Ten things you didn't know about peonies

Today is May 1st, officially peony season. A true wedding day favourite because of it’s voluptuous blooms and nuptial symbolism. I wanted to share some interesting facts about this superb flower. If you have a few minutes, grab a cuppa and have a quick read.


If you’ve got your heart set on peonies you’re best to choose a late spring/early summer wedding. They have a short season from May to early June; this is when their quality is best from British growers. You can get them from Holland a little either side of this time but the quality isn’t guaranteed.


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Did you know that the peony represents wealth and honour. It also embodies romance and love; they are regarded as the omen of good fortune and happy marriage. These meanings help to make them the perfect choice for weddings. The large, showy blooms and stunning sweet scent help too!


When you buy peonies they are most likely to look like a bulb on a stem, nothing like the gorgeous bloom they transform into. I can honestly say no other flower can cause me so much stress waiting for it to open.


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These beautifully scented flowers are available in many colours, not just white and soft pink. From pale peach to a vibrant fuchsia pink through to a dark maroon, pretty much any colour except blue. Any brave brides out there want to give these colours a go?


Unfortunately peonies are a very thirsty flower. If you are having a hand tie consider putting it in water when you are not carrying it. They do perk up well after a little drink (don’t we all)


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Keep an eye out for little ants in your perfect flower. They love the nectar which forms on the outside of the bud. Obviously I would have sorted this before you are walking down the aisle.


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A massed bouquet of peonies always photographs beautifully, as you can see in the image of the gorgeous Bethan above. It must be because of it’s wonderful, fluffy texture.


According to the Victorian language of flowers. Peony means ‘bashfulness’. It’s said that mischievous nymphs hide in the petals. How cute.


If you are getting married out of the peony season there are some fluffy garden roses available. Or have a looksee at the gorgeous ranunculus as an alternative. It has a tonne load of petals like the peony but alas, not it’s sweet smell.

 


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A peony plant is great value for money. They can live to be over 100 years old! I have had one in my garden for the last 4 years and I haven’t managed to kill it yet. So yes, it’s obviously a happy and easy little plant.


I hope you have found these facts an interesting read. They do say you learn something new everyday.

All images courtesy of Zoe at Snap Photography.

 

Anne-Marie Merlini