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Old-Fashioned Peony Flowers

It’s almost peony time and that’s a spring flower I get very excited for! I am blessed to have one of my grandmother’s old-fashioned peony flowers growing in my yard. It gives me some beautiful flowers every spring and I can’t help picking some and putting them in my house for a bit of color. As an heirloom variety they smell amazing. I love how they fill the room with color and fragrance! They are fairly low maintenance to grow, and don’t need much care.
Pink Old-Fashioned Peony Flowers P in a vase table centerpiece

I love  filling vases with the blossoms since they are only here for a short time (only 7-10 days!) ! I love how they look in vintage bottles lined up on my mantel or how they fill a vase. They look gorgeous lined up against the white walls and mirror. I shared this as a part of my summer home tour. You can see more of it here.

Peonies are easy to grow, come in lots of colors, and thrive in zones 3-8

As well as shades of pinks colors, the petals come in whites, gorgeous corals and even yellow flowers on strong stems. Perennials that bloom April-June late spring into early summer, they are always a treat. Some varieties of peonies  have very little scent while some older ones have a wonderful fragrance. For as wonderful as they smell, they are actually somewhat deer resistant because of there tough and leathery leaves.
Pink peonies in a glass jar on end table with a lamp

Peony Flowers Require some simple things to grow:

6-8 hours of direct sunlight  a day

Good air circulation (this is where peony stakes can come in handy)

Slightly moist well-drained soil

Don’t plant them too deeply, they root in the upper 1-3 inches of soil

Use mirror to add a source of light to a room. Peonies lined up on a mantel with plants in a living room
Every year the flowers seem to get bigger and more abundant than the year before. A peony bush can double over time and be the peony roots can be divided to be transplanted other places. As long as they get plenty of sun and plenty of moisture (and a little compost), they’ll keep growing. Peonies can come in single petals but also semi-double flowers.
Vintage peonies in ironstone
I have this vintage ironstone sop server that’s missing the lid. I love using it for big blooms and I use it for lots of mixed flower arrangements.  It’s like a bowl of beauty with the peony flowers arranged in it. The things about vintage peonies is that the aroma is incredible. They have the old school fragrance that is hard to replicate and so fleeting. I love that they can be picked at the “marshmallow stage” (in other words, when you squeeze the bud and it feels like a marshmallow they can be cut.) and they seem to last a little longer in a vase which is nice since they have such a short bloom time. I think they are pretty in that stage as when they are open as well. When I place them in a vase, I strip off any of the green foliage that would sit below the waterline.
Pink peony in a glass bottle
 I also put some in few a vintage milk bottles on my kitchen window sill. They are so cheerful as they sit on their sturdy stems. While they don’t have a lot of pests or insects, of course ants love their nectar. Giving them a good shake after cutting but before bringing them in will help keep the ants outside where they belong.
Pink peonies lined up on a windowsill
They make everything so cheerful!
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  1. Jen,
    I love peonies.They have always been one of my favorites among many flowers.I had these at our previous home.I had to plant these away from my house because of the ants.I never had a problem with ants in my house.But I did have to shake these off a bit before bringing them into the house.I have heard that ants love the sweet nectar.

  2. Peonies are my favorite! In fact I just posted about them yesterday on my blog. Unfortunately, mine are from the florist…they don’t grow too well where I live. Yours are beautiful.

  3. I love peonies..I have 6 pink, 1 white and 1 raspberry color..My girlfriend told me you
    can dry them..I gathered a bunch of them and hung them upside down and it really did work..Crazy I thought but she was right..Who knew..I will be using them in a wreath..

  4. My parents used to have peonies in their yard and I too was always freaked out at the ants. Yours really do look pretty in spite of that.

  5. After you cut the peonies, submerge the blooms in a bucket of water. All the ants will leave the flowers and they’ll be safe to bring in the house.

    1. Thanks for the tip. We used to have so many peonies in our last home, now we moved to sunny AZ and I never see them. I don’t think they can live during our hot summers to bloom in the beautiful winters 🙁

  6. An older woman who raises them told me that the ants are necessary in the blooming process. Interesting theory and a little google search revealed that there is some truth to it. They are my favorites as well. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I LOVE peonies – epseically when I found out just how easy they are to grow. I was reading a gardening book that threw me for a high maintenance curve with the planting instructions (exactly this far above dirt level, but not too deep and water like this and pamper like that) but I said “heck with it” threw five bushes in the ground and oh my goodness gorgeous! Last year was my first year and the ants TOTALLY freaked me out. Not enough to stop loving on some peonies though. Especially when they bloom with my pink hydrangeas…oh stop my heart.


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