Peony Season is here!!! They have definitely made a comeback in weddings and are no longer just your grandmother’s garden flowers! Peony season usually last from May-July, so if peonies are number one on your “must have flower” list, then to avoid disappointment, I would make a mental note of booking your wedding around these months! The season is short but sweet, truly adding to their charm.
If you are a DIY bride and it’s something you are considering growing for your own wedding, here are some useful tips!
1-If you plan on getting married in 2-3 years...PLANT THEM NOW!! It takes a while for peonies to mature and establish. It would probably take that long to produce enough blooms to use for your wedding. Keep in mind they do not flower in their first year of planting, so something to think about if you are planning ahead!
2- FULL SUN please and in rich, fertile well draining soil. Try it out! Our cold winters are prefect for these hardy plants and grow easily in Edmonton (zone 3)..just look around, I'm sure you can spot peonies growing in someone's yard or garden!
3- Cut flowers while still in BUD form, I usually wait till I start seeing the color of the peony and the buds don’t feel too firm, give it a squeeze, it should have some give like a marshmallow. This way they should last up to a week in a vase and won’t have ants crawling inside them! Make sure to give the stems a fresh cut before placing in water with flower food!
My top 3 personal favorites are these varieties (NOTE: these are Paeonia Lactiflora sp..and yes they are growing in my garden!!):
Shirley Temple - you get a mix of peonies that can’t decide if they are ivory or blush
Sarah Bernhardt –large blooms with multiple petals that are the perfect bright peony pink
Duchesse De Nemours – a creamy white peony with a fluffy pale yellow centre
--->As a side note I planted my first tree peony this year..I don't have much to say about it yet..these ones take even longer to establish..so check back in say.. 4 years?!..hah..
Oh and about the ants…I have been told by more than a few people that they are there to lick the sap to help the buds open, and well I’ve been too polite to outright tell them they are wrong... but I guess if you are reading this blog and you are one of those people…then…I'm sorry to say but “YOU ARE WRONG!”…the ants are definitely attracted to the sweet sap on the buds, but they don’t do anything for the plant, so feel free to flick them off and enjoy your flowers!