lot of peony love!
So, if you’re in the mood to moon over the prettiest pictures of coral, peach and pastel peonies, find out the best places to buy them and exactly what you need to do with them once you’ve got them home, sit back and enjoy.
Why are peonies so special?
Peonies look beautiful but is there more to this pretty flower than aesthetics? Larry Walshe, founder of luxury London florist Bloom which sources flowers straight from the grower, explains the history behind these coveted plants. “The peony’s name is derived from Greek Mythology and is commonly associated with notions of romance, compassion and bashfulness,” he says.
“This stunning flower is an official emblem of China and as such, plays a huge role in Chinese culture, public holidays and religious traditions. It’s the flower with the longest continual use in Eastern culture and is tied in deeply with royalty and honour in those societies. The Chinese name for Peony literally translates to ‘most beautiful’.
“There’s significance in its colour, too. For example, pink is the most romantic form of peony, making it the ideal colour for wedding bouquets and table arrangements for couples. Deep red is the most prized peony variety in China and Japan and has the strongest ties to honour and respect. It’s also the most symbolic of wealth and prosperity in those cultures.”
Tips for looking after peonies
1. To make your peonies last longer, put them in a huge bucket of cold water as soon as you get home, and store in a dark place for six hours.
2. Every two days cut the stems of your peonies (at an angle so they can drink up as much water as possible) and replace the water so it’s fresh.
3. Make sure you choose a clean vase and remove any leaves that fall into it; peonies will get sick if they drink dirty water, just like humans would.
4. It might be tempting to put your new vase of peonies on a windowsill in the sunshine, but direct sunlight actually hurts peonies so keep them somewhere a little further from the window.
Where to buy peonies
Arena Flowers has a varied selection of peony bouquets to suit every kind of taste, but our favourite has to be this Luxury Peonies bouquet. It combines a collection of 15 mixed peonies in different shades of pink, red and white with fresh eucalyptus cinerea leaves to provide a full and luscious look.
The bouquet also comes pre-arranged, so all you need to do is pop them in a vase and display them in your favourite spot.
Plus, Arena Flowers sources its peonies from farmers in the UK “as a priority,” so you know you’re supporting local businesses with your purchase.
Bloom’s selection of peonies is, as the website says, truly ‘fabulous’.
The brand is owned by celebrity floral stylist Larry Walshe and he knows exactly what peony-lovers want, bringing together big, blousy bouquets of fluffy charm peonies in the most beautiful colours.
Think classic peony-pink, pale lilac, hot pink and rich red peonies snuggled together with huge heads that will make a statement in your home.
Bloom & Wild
Bloom & Wild famously loves peonies and creates a whole section for them on the brand’s website every year.
This year there are four bunches available, with a mixture of pale pink, coral and purple peonies. Bloom & Wild’s florists have created some unique arrangements by pairing everyone’s favourite flower with other stems such as snapdragons, foxtail lilies and hydrangeas.
This gorgeous independent east London florist is co-founded by friends Amaia Chaplin and Kasia Chinery who have a talent for taking floral trends and giving them a romantic, playful twist.
Gloria will have a weekly stock of coral peonies available on pre-order for Wednesdays and Thursday, but you’ll have to be quick as they sell out fast.
Flowerbx has two types of peonies on offer at the moment, primrose and classic.
We love these purplish primrose peonies because of their maximalist frills and fluffiness. Thanks to their flamboyant shape, they’ll fill out a vase easily and create a big impact.
Images: Bloom and Wild / courtesy of brands