Are you a peony lover, a garden rose lover or maybe you like them both? This blog highlights the pros and the cons of both varieties, as well as their origin and top varieties to feast your eyes on.
Peony or paeony
The peony, the beautiful, frothy bloom that is a favourite of many bride-to-be’s, capturing many hearts and gracing our gardens, homes and events with its spectacular presence.
The name Peony, comes from ‘Paeon‘, the god of healing, and the roots, flowers and seeds were used to treat epilepsy and all kinds of convulsions and nervous afflictions.
The common peony (Paeonia officinalis) starts coming into the auctions around April and runs through to July; much to our disappointment, it is a relatively short season for this beautiful blossom. At the start of the season, the peonies can be tighter and need longer time to condition and open up, however, the flower is very dependent on weather conditions. For example, if the flower is cut in Holland in the colder weather, the bud can be very tight and resemble a golf ball and on arrival to you would need a longer time to develop and open up – as opposed to the flower being cut in warmer conditions, on arrival to you, the flower would not need as long to develop.
What varieties of peonies are available?
There are so many varieties of peony available now and there are almost 200 varieties which are grown specifically as a cut flower. As with any popular flower, growers continue to expand their crop and produce more colours year on year due to demand.
The most popular soft pink peony is ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, and ‘Duchesse to Nemour’ as classic white and cream varieties. ‘Coral Charm’ is a gorgeous coral-coloured peony that opens into a deep goblet shape and turns to a soft peach as it ages, and ‘Coral Sunset’ is another great coral pink. Take a look at our website to find more of the varieties available.
What are the pros and cons of using peonies?
PROS: The biggest pro of using peonies is undoubtedly their amazing appearance and of course, their scent. I mean, just look at them….
CONS: Unfortunately, as beautiful as we believe peonies to be, they are known to be the bane of both a wholesalers and a florist’s life…. either waiting for them to open up and develop or praying that they don’t open to soon.. and watching them lose all their petals in a heartbeat. ‘Peonies, as a cut flower, are notoriously difficult to predict. I would normally suggest that peonies take around 4-5 days to develop and condition before you should start working with them, but in recent years this has been seen to fluctuate depending on the weather and the condition that they come into us,’ Mary (director of Triangle Nursery Ltd). ‘If you are looking to purchase peonies for an event, it is worth calling us closer to your the date, on 01394 385 832 to identify how the peonies (the stage – tight bud or more open) are coming into the wholesalers in.’ This can be very difficult when we understand how important the flowers are to you, particularly for a wedding or event – and you want them to be in perfect condition for your special day!
Not only are they unpredictable, they are also seasonal. Starting their season at the auctions around April and running through to July. Due to demand, countries such as Chile and Israel have started to grow them out of their natural season, however they do hold their price and it is difficult to assess their quality and opening times.
At times of the year when peonies are not available or you just don’t want to risk your peonies not opening, we would advise using a scented, blousy garden rose available all through the year.
The high quality garden roses are becoming increasingly popular for wedding flowers and high-end floristry projects due to their ease and beauty. The garden roses available on the Triangle Nursery website are grown in high altitude by Alexandra Farms in the incredibly fertile savannah of Bogota, Colombia where cool nights and warm days are perfect for rose production.
What varieties of peonies are available?
There are a huge variety of garden roses to choose from in a range of colours, shape and size, just like the peonies. The growing demand for this style of flower continues to drive growers and suppliers to create the most beautiful and fragrant garden rose of all!
The most popular Garden Rose this year has been the ‘White ‘O’hara,’ a white rose with a blush pink centre, partnered with her sister the ‘Pink O’hara.’ David Austin roses continue to be prominent in the market, from the soft, pastel ‘Keira‘ to the bold ‘Capability‘ (with DA – Kate being discontinued).
What are the pros and cons of using garden roses?
PROS: Just like peonies, these roses are undoubtedly beautiful, large bloomed and of course, their scent is amazing! They are available all year round and are available in more varieties than peonies, in an array of colours and scents. In particular, they not only are large bloomed so you do not need a lot of them to create a beautiful arrangement but also they do not need a long time to open and are not as unpredictable as the peony is.
CONS: The garden rose can be more expensive than the commercial roses and peonies, but are seen to be a larger bloomed rose and thus, you don’t need as many of them! In addition, they are more fragile and do not have a long shelf life as opposed to other commercial roses and peonies available on our website.
So, what’s your favourite? Have I swayed you toward the Garden Rose or are you still infatuated with peonies? Write in the comments below your favourite and why!
For more information on Peonies and Garden roses, please visit our website, visit our Flower Guides or even call us on 01394 385 832 and the ladies in the office will be happy to help you! Don’t forget we sell wholesale flowers to Everyone! So, if you are looking to do the flowers for weddings or events, head over to our website for bundles of fresh flower varieties, help & advice and services that are solely there to help you!