Home Featured plant June flower of the month: Peony

June flower of the month: Peony

White peony. Picture; www.funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk
White peony. Picture; www.funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

How to use this showy summer bloom

Early summer’s here and that means it’s time for the peony! This beauty will be shining in many vases, bridal bouquets and in striking centrepieces.
Avant garde peonies. Picture; www.funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk
Avant-garde peonies. Picture; www.funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

Origins and symbolism of the peony

The peony first came to Europe in 1784 from China, where it was cultivated for its roots as well as its flowers. According to the Chinese it could be used to reduce fever and clot blood.
In the language of flowers, it represents love, happiness and health, amongst other things, so there’s no surprise it’s popular in bridal bouquets.
There are more than 1000 varieties available in all sorts of shapes and colours with single, semi-double or double flowers. The peony comes in pale yellow, white, candy pink or dark red with a sweet fragrance.
Full-blown vase. Picture; www.funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk
Full-blown vase. Picture; www.funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk

Peonies as a cut flower

  • Trim 5 cm off the stem diagonally with a sharp knife.
  • Use a clean vase and fill it with fresh water.
  • Keep the vase topped up.
  • Don’t place the vase in a draught, in full sun or near a fruit bowl.
To make a peony bouquet you’ll need:
  • Peonies
  • Lilies
  • Viburnum
  • Carnations
  • Veronica
  • Delphinium
  • Milfoil (Achillea)
  • Lady’s mantle (Alchemilla)
Check out how to make a bouquet or even a peony chandelier at www.funnyhowflowersdothat.co.uk.
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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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