Peonies in December!
AH, I love Peonies this time of year! Yes, they are flown in from South America, so they are not for those that are wanting local blooms. Yet for the girl who just has to have them for her wedding, Peonies are in full bloom right now in such growing regions as Chile, and prices have come down quite a bit. I am seeing great prices on Sarah Bernhardt Peonies (A very pretty pink for you pink lovers!) and Red Scarlet’s are in the medium range. Now mind you, they are still two to three times the price of a rose, but if you look at head size, and that undeniably romantic ruffly shape… yum. I see Crystal bowls filled full of Peonies, or huge Cylinder vases with Peonies bunched en masse. Even an antiqued urn, brimming over with white peonies, silver brasilia and white amaryllis….
photo via Touch of Nature
Photo via Brown
For those DIY’ers: Buy Peonies when they are still in bud shape. Yes, they are sooooo tempting and delicious when all ruffled out, but they won’t last very long! A nice loose bud (The super super tight ones sometimes won’t open) that is just beginning to open is perfect. If they aren’t opening fast enough, place them in a warm-ish room, and re-cut, then fill the container with WARM (not hot) water. This should make them pop quite quickly! on large events, where I’ve had a ton of peonies in various stages, I’ve been known to “flower sit” them! Seriously, the open ones in the cooler (where they’ll last at least for two weeks, I swear!), the budding ones in the studio, and the super tight ones that are crazy tight, in front of the heater (heh, it worked – but no promises!)
image via bridgewatergardens
What are your favorite Peony-opening techniques?