Cathy at Rambling In The Garden invites us to share an arrangement every Monday using materials collected from our gardens. I visited my sisters Saturday and was delighted to bring home three stems of their hydrangeas, just coming into flower. Sadly the cut flowers wilted on the trip and I could not revive them, so I had to look for something else.
In their stead this week is a simple bowl of peonies.
After featuring bundles of peonies last Monday my plan was to seek something else to highlight today. Many summer flowers are coming into bloom here at pbmGarden as the garden begins to transition away from spring, but a week of much needed rain has left many of the blooms looking a bit ragged.
Fortunately the lower shelf of my refrigerator was still stocked with salvaged peony buds from last week’s thunderstorms. After several hours at room temperature half-dozen Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’ flowers were opened partially and eager to serve as stand-ins for the hydrangeas.
I floated the peonies in several inches of water in a special bowl with matte black finish on the outside. Its shiny red glazed interior coordinates with the delicate red brushstrokes on the flower petals, but as the peonies continued to open that aspect of the design was lost.
White flowers of Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ and deep red snapdragons tucked among the peonies are used as accents.
Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon)
Paeonia ‘Festiva Maxima’
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ (Beardtongue)
Red/Black ceramic bowl
After several more hours the peonies were fuller and lush. Lightly fragrant, they look glamorous atop the piano.
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.
Thank you. I’m enjoying them more and more as they open up completely.
Putting the peonies in the fridge is a real success; does it work as well for other flowers? Have you tried any others? Now there is a fridge in the outside kitchen I will have to experiment. Do you wrap the blooms in any special way? Sorry, too many questions and not enough praise for your beautiful vase.
Christina, chilling will help hold other flowers but it’s not something I do often. I’ve kept peonies in bud for as much as a month, just in a glass of water covered in plastic wrapped around it. I think this would work well with your tulips if they all are blooming at the same time and you want to use some at a later time. And I’ve sometimes kept an arrangement overnight sometimes, then pull it back out to enjoy during the daytime. Enjoy your week!
Thanks Susie. That’s really helpful.
That is a striking combination. Those red snapdragons really spark the Peonies. Rainy Sunday here and a rainy week to come, so that is going to ruin my Tree Peony that is just opening. Oh well.
These colors feel more Christmasy than spring-like but I’m enjoying their lushness. So sad about your weather forecast. Hope the Tree peony negotiates its opening around the rain. Perhaps try cutting a bud or two early?
Another beautiful arrangement! I am amazed that the peonies can stay that long in the refrigerator.
Thank you. I’m a peony novice but they seem to hurry through their cycle outdoors in my area. It’s been fun to keep a few in the wings…
Such a beautiful and unique arrangement! I will have to keep the refrigerator trick in mind. The one thing I don’t like about peonies is that they get beat up by every little rainstorm…but they are well worth it!
Thanks Joanna. Rain and peonies seem to come together, don’t they?
This red and white combination is stunning!
Thank you Peter.
What a gorgeous bowl of peonies and a great idea to use the accents of penstemon.
Thanks, that pentstemon is something I take delight in every year, so it was fun to include some in the vase.
These ones always make me think of swan’s wings, Susie; their petals are so abundantly frothy and it is good to see them close up like this
I see the swans too, now that you point it out! Fun.
Another stunning peony vase….a bowl full of gorgeous is how I see it. I always learn so much from you (like refrigerating the peonies) and am inspired by all your arrangements….this one was just so elegant.
Donna, that’s so kind of you. It’s mutual my friend. Floating the peonies in this bowl has been a revelation, more natural and simple to prepare than the fussier arrangements I’ve done with them before.
If I had a supply of peonies on hand as you do, Susie, I’d be featuring them every week until they were gone. They are the prettiest flowers ever created in my view. I love those delicate tracings of red on ‘Festiva Maxima’.
Kris, I would love to trade some peony buds for anything out of your garden. I admit it’s been a treat to have these on hand. Was able to share some with my neighbor recently to help her welcome a new grandson.
I never thought to store peony buds in the fridge, but what a great idea to extend our enjoyment of the all-too-short season. The red snaps really highlight the pink tinges and define the shape of the white peonies. The smell must be divine!
Eliza, yes, the fragrance is wonderful. Don’t remember how I learned about storing the peonies but it really works.
Your Peony riches continue to amaze! I am imagining the dark hued piano with these on the prow.
I’d like to sell you this baby grand piano!
Look further for a buyer, tropical flowers don’t go with it.
I think they’d look lovely! Well, if you change your mind…
A breathtaking bowl of peonies… they are just so sumptuous. Interesting that you prolonged them in the fridge (though if I did that, I think my husband would eat them). You somehow make these flowers look both simple and luxuriant at the same time.
My husband didn’t even comment, so I think we’re past the point he is surprised by anything I do to protect my flowers! Thanks for your kind words. I’ve enjoyed this bowl of peonies more than any vase I’ve done in a long time.
Festiva Mixima is still my favorite peony, even though we do not grow them commonly here, and even though there are ‘better’ white peonies. It has such perfect form, and the red specks make it seem even brighter white!
Yes the red specks are great enhancers.
I don’t know much about flowers but these are really pretty; well done
Stunning colours together! I learnt on my course that you can soak hydrangeas heads in water to revive but I have never tried it.
Oh thanks for that tip Alison. I will try anything to keep hydrangeas–just adore them.
Gorgeous Susie, good enough to eat.
Thank you! The peony bowl has been so enjoyable.
Gorgeous! You seem to have endless ideas Susie and each week your vases are simply wonderful. Well done once again, and enjoy that scent. (I just picked a couple of the Festiva peonies too!) 😉
Thanks Cathy. The peony fragrance has been a bonus of this week’s vase. It’s nice to know we’re enjoying the same beautiful flowers this week!
These peonies truly do look like they’ve been touched with a brush full of red paint! They are lovely in the bowl with snap dragons and Penstemon digitalis. I don’t have hydrangeas (sacrilege!), but I have plans to visit a friend this week who has a yard full of them. Perhaps if I am careful, I can manage to get a vase full home intact 🙂
Hi Terri, just put them in water and you’ll probably be fine. We wrapped the stems in wet paper towels but they needed to be submerged in water. And enjoy!
Oh my gosh, I hit the peony jackpot this year! Enjoying every moment.