While roses are the most popular wedding flower, peonies are not that far behind! Peonies are symbolic of love, honor, happiness wealth, romance, and beauty so it is no wonder so many couples want to include them on their wedding day. So let's deep drive! What is a peony, when do peonies bloom, are peonies expensive, and what other flowers could you use instead of a peony?
What is a peony? Well according to Longfield Gardens, “Peonies are perennial garden classics, loved throughout the world for their extravagant, early summer blossoms. They are dependable, incredibly long-lived plants and will bloom for a generation or more with little or no attention.” When thinking of wedding flowers specifically, peonies are almost always the main focal flower of a bouquet or arrangement. They are the flower that a lot of couples have emotional ties to or think of when thinking of sweet childhood memories.
Photo by Ellen Sargent Photography
When do peonies bloom? This of course depends on where in the world you are located but here in New England peonies bloom in the late spring to early summer. The first blooms in our garden typically arrive around late May and finish in late June. It is a fairly short season for local peonies but the good news is there are some other wonderful places to get peonies when they are not blooming in New England. From July - to mid-August our peonies come from Alaska! Alaska, believe it or not, has some of the most beautiful and large-headed peonies in the states. From late August to mid-October peonies are off crop pretty much everywhere in the world. However, from late October to springtime before peonies come pack on crop here in New England, we import peonies from places like Chile, Holland, and other countries.
Are peonies expensive? She long and short of it is yes and no. Fresh local in-season peonies can range anywhere from $12-$18 a stem whereas out-of-season peonies that have to be shipped into us can range anywhere from $20-$24 a stem or more depending on size and variety. Fresh in-season local peonies typically have larger heads which gives you more surface area to work with and essentially more bang for your buck. Out-of-season peonies while still are larger blooming flowers compared to flowers like a ranunculus or rose can have smaller than average heads and also require more babysitting to ensure they open at just the right time for your event.
Photography by Jenna Brisson Photography
What can you use if peonies are out of season? Some of our favorite flowers to use in place of peonies are garden roses. They offer the same ruffly texture and their bloom size can be fairly close. Below is a pink garden rose called Yves’ Piaget that is a wonderful substitute for a pink peony. Other than garden roses, we also love to use ranunculus, carnations, dahlias, and double tulips.
Are you planning to use peonies in your wedding flowers? Were you surprised to learn that peonies aren’t always available despite the idea that in today’s day and age you can get anything at any time?
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