There was a time when I did not like peonies. Nowadays, I don’t really remember why, but probably because I considered them old fashioned and too showy? When we bought our house, there was a well established clump of peonies in the garden and I gave them away.
A few years had passed and I completely came around and in 2010 ordered six varieties from specialist nursery Boon Pioenrozen to plant in what was then my cut flower garden on the allotment. I chose scented varieties with long vase life and then waited for them to bloom. Peonies take a while to get established but after that they are some of the longest lasting garden plants. It is not uncommon to find peonies happily flowering in long abandoned and completely overgrown gardens.
Last year there were enough flowers to pick a big bouquet for our house but this year there were so many that I could afford to be generous and even give some of my precious peonies away. This is a bouquet I took to friends who invited us over for lunch. The peonies are the well known and well loved sweetly scented “Sarah Bernhardt” variety and I used feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) and Cenolophium denudatum as foliage. Feverfew is a prolific self seeder and the long flowering cenolophium is a very useful bouquet filler that goes with just about any flower. I grew it from seed several years ago and just two plants are enough give me plentiful pickings.
To see what is blooming in the rest of the world this week, you can look here: Seasonal Flower Alliance