This arrangement is one that brings back memories of the wedding bouquet from our daughters wedding!
Peonies are my absolute favorite flower!   When these flowers burst into bloom, it means that summer is really here.  Can you believe that at the Farmer’s Market this weekend,  the blooms were selling for 15 dollars a bunch of 10! 
Now I feel really “rich” because I can bring in bunches of my own blooms from the garden.  If you don’t have a peony bush or two (or in our case 17), I would certainly think about planting one.  If you don’t have a garden, go visiting your friends who do.  Because the blooms are so short lived, people who have them are happy to share!                                                             

If you DO have peonies, they make impressive gifts!
In the last weeks I have used them  as end of the year gifts for co-workers and friends and as an anniversary gift for my daughter.
And of course, I get to put them all over my house!
Wonder how much money I saved not having to go buy something?
Now I know why I spend all that time weeding!

                                                                                                                                                                        The Peony Garden on Sweetwater Curve is a work in progress.

Garden Treasure

 Over the years we have added heirloom plants rescued from my mother-in-law’s yard when we sold her house. I think these plants came from her mother’s farm.  Another favorite is the yellow “Golden Treasure”, that was a father’s day gift.  We are gradually adding special variety plants like the showy “Coral Charm”.

The plants cascade down the side yard of our house.  Last fall, we divided many of the plants to give to our daughter and now she can enjoy the “wealth”!

Coral Charm

DID YOU KNOW?  You can keep peony buds in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks and use them in arrangements anytime!
I learned this little trick 2 years ago when we needed to be sure to have a wide variety of flowers for my daughter’s wedding.  With a little research on the internet, I found out that this is what florists do to prolong peony season.

It is soooo simple!

Start by picking peony buds that are at “marshmallow stage”, meaning just at the time that you see color on the bloom.  Cut them quite long (at least 12 inch stems).  Wrap them in newspaper and put them in the refrigerator.   They will look wilted, but don’t worry!  When you want to use them, make a fresh cut on the stem and put them in water for 8-10 hours.  The water will start perk up the foliage and the flowers will open up….just like magic!

Yesterday we visited the Peony Show in Delano that is put on by the people who we buy many of our specialty plants from. It was inspiring to say the least!
The hardest part was convincing my husband that “we do not need another peony plant!” and I was succsessful….we came home empty handed, but full of appreciation for these beautiful flowers!

One comment on “Ahhh! Summer!

  1. William Stenross

    Looks great! Are all those pictures of your garden? I'm impressed!

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