Blooms in Season: June

There’s something very special about peonies – they are beautiful, colorful and most girls favorite flowers. With such a short season every year that can never really be determined in advance (sometimes they bloom early or late) everyone flocks to them when they are in abundance. Right now, they are everywhere – twitter, instagram, and Trader Joes (you have to love the $6.99 price tag). Over the past few weeks I’ve picked up several bunches myself. What I realized is I know nothing about the different varieties of peonies. I thought there were maybe two or three but little did I know there are five! I enlisted Natalie from Natalie Bowen Designs to put together two arrangements – one with one variety and the second with all five. Both are stunning! Read on to learn more about your favorite flower.

How many varieties of peonies are there?

There are hundreds of varieties of peonies that are grown. In the height of the season there are about twenty different varieties available at one time at the Flower Market.

Why are peonies in season May – June so much better if we can get them the rest of the year?

Their season is from the beginning of May until the very beginning of June. This season went by really fast. We are nearing the end of the season in a week or so.

Where are these varieties from?

The varieties here are from Oregon. We get some peonies from California but the Oregon grower really has the best this time of year. During other times of year imports come from Israel, New Zealand and Chile. Shipping from so far away adds to their cost when they are out of season.

When you buy peonies and they are closed, how long does it take them to open?

It depends on their variety and some open faster than others. When they are in their first stage as a small ball, feel them to see how hard they are. If they feel like a walnut then they will take about four days to open. If they are softer, then they will open in a day or two.

Is there a trick to opening them up fast?

Other than patience? Warm water, indirect sunlight, fresh water every day and a sharp cut at an angle all help them open faster.

If peonies aren’t in season, is there an alternative people should use?

In the Summer I suggest garden roses and dahlias and in the Spring I suggest ranunculus. But, there really is not a substitute. That is what makes them so special!

Do you have a soft spot for peonies?

I adore peonies. They have become one of my favorite flowers and I actually chose my wedding date according to when we would get the best peonies that year. I love them because they are so pretty as just one stem own or in a mass.

Check back next month for another fabulous flower post!

Flowers by Natalie Bowen Designs // Photos by Caitlin Flemming

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  1. Camille

    I wish the season was longer! I bought a few and they lasted almost two weeks, but I am definitely ready for a second bunch before they are gone. Garden roses are a great substitute in other seasons though.

  2. Links We Love | Rue

    […] Joe’s recently, you’ve no doubt noticed that peony season is in full swing. Caitlin of Sacramento Street partnered up with Natalie Bowen Designs to discuss the gorgeous flower. We never knew there were […]

  3. Grant K. Gibson

    I am glad to have learned more about these. I thought they were just white and pink and had no clue they had such great names and that there were all of the different varieties! They look SO beautiful!
    Thanks for sharing!


  4. Meghan Williams

    There are now fresh cut peonies for sale July-September from Alaska! Due to Alaska’s short and late summer peonies there bloom much later than places like Oregon.

    Also because of Alaska’s 20+ hours of summer sunlight peonies tend to range in much larger sizes than seen elsewhere.

    There are currently over 30 peony farms in Alaska being developed to help increase this gorgeous bloom’s availability later into the year!