Easy to grow and lovely to use in vases on the family table, peonies are one of my old-fashioned favorites. There are times it would be lovely to have vases spilling over with these spectacular, care-free beauties when out-of-season.
I have read that there is a way to hold them from mid-May (when cut) until the middle of June. So this is an experiment to see if it works for me. That is pretty exciting if you are planning to show hospitality and want cut flowers for the table after they have bloomed.
Here are the basics and a link to Pendleton’s Country Market where they do this every year with reliable results:
1.) Cut peonies when they FEEL as like a soft marshmallow.
2.) You may need to check through the day UNTIL THEY DO feel like a soft marshmallow. They can change their ‘feel’ quickly.
3.) Cut with a 14-16″ stem. In the shade, remove the majority of the leaves (except 1-2).
4.) Group into bunches of 8-10. Then turn them flower heads down and let them thump onto a table bringing all the heads to the same level.
5.) Wrap them in dry newspaper, covering the heads but leaving the stem ends open to air.
6.) Place in the refrigerator as cold as possible, but not freezing. The colder the temp, the longer they will store.
The longer I garden the less I see the task of caring for it as a chore. I find that through these seemingly mindless activities that I take pleasure in the Lord’s peace, joy and comfort, witnessing His glory close-up. It has been said that there’s something about being in a garden that allows one to worship and feel just a mite closer to our Creator than anywhere else.
This is a photo of the peony gardens of the late Tasha Tudor. I hope it inspires you to garden
“The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the LORD blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.” ~Isaiah 40: 7-8