Peony Season

One of the things I love most about June is that it means peony season has officially arrived.  Living in the Northeast (and the United States) means that the season for fresh and readily available peonies is short, but oh is it sweet.  June brings peonies in all shapes, sizes and colors to our local grocery stores, florists and gardens.
Three years ago when I moved into my house I transplanted peonies from my parents' home.  It took two full years, yes two, for the peonies to actually pop up in my garden where I planted them.  Last year was the first year they decided to grace me with their presence and I was beyond thrilled.  This year they have almost doubled in size and are just about to bloom.  I'm not sure what it is about peonies, but I love them.  I wouldn't say they are my favorite flower (it would be too hard for me to pick just one anyway) but there is not another flower I get as excited to see as peonies.  Maybe it is because of their limited availability or the delicately sweet scent, but there is just something about peonies.
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I know I'm not the only person that gets this excited about peonies, which may be why they are the most requested bloom for weddings.  However, a word of caution for all you brides out there planning your wedding: peonies have limited availability and as I described above are finicky and hard to grow (sometimes).  So, if you love the peony-filled bouquets like the ones below, be prepared that peonies may not be available and you will need a substitute bloom or they may be very expensive.

 

Now if you are like me and the reason you love peonies is because of their romantic shape and texture, then check back later this week for a round up of substitute, yet equally beautiful blooms.

* peony bouquets from top left, clockwise: 1 , 2 ,  3 ,  4