People often ask me what my favourite flower is. And I always reply…can I have two? They are, without doubt, ranunculus and peonies. I just adore their amazing petals! Layers upon layers of them…and oh, so delicate.
Ranunculus simply bloom without a hint of trouble for the florist who needs them to look their very best for a wedding or event. However, peonies…well, they’re a completely different story. They can, how shall I put it, be just a little bit tricky! Their unpredictable nature can make it a real challenge to time buying them so that they’re going to be in full bloom on a certain day. Sometimes, they’ll take a few days for their petals to unfurl. Other times, they can be open and blousy the day after they’ve been bought.
Some varieties open more quickly than others. For instance, Duchesse de Nemours peonies, which are featured in this blog post, can open up within a couple of days. This is how they looked two days before when I brought them home from New Covent Garden Flower Market. Whilst Sarah Bernhardt peonies bought tight in bud can take several days. And then there’s the weather. If we’re having a warm spell (!), they tend to open more quickly than when temperatures are on the cooler side.
If you’re a florist, I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of peony dramas and even sleepless nights! Should you buy them on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for a Saturday wedding? And if you’re a bride-to-be, please do spare a thought for your wonderful florist if peonies feature in your wedding flowers. They’ll have been lovingly nurturing these temperamental divas of the flower world to make sure that they look ‘on point’ for your big day…not too tight and not overly open.
But oh my…when peonies are behaving themselves, aren’t they such stunningly sensational blooms?! I just adore them. If you love them too, then make the very most of them over the next couple of weeks or so, as their season is shortly due to come to an end…
3 TIPS TO ENCOURAGE YOUR PEONIES TO BLOOM
Dunk the flower heads in tepid water
This will help to wash away the sticky sap between the outer layers of petals.
Tease the petals
Very gently massage the outer petals.
Put the flowers in warm water in a warm place
Whether it’s a warm room, conservatory, greenhouse, airing cupboard or even a car/van when the sun is shining.
(Images : Rona Wheeldon | Flowerona)