Bring on the Peonies!

Who doesn't love peonies? They are fragrant, fluffy, ruffled, sweet, pink, white, red, melon, buttery yellow, full, perfect, lovely, just right,...did I say perfect? Okay, maybe it's just me. I am obsessed with these beauties!

My dad gave me a peony plant several years ago and we've been enjoying the pink, fluffy blooms ever since. The first bloom of the season exploded a few days ago and I rushed outside to lift it onto a support stake. There are two things to note about the peony plant. The bloom is so big and heavy that it falls to the ground unless supported. And, the blooms are usually full of ants. Lovely. As if there aren't enough ants coming into my kitchen already! If you want to cut a bloom from your garden, first clip the stem about 12 inches down and at the "v" of another leaf. If the bloom is full of ants, dunk the entire bloom, upside-down, into a bucket of water and shake it gently until you can see the ants coming out. Then, gently shake the excess water off the bloom and give the stem a fresh cut before placing in a water-filled vase.

If you must have peonies in your bouquet, centerpiece, or your kitchen table..the season for peonies starts NOW-late April through early June.

Here are some names and colors of available peonies this season. **Pictures and more here:

White/ivory-Duchess de Nemours...go ahead, you know you want to practice saying it out loud!
Blush-Shirley Temple
Light pink-Sarah Bernhardt
Medium pink-Jules Elie
Hot pink-Kansas
Melon or Coral-Coral Charm and Coral Sunset
Deep red-Red Charm

So, go ahead, the next time you see a white peony, just throw out "Duchess de Nemours." You'll be so proud!! :)