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Bouquets of Peonies

peonies 034 cropThere is just something about peonies.  Lush, blowzy, romantic, extravagant.  I am always excited when the peonies in my garden begin to bloom.  A couple of years ago I had an opportunity put in a garden that is half herbs, roses and perennials, and half raised beds for veggies, raspberries, annuals etc.  I decided to devote an entire raised bed to peonies for cutting and drying.  It includes fabulous vintage varieties such as Festiva Maxima with its full white blooms enhanced by a touch of raspberry just at the center, pink Sarah Bernhardt, totally yummy Raspberry Sundae, plus several other raspberry-colored doubles that have long since lost their names. peonies 018

peonies 015 I also have a couple of lovely single peonies that remind me of enormous species roses, complete with the yellow stamens in the center. peonies 019 crop Every year I look forward to cutting vases full of blooms to enjoy in the house.   I also dry them to give as gifts as well as to enjoy long after their beauty after the bloom season has passed.

I try to cut ones with longish stems for drying if possible, but shorter (or no) stems will also work.  I also try to pick ones that are almost, but not quite fully opened. peonies 033Once I have collected as many I can fit in my basket, I head up to my gardening “loft” (the upstairs of my shed), to prep the blooms for drying.peonies 035 crop I hang  stems either singly or in bunches upside down on a drying rack  and just leave them be there until they are fully dried. peonies 065 A second way to dry the blooms is to just cut the flower head, fully opened works well, and then dry it flat, bloom up, in a dark space.  (this is my daughter’s favorite technique – the t.v. cabinet in her studio is always full of trays of blooms in various stages of drying!)  I have an old cupboard in my gardening loft that works well for this.peonies 051

Either method gifts you with lovely dried blooms that look lovely tied together with a ribbon…pink and aqua 038 crop

bunched together in a vasepink and aqua 051 crop

or as a single bloom on a pretty and aqua 034 crop

Have a lush, blowzy, romantic, extravagant day!

9 comments to Bouquets of Peonies

  • What beautiful colors. I love how the blooms add so much to a garden. Also, that you take the time to dry the flowers and display them makes the loveliness last longer. (say that three times fast)

  • I love peonies…except for the ants…but had no idea that they could be dried. All new possibilities here! Sue, it is so clear that you live in a different part of the country…the lilacs are finally blooming,the daffodils are dead, and we have a few meager blooming hearts. What blowzy lushness you have there!

  • oooooh, your peonies are just gorgeous!!! how stunning they are dried…i will have to try that this year with mine…thanks for sharing!!!

  • So glad you are fully enjoying your birthday weekend, with all your gorgeous flowers to help you celebrate. Happy Birthday, sweet friend!!

  • Sue,
    Thank you for your kind words on my blog. I do have a loving family…we are not perfect but there is a lot of love there!

  • I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. Your peonies are beautiful! I’ll definitely try drying mine next year.

  • Nickie

    I like your easy method of drying. I even found this additional info on how to dry flowers using a drying rack. It seems alike a good primer on how to get started.

  • Sigh…your peonies are AMAZING! Mine barely even have buds on them! I sure hope they’re gonna blooom this year!!! Oh well…if they don’t, I’ll just keep coming back to this post! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Hi Sue!
    Ahhh, peonies! I love these, so beautiful!

    Have a wonderful week!

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