THE PEONY REPRESENTS LOVE, happiness and health so it’s no surprise then that the peony is a popular guest at summer weddings.

We all love bringing a blousy bunch of positivity into our homes and we wait impatiently for the first peonies to appear in May.

WE HAVE BEEN ENJOYING PEONIES SINCE 1784 but in China it was long before.  It was cultivated not only for it’s flowers but particularly for its roots.  According to the Chinese it could be used to reduce fever and clot blood (I don’t recommend you start chewing them!).

Peony 'Gardenia'

Peony ‘Gardenia’

THE RANGE OF PEONIES is huge, and there are hundreds of cultivars.  Alongside white, pink and claret, they also come in salmon, yellow and red.  The flower shape can vary between double flowered, single flowered and anemone flowered.  Many peonies have a strong sweet scent which makes them even more appealing.  The transformation from a bud which is about 3cm across into a flower with a diameter of over 15cm is always spectacular.

FROM THE GREENHOUSE OR THE FIELD, the first peonies arrive from Israel’s greenhouses.  They’re followed by Israeli outdoor peonies.  Almost at the same time the first peonies arrive from French greenhouses followed by their outdoor varieties and the first Dutch peonies.  Here too, they come first from the greenhouse and then from the fields. Peak peony season is from the end of May to mid June when the Dutch growers harvest the profusion of outdoor peonies.

Peak peony season

Peak peony season

CARING FOR CUT PEONIES is quite simple

  • Trim 5cm off the stem diagonally with a shark knife or scissors
  • Use a clean vase and fill it with fresh water
  • Change the water every other day
  • avoid placing the vase in a draught, full sun or near ripening fruit