Possibly one of the most flamboyant and magnificent flowers, the peony has scrumptious layers of delicate velvety petals. These tremendous flowers look stunning with their petals tucked in to a tight ball, and as they unfurl, their petals lightly cup around their stamens. Peonies can show up in red, yellow, and sumptuous hues of pink, apricot and purple. White is also a popular choice for bouquets, adding a delicate feminine touch. Some varieties have a two-toned effect, displaying almost a raspberry ripple effect on the petals. These details make this an alluring flower and will add interest to a wedding bouquet or a floral display.
When planted, these perennials can reach to over 100 years old, blooming usually in late spring into summer. They love a cold snap over the winter to help with the bud formation, but require a nice sunny position in the garden with well drained soil. These plants love to have their feet in fertile, humus-rich soil with a neutral pH. Aside from their fascinating aesthetic that lends themselves to creating a wonderful bouquet flower, some varieties can emit the most uplifting and pleasant scent. If you love a citrus scent then you can find flowers that can smell lemony. If a rose perfume is more your thing, then there are also some with a more rose fragrance, a scent that some would associate with an old English garden.
Marco Polo once described the peony as "roses as big as cabbages" which pretty much sums up how amazing these plants look. Flamboyant peonies grow bushy with oodles of lush greenery that can fill a flower bed, act as a low hedge or line a pathway in a large garden. They have a sense of grandeur in these positions grabbing your attention. They often need a little help as their heavy blooms put strain on their stems, so can often be seen with either a peony ring or wire tomato cage acting as a support.
The peony is symbolic of a happy life and a happy marriage, so lends itself to being a suitable pick for a wedding bouquet. In medieval times the church and royalty regarded this plant as a treasure due to their possible medicinal qualities. Colour can be symbolic for peonies. Red peonies are a symbol of wealth, honor and respect, while the more fragrant pink varieties are symbolic of romance and beauty. The peony is thoughtfully described by one culture as "most beautiful", and we love them due to their fusion of scent, colour, form and size, making these a wonderful choice for a bouquet, table display or even planted out in your garden. A bouquet of peonies, complemented with delphiniums, roses and lilacs, makes for the most beautiful display. Even a display of them on their own on a dining table will have great impact. Just pair with stocks for the most exquisite aroma.