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The Joy of Peonies

The Joy of Peonies

Beautiful Coral Charm Peonies

May is Peony Month, and not a moment too soon.

Finally, it's May and we get to talk about one of the hottest topics in town (well, in the Mad Lilies shop anyway) the arrival of Peonies!

The most sumptuous and beautiful spring flowers, just the thought is enough to bring a smile to a face, set a bride quivering and make a florist drool, in both good and bad ways!

So, what is it about these feminine beauties that make us swoon? Is it the layers upon layers of tissue delicate petals, is it their amazing scent or is it the deep rich colour, that, no matter what shade you choose seems to emanate from the centre? We suspect it is a combination of all three, and more, plus, possibly the fact that they are only available for a limited time, which of course adds to their desirability.

A Royal History

There is no doubt they are a symbol of opulence, and with evidence they have been cultivated in the far-east for over 4,000 years they have a long history, often associated with royalty. Known for their medicinal qualities as well as their beauty they are revered in their native China (in fact, their very name means 'beautiful' in Chinese) and their colours believed to be symbolic. Deep red for example is often associated with wealth and prosperity and therefore frequently appears in wedding bouquets as a symbol of good fortune and a happy marriage.

In Japan they are known as the “king of flowers”, representing good fortune, bravery, and honour. They are often found in tattoos, which we thought a little strange until we found out they are often paired with lions to symbolise the power of beauty over ferocity.

In Europe, Peonies have had a less heroic, more romantic, role. Impressionist painters were fascinated by them in the 19th century and nowadays their role as a wedding flower is almost unsurpassed. Brides have been rumoured to plan their entire wedding around their availability, and their popularity is really not surprising. Lush and enigmatic they can add a certain glamour to any occasion, with one or two blooms standing simply alone, or, given the choice of colours and shades, paired easily with other flowers and foliage. Although often more expensive than other flowers the blooms are large so you may require fewer stems.

Peony Bouquets: A Symbol of Love and Romance

Peony bouquets are a classic and romantic gift that never goes out of style. These stunning flowers come in a variety of colours and sizes, making them a versatile choice for any occasion. Whether you're looking to create a beautiful centrepiece for your wedding or surprise your loved one with a thoughtful gift, peony bouquets are sure to impress. Learn more about these gorgeous flowers and how to create the perfect bouquet.

Choosing the Perfect Peony Varieties for Your Bouquet.

When it comes to creating the perfect peony bouquet, choosing the right varieties is key. Peonies come in a range of colours, from soft pinks and whites to bold reds and yellows. Some popular varieties include the Sarah Bernhardt, a classic pink peony with a delicate fragrance, and the Coral Charm, a stunning coral-coloured peony with a unique, ruffled shape. Consider the occasion and the recipient's preferences when selecting the perfect peony varieties for your bouquet.

Here in the northern hemisphere, peonies are regarded as a late spring flower. Unlike many other spring flowers, peonies don't all come into season at the same time. The 'early season' peony varieties such as Coral Charm, Coral Sunset, and Red Charm, will begin to make an appearance towards the end of April (depending on what sort of Spring we get in Europe). Then as May progresses, we see the arrival of the ever popular Sarah Bernhardt variety, along with many other shades of pink and white.

If you're looking for a romantic bouquet, consider incorporating the Blushing Bride peony, which features soft, blush-pink petals and a sweet fragrance. For a bold and dramatic bouquet, the Red Charm peony is a great choice, with its deep red blooms and large, fluffy petals. If you're looking for a unique and eye-catching option, the Bartzella peony is a stunning yellow variety with ruffled petals and a sweet fragrance. No matter which varieties you choose, a peony bouquet is sure to bring joy and beauty to any occasion.

Tips for Creating a Stunning Peony Bouquet.

Creating a stunning peony bouquet is all about selecting the right varieties and arranging them in a way that showcases their beauty. Start by choosing a colour scheme and selecting peonies that complement each other. Then, add in some greenery or other filler flowers to add texture and depth to your bouquet. Finally, arrange your peonies in a way that allows each bloom to shine, whether that's in a classic round bouquet or a more modern cascading arrangement. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you can create a peony bouquet that will take your loved one's breath away.

Caring for Your Peony Bouquet to Keep it Fresh and Beautiful.

Once you've created the perfect peony bouquet, it's important to take steps to keep it looking fresh and beautiful for as long as possible. Start by trimming the stems at an angle and placing them in a vase filled with fresh, cool water. Change the water every few days and trim the stems again to help them absorb more water. Keep your bouquet out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources, which can cause the flowers to wilt more quickly. With a little care, your peony bouquet will continue to bring joy and romance for days to come.

Unique Ways to Incorporate Peonies into Your Wedding or Event Florals

Peony bouquets are a popular choice for weddings and events due to their romantic and elegant appearance. One unique way to incorporate them into your decor is by using them as centrepieces on your tables. You can also use them to create a stunning floral arch or backdrop for your ceremony or photo booth. Another idea is to use peonies in your bridal bouquet and bridesmaid bouquets, adding a touch of romance to your wedding party. With their versatility and beauty, peony bouquets are sure to make a statement at any event.

Peony Tips

If you are buying peonies we recommend you select ones that are still in bud, this will allow you to enjoy every stage of their development through to bloom. Don't be put off by their tight, golf-ball size at the beginning. As they bloom they will open out dramatically and can grow to become up to three times their original size.

Once you get them home add about 8cm of room temperature water to a clean vase, cut off a couple of cm on the diagonal at the bottom of the stems and pop them in the water, gently remove any leaves that are below the water line and leave them to hydrate. Whilst they are hydrating, you may choose to wrap them in paper for 3 – 4 hrs, this will help keep them upright.

The rate at which they will open will depend on many things, mainly the variety and the environment, if you have questions or concerns, i.e. you need them for a special occasion then feel free to have a chat with us,  just pop into the shop or drop us a line at and we will be happy to help.

Fresh Peonies Delivered in Surrey

At Mad Lilies we buy our peonies direct from the markets in Holland so they are usually no more than 48hrs from the field, super-fresh and just waiting to bloom. The creative design team here are the best in Surrey. Every bouquet of fresh-cut peonies that leaves our studio is handmade with the utmost care and attention to detail. We accept orders for same-day flower delivery until 1 pm Monday - Saturday. We only ever deliver your peonies by hand, not by courier and never by post. It's the only way to guarantee they arrive as fresh and beautiful as they were when they left the store.

Call us on 01737 356404 or order your peonies online here, for next day and same day delivery

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