Peonies have been blooming around The Potting Shed and
I cut some blooms in celebration!
Peony blooms are fleeting, especially as they tend to coincide
with volatile spring weather. . . heavy rain with storms, blustery winds and spiking temperatures
that fade the blooms and reduce the flowers to petal confetti in matter of days!
So you have to gather ye peonies while ye may!
I eagerly await peony season which is typically early to mid-May in our zone 7b garden,
in North Carolina. Peonies need cold winters in USDA zones 3 through 7 to set buds.
Introduced in 1906, ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is a favorite peony variety, with
big pink fragrant double blooms that resemble old-fashioned roses.
The large heavy blooms require staking or support to prevent weight of the blooms
from snapping the stems.
I use an obelisk to support the heavy blooms of Sarah Bernhardt Peonies and some
DIY Flower Supports from a Tomato Cage to help support other peonies.
I cut some peony blooms to fill an ironstone pitcher
and mason jars in The Potting Shed.
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Regular readers know I’m fan of mason jars of all types, both new and old,
but am especially fond of older Ball jars with their bubbles and aged imperfections.
The soft aqua color provides a pretty contrast to the pink peonies as a simple vase,
with a nod to the past and its humble origins.
I’m frequently asked about what to do about ants on peonies,
as ants are attracted to the nectar on peony buds.
While ants are a nuisance, they serve a purpose, protecting the blooms
from other floral-feeding insects, like thrips.
To prevent bringing ants inside with your peonies,
cut your peonies when they’re in the ‘marshmallow’ bud stage.
The ‘marshmallow’ bud stage is when the bud is soft when gently squeezed between the forefinger and thumb.
Buds cut at the marshmallow stage typically bloom within
8 to 48 hours after the stems are placed in water.
Alternatively, give your newly open flowers a gentle dunk and ‘swish’ upside down in a bucket of water
to get rid of any hitchhikers that may be hiding in your peony petals.
I can handle ants, but earwigs lurking in my peony petals really wig me out. . .pun intended :)
Blooming dishes join peonies for a pretty in pink vignette.
The flowers on Johnson Brother Rose Chintz,
are reminiscent of large peony blooms. . .
Bees are buzzing on Wallace Napoleon Bee flatware
for a nod to gardening season. . .
Joining La Rochere Napoleon Bee Goblets.
Common white and pink single petal peonies are the first varieties to bloom here,
As single peonies are open, the pollen is accessible
so they’re often buzzing with bees! 🐝🐝🐝
Pretty in pink Spode botanical plates were a
favorite antique mall find several years ago. . .
Spode Archive Collection ‘British Flowers – Rosa’
Spode Archive Collection ‘Blue Rose’
Spode Archive Collection ‘British Flowers – Poppy’
And Spode Archive Collection ‘Jasmine’
And Crown Ducal Pink Bristol, a favorite pattern
that belonged to my hubby’s grandmother.
“The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers,
a rare fusion of fluff and majesty,
the peony is now coming into bloom.” – Henry Mitchell
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Your peony display in the potting shed is really lovely! I adore peonies and always lament that we seem to get heavy rain every peony season. I try to cut the blossoms as soon as they bloom so the ground doesn’t get littered in petals.
Thank you Lauren! I know what you mean, it’s painful to see them shattered and find petal confetti after a storm. Happy Monday 🌸
Such lovely eye candy! I love Peonies, and still have a few blooms hanging in there. Especially love them with the Mason Jars. Thank you for your inspiring displays and photos!
Thank you Julie! I so appreciate your visit and comment. Happy Monday 🌸
My peonies are blooming too! I picked a few but left the rest!! The heavenly scent waffs across the yard along with the Lilacs!
Enjoy Ellen! Happy Monday 🌸
Be still my heart, your peonies are gorgeous Mary! They look great with your pretty vintage Spode, a very lovely pretty in pink vignette!
Thanks so much Jenna! Happy Monday 🌸
Your peonies are beautiful Mary. You have lovely varieties. Mine have never bloomed but I only planted them a couple of years ago. The potting shed looks so pretty in pink. Happy Monday! Clara❤️
Thank you Clara! It took ours a good three years to bloom but it was worth the wait. :) Happy Monday 🌸
Mary, your peonies are gorgeous in your vintage aqua mason jars. How lovely the Spode plates are with their varied patterns. The blooming plates are perfect with your pink peonies. I always experienced peonies not lasting long while in a vase. My neighbor’s peonies from her Bodacious Blooms flower farm are at their prime right now and she is selling hers to the public, florists and farmer markets. Jain is also growing some peonies and has invited my husband and myself over for another garden tour and lunch alfresco.
Thank you Linda! They don’t last long in the garden or in the vase unfortunately. Lucky you to enjoy an alfresco lunch in Jain’s garden. I would be in heaven! 🌸🌺💐 Happy Monday❣️
Mary, I love your pink peonies and blooming dish vignette in the potting shed. Peony season is short-lived, so we enjoy their fleeting beauty. Our colder winter helped my peonies immensely in my 8a zone. Mine are all gone, but I so enjoyed yours today 🌸🌸🌸 Sarah Bernhardt is a favorite! Happy Monday 💕
Thanks so much Pam! Ours are gone now as I photographed them last week…*sniff*. They’re beautiful while they last though! Happy Monday 🌸💕
Wish I could grow Peonies in my zone 10b
Hi Vicki, I’m sure you do. If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, you can usually find them in spring at a reasonable price. 🌸
Mary, Thank you for sharing your peonies. I love peonies and was just outside admiring the 5 blooms on my peony bushes. Alas, just five blooms on 3 bushes. For whatever reason, I just don’t get a profusion of blooms. While I don’t get as much sun as I am sure the bushes would like, there should be enough for more blossoms. I have two Sarah Bernhardt and one bush that I lovingly transplanted years ago from my childhood home. This year I had good leaf growth and some hopeful small buds, but most just withered away and so the five buds that did actually bloom are very precious. I look out my window and take delight in their beauty. How wonderful that your peonies provide you with beautiful numbers to cut and enjoy. MM
Hi Marie, How wonderful you were able to bring your peonies from your childhood home with you! I’m guessing the lack of sun is the culprit to so few blooms, maybe trees have matured since you planted them? They require 6-8 hours of sun for maximum blooms. Thank you for your visit, Happy Monday 🌸
Your peonies are gorgeous Mary! Especially with all the lovey china. I love them in the mason jars too. I don’t have any peonies in my garden, so I’m just living vicariously through your beautiful posts. Thanks, and Hope you have a lovely week!
Thank you so much for your visit and sweet comment Barbara! Wishing you a wonderful week ahead 🌸
Hello Mary… I am in heaven once again as I sit here and gaze at your beautiful peonies along with your gorgeous china. As you walk into your potting shed the fragrance has to be incredible.
My neighbor has peonies in Pennsylvania and they will be blooming in June. I am looking forward to seeing them!
Thank you for another stunning post. Enjoy your week, Mary.
Thank you so much for your visit and sweet comment Nancy! Happy Monday 🌸
My comment to you seemed to disappear… poof it went! So I shall try again!
Good Day to you Mary!
I am in heaven once again as I gaze at your beautiful peonies and gorgeous china. As you enter your potting shed the fragrance must be incredible!
Thank you for another beautiful post.
Have a beautiful week, Mary.
Your Peonies and Johnson Bro tableware are just beautiful. Can you tell me what you find to be the most fragrant variety? I try to plant some new variety in the fall and adore the scented ones. Thankyou.
Thank you, Kathy! I read that double white and double pink peonies are the most fragrant varieties. That said, I think my ‘Festiva Maxima’ is more fragrant than ‘Sarah Bernhardt’. I have a friend that has ‘Cora Stubbs’ in her garden that is breathtaking and very fragrant too. Happy Monday 🌸
It is pouring rain here, so your Monday peonies are very cheerful. That has to be the most loved shelf in blogland. I love the vignettes with your china and flowers. The Ball jars bring back memories. What I miss most about living in the Mid Atlantic area is spring flowers.
When I was a kid, I helped my older sister weed her flowers one day. I was busy ripping out her peonies full of ants when she caught me. LOL
Thank you for your visit and comment Myna! I can only imagine your sister’s horror when she caught you. 🌸 😱 😊
Wishing you a happy week ahead❣️
You’re so lucky to have all those pretty peonies, Mary. My Aunt Kitty and Uncle John had them growing in their garden in Pennsylvania. I’m crazy about all your patterns of dishes, and especially love the Rose Chintz and your hubby’s grandma’s China. With so many choices, it’s hard to pick a favorite ❤️
Thank you Kitty! Enjoy your time with Riley, wishing you a happy week ahead ❣️
Wow that last pic with the napkins, peonies, plates
Thank you for your visit and comment Gail 🌸
This is my first year growing them and they were fabulous, but it was an ex cricket and wet winter, now you have me worrying this may their only hoorah! Loved learning about them, thank you for sharing!
Thanks so much for DIY with the tomato cages! Excellent idea. Am a huge fan of your posts, look forward to every one!!
Thank you Gerry for your sweet comment and visit! 🌸
Your peonies are just stunning Mary! Wow, such beauty. Your blooming dishes are gorgeous too – the Spode patterns, Johnson Brothers, and, of course, the Crown Ducal Pink Bristol, oh my. Its all just lovely!
Thank you so much for your sweet comment and visit Kim! 🌸
Your peonies are absolutely beautiful! I so enjoy reading your blogs but sometimes I feel like I fell down the hole with Alice in Wonderland….I read your story, I see a link so I read another story, I see a link so I read or often reread another story and before I know it I have been reading for an hour or more! I then must go back to the original story to finish reading that! One of the many advantages of being retired…I can read and daydream all day…in my comfy chair or in my garden! Thank you for the pleasure you bring me! Peace.
Thank you Cindi!🌸 I know what you mean, that’s often how I feel. :) Happy Tuesday ♥
Mary, your peony garden is breathtaking! There are so many lush and beautiful blooms! I always love visiting your potting shed and admiring the pretty displays that you create. This one did not disappoint! The chintz china, blooms, and floral linens combine to create a gorgeous feast for the eyes! Happy Tuesday, sweet friend!
Thank you so much for your sweet comment Shannon! 🌸 Looking forward to hopping with you soon. Happy Tuesday❣️
Gorgeous! We are so dry here, mine are all balled up tiny knobs…that won’t let loose until we get some moisture or I drown them. Hugs, Sandi
Thank you Sandi! 🌸 I hope you get some rain relief for your flowers soon. ♥
Wow, your peony displays are stunning. I think they are my very favorite flower. I love how they’re displayed in your potting shed! Your post is inspiring me to start painting peonies again! Thanks, Mary!
love the peonies! All beautiful!
Pink peony envy! Makes me happy to think of all this beauty at your doorstep. Love your pink finds!
So gorgeous! I think earwigs would wig me out too (have not seen any on my peonies…yet). Your table setting and accompanying dishes alongside the peonies in mason jars is true romantic country cottage style to me. I love it. That rose chintz pattern with napkin is my favorite here. Because the peonies are new to me still in this new home, I’ve hesitated cutting ANY, but would love to, so I can enjoy them longer. I have a friend who actually stores them in the fridge also before a time when she wants them to bloom (weeks!), and I like that idea too. They are fleeting, as are poppies and sundrops. Boohoo.
Absolutely stunning. My Mother had peonies in our yard. They are still growing there and have been for over 60 years. I live in zone 8 so I was never able to transplant them before we sold our family home.