In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. Thursday evening a fierce thunderstorm accompanied by hail knocked over many of the peonies, which were just at their peak.

Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ and ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ were down but not defeated. Friday morning with IAVOM in mind I rescued these broken-stemmed beauties.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

The flowers were put them in water for conditioning. Having simply been placed in vases the peonies looked gorgeous–no arranger required.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

This vase arranged itself.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

But I have never had so many peonies to play with so of course I wanted to try to fashion them into my own style.

I formed a huge bouquet and banded the stems just under the flowers. This helped keep the heads together, but was mainly an attempt to keep the stems looking orderly through the glass container. Early morning light added some drama.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

I loved this look but worried the blossoms looked a bit constrained, so I tried unbinding the stems for a freer, looser effect. I was happy with this stage also.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

There were quite a lot of shorter stemmed trimmings, so I turned my attention to filling a low glass square vase. Simple contentment.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

Also there were unopened buds that went into cold storage to save for a later time. What is in your refrigerator?

Chilling and Storing Peonies For Later Use

So my Monday vase was ready, but by the next day some of the taller white ‘Festiva Maxima’ in the vase had begun to fade while the dark pink ‘Madame Emile Debatene’ had begun to open. I tweaked things a bit more and rephotographed. Again the lighting is weird but the arrangement is nice at this stage.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

Back in the garden, by Sunday morning there were more rescues to work with—additional stems of ‘Festiva Maxima’ had fallen over. I remembered a big green urn my sister Judy picked up for me at an estate sale last November. It has a large central opening that holds great quantities of stems (and water), with projections below the rim for additional flowers. I decided to try it with the newly cut peonies.

In A Vase On Monday – November Gifts

The green container suited the flowers perfectly. As it is so large, in order to have enough flowers to fill it, I grabbed the other tall vase and reused those peonies.

it is a classical design in the end. The fragrance is delectable.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

I had intended to find some complementary foliage to insert or drape, or to select some snapdragons or other garden flowers as accompaniments. It would be interesting to experiment more but even a single peony can stand on its own.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

Playing with such an abundance of peonies has been a treat. Never before have the plants offered up such generous quantities of blooms.

In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

Materials
Flowers
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia ‘Madame Emile Debatene’
Foliage
None
Vases
Large Green Ceramic Urn
Short Glass Square
Tall Glass Cylinder

My garden has needed more than the usual attention this spring and while I have been in the mood to weed and mulch, I am taking advantage. Apologies that I have been slow to get to comments and to visit your blogs this week.  Hope to catch up soon.

Thanks to Cathy at Rambling In The Garden for hosting and giving us an opportunity to share flower designs across the world. Visit her to discover what she and others found to place In A Vase On Monday.

44 thoughts on “In A Vase On Monday – Peony Passion

    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, they do smell so lovely one wants to sink one’s face into them. Your staking system is probably more thought out than mine. I used a peony cage but it’s not really tall enough to support the heavy stems. Must rethink that.

      Reply
  1. Linda from Each Little World

    We’ve been having a lot of rain and more in the forecast, so things are growing like crazy but it is too wet to work in the garden. Looks lovely from indoors, however. ‘Festiva Maxima’ is one of the few flowers I remember from childhood. When I opened your post with the first big bouquet it brought back many memories as well as a whiff of fragrance. I grow single species Peonies but they don’t have any fragrance.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Hope the rain dissipates so you can spend time in the garden soon. We’re getting very dry here (and hot). Glad you shared your memory of ‘Festiva Maxima’–thanks.

      Reply
  2. Donna@GardensEyeView

    It always seems we get our worse rain when the peonies open….seems just par for the course as they say….but oh boy did you have a lot to rescue. And what a fabulous job you did with so many beautiful vases. I must say I really love the unusual green vase. The peonies were perfect for it.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      We are low on rain here and even the thunderstorm that broke the peony stems brought little rain. Glad you like the vase. I’ve never seen one like it before.

      Reply
  3. Peter Herpst

    I’m sorry that so many of your peonies were knocked over as they’re such delightful blooms in the garden. Your arrangements are all glorious. I can seldom bring myself to cut my own peonies but sometimes buy a few from the market.

    Reply
  4. Cathy

    Ooh, that must smell gorgeous! I love all the arrangements, especially with that ingenious green vase! But the short-stemmed ones in the square vase make a different kind of arrangement which is also very appealing. It is always the case here that as soon as Festiva maxima opens we get a storm… nice excuse to bring them all in though! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Magnolia Darjeeling

    I cannot wait for our peonies! The longer than normal cold weather has them a bit dormant but they are waking up finally. Of the Festiva Maxima is one of my favorites. Always reminds me of white puppy tutus.

    Reply
  6. Christina

    Wow! Abundance indeed; I love all the stages of the different vases; I’m almost pleased about your storm as I’m sure you would never have picked them otherwise and you had so much fun arranging them.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Did you recognize your cylindrical vase? It fit the taller peonies perfectly! I did enjoy trying different things with these flowers and it’s rare for me to have such a huge quantity.

      Reply
  7. Cathy

    My goodness, Susie – what froth! And I love the way you have played around with the different variations – the new green vase really helps keep the arrangements balanced. It is several years since I had a peony and oddly at the time I don’t think I realised they had a fragrance so it is hard to imagine what yours might smell like…

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Wish I could describe the peony fragrance but it’s difficult. When I first began blogging people remarked about how fragrant the irises must be. Until then I’d never noticed.

      Reply
  8. theshrubqueen

    Simple and gorgeous. A benefit of the cold winter? I have no such wonderful things in my refrigerator. I think you are experiencing the fulfillment of every gardeners dream, armloads of flowers to bring inside. Enjoy.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Yes, I do think the cold weather probably is behind the prolific peony flowering this year. It has been fun to indulge in excess!

      Reply
  9. Kris P

    To say your peony display leaves me breathless is an understatement. (Yes, excessive sighing leaves one breathless…) Rude as it was for that thunderstorm to take out so many of your beautiful peonies, at least it removes any guilt about cutting them to bring inside. I may have to pay a visit to my local Trader Joe’s to see if I can get my own peony fix as neither my Itoh nor Mediterranean peonies appear inclined to throw me a bloom this year (not that that’s a surprise).

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Wish I could share some peonies with you Kris but Trader Joe’s will probably do the trick! It’s been astonishing to have all these luxurious blooms. Now if I could only get hydrangeas to bloom. The cold got them again this year, the same cold that brought the peonies.

      Reply
  10. tonytomeo

    Wow! Peonies are really popular for showing off now. I know that ‘Festiva Mixima’ is not the best white for those in the know, but I think that it is still my favorite, and I actually prefer it to the better whites that lack the red flecks. To me, it is the epitome of white peony.

    Reply
      1. tonytomeo

        I think it was the popular white here because it is the easiest to grow (for those few who ‘can’ grow peonies at all). When I saw other whites in Oregon, I really thought that ‘Festiva Maxima’ was still the best. I thought I would prefer the whiter whites without the flecks, but they just did not look as excellent as ‘Festiva Maxima’.

  11. Nomads By Nature

    Such a selection of beautiful arrangements! I’m taking your post as my very own tutorial – I have peonies ready for blooming soon and now I know so many possibilities for them, including saving in my fridge!!! 😀 SQUEEEEEEEEE!!! I can’t wait for their debut in my garden and finding out what type I’ve inherited with my new home!

    Reply
  12. Terri Robertson

    What a luscious abundance of peonies! I have yet to try my hand at peonies, but I will have to make an attempt. I’m glad you are able to salvage them after the storm.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      I would have cut a few peonies for a vase but wouldn’t have thought to gather this many if not for the storm. Was fun to have so many to work with.

      Reply
  13. Chloris

    Wow, I did a double take when I saw the first photo. But then I read on and saw it was storm damage and now you get to enjoy your sumptuous blooms close up. Gorgeous peonies, absolutely yummy.

    Reply

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