coaxing peonies into bloom

by Sharon Santoni
[blank]Do you remember the basket of peonie buds I bought at a fair last week?  Some readers wrote asking whether I really thought they would ever open.[blank]
[blank]Well, it took 10 days of gentle coaxing, but we got there.  Their stems were trimmed each day, and their water changed regularly, and finally they gave in and revealed their beautiful shape and colour.[blank]
As an added bonus, their perfume is divine![blank]
Rather than creating a fussy arrangement,  I simply shared the blooms between a group of antique white ironstone jugs.  The flowers have more breathing space and they can be moved around too.[blank]

[blank]Just tell me, what could feel more luxurious 
than fresh peonies around the house?![blank]


Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon June 12, 2013 - 10:41 am

Oh my gosh, how gorgeous. I wondered why you had not posted about them. I did not realize they were difficult to force open. It was worth the wait and the TLC.

Castles Crowns and Cottages June 12, 2013 - 12:52 pm

They are JUST divine! They take a while to open, as our neighbor's do. But to watch the ants patiently open up each petal, it is a spectacular thing to see. Enjoy your blooms! Anita

La Table De Nana June 12, 2013 - 2:05 pm

Your gardens are plentiful..Love peonies..

Brenda Murphy June 12, 2013 - 2:46 pm

I had never thought of forcing peonies, on the to do list now! Your photos are gorgeous, have a great day:)

White Weathered Hutch, June 12, 2013 - 3:00 pm

How wonderful!! I thought that the ants caused them to open.

Joanne C June 12, 2013 - 3:12 pm

Since it is raining non stop here, maybe I will take mine inside and watch them bloom !!! I love peonies ! My mother had some. She died last December and her house was sold last month, but before giving the keys to the new owner, I took out the plant and brought it home with me. For me, it will be the most precious souvenir and the more, it was a plant taken from her own mother's garden. And my daughter has one too ! Have a good day ! Merci pour les belles photos Sharon.

Angelika Leśniak June 12, 2013 - 4:45 pm

I have the same colours, very nice!… in my last post!

Lorrie June 12, 2013 - 5:32 pm

Peonies are gorgeous. There are 5 stems of peonies slowly opening in my bedroom these days. Love the white jugs yours are in.

Jennifer Clark June 12, 2013 - 6:14 pm

Ah, the peonies are now available in the shops here in California. But I'm leaving for Germany tomorrow, so have resisted buying any for the house. I love peonies; I am always reminds of Dutch still life paintings. A nice contrast to my modern house.

Thanks for the fix!

Champagne Sunday June 12, 2013 - 11:45 pm

I didn't know peonies had a scent!

Cheers from,

Magnolia Verandah June 13, 2013 - 1:18 am

I think I need some peonies in my garden.

Melanie June 13, 2013 - 3:28 am

I LOVE PEONIES! They are so pretty in the WHITE jugs! Adore that! ♥

Anonymous June 13, 2013 - 4:34 am

Hi Sharon I just turned on my IPad and these beauties greeted me and made my day. I have tried to grow peonies they are difficult in our area. The first time I grew a white one in a pot and it did reward me with one flower and that was it…tragedy I still love them and am hoping one day they will take pity on me and flower again. Thank you for sharing. Regards Esther from Sydney. PS love the white jugs.

sandy w June 13, 2013 - 6:36 am

Interestingly enough, you can store buds such as you had wrapped in plastic wrap in a refrigerator (without fruit in it) for up to a month and then take them out and let them open. It usually takes about a week. I have done it a couple of times when I wanted them a little later in the summer for a wedding once and a baby shower another time. They turn out beautiful. I heard you could wrap them in newspaper too, but haven't tried that. I was just out in my garden today cutting back most of the blooms that are finished this year. There were a few left to bring in, but rain finished most of them. Always sad to see them done for the year.

vicki archer June 13, 2013 - 8:12 am

Stunning Sharon… I love the simplicity of your arrangements… I can only imagine how lovely they smell… xv

Kathryn Bechen Ink June 13, 2013 - 8:35 am

So beautiful!

Anonymous June 13, 2013 - 8:54 am

Oh Dear, it is raining almost uninterruptedly here, so I rescue all sorts of my flowers available into the house.So the peonies too.I did not find hard to bring them to bloom.This week end we MUST have warm and sunny weather since all the members of my greater family gathers in our garden to baptise our youngestone. "Sophie- Agathe" 10 months.
rgds from the busy cottage and garden in the Hungarian Plain. Dorka

penelopebianchi June 13, 2013 - 9:14 am

What a beautiful name! Sophie!-Agathe!

I wish her the most wonderful life!

Again……what a beautiful name!


artemanoCReativ June 13, 2013 - 10:13 am

So beautiful! And not only the peonies – your arrangement too.

Besitos, Christl

Karen (Back Road Journal) June 13, 2013 - 12:13 pm

It was definitely worth the wait.

peggy braswell June 13, 2013 - 6:49 pm

i have more patience now + they are beautifully arranged.

Fahad Naseer June 13, 2013 - 8:57 pm

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Country French Judi June 14, 2013 - 2:20 am

I brought mine inside but never cut back the stems, just added water as needed and they all opened up. My peonies took about a week. Peonies are beautiful!!!

Barb June 14, 2013 - 6:14 pm

Nothing, I say. Peonies are a favorite and these are beautiful!

Anonymous June 20, 2013 - 1:50 pm

Divine! LOVE peonies! Thank you for sharing your great idea and beautiful pics:-):-):-) Carol P.

Virginia Craft June 21, 2013 - 2:12 am

So stunning and breath-taking! Those flowers are so magical every time they transform into that gorgeous burst. I think it’s really perfect as centerpiece during special occasions or just a day that you wanna wake up into a beautiful morning. Thanks a lot for sharing these lovely photos. You just gave a new idea.

katita November 8, 2013 - 3:43 am

Yeah! I just scrolled through so many posts, but I remembered the curtains in this one post, so long ago!!
Please tell me about them. Are they silk? Or polyester. They look to me like raw Indian silk. I love the color and the fall.
Please tell me more!
Love you blog. I dream of coming to Normandy one day.
Katita (katitaannette)


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