Peonies vs Garden Roses

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. Available in a wide range of colours, shapes and sizes, this lavish bloom can be notoriously difficult to predict. This blog talks about the peony, the pros, the cons of its spectacular nature, and identifies an alternative, the Garden Rose.


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 early July time; 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. The most popular soft pink peony is ‘Sarah Bernhardt’, and ‘Duchess 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 (click the link: Peony).

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 Wilson (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!

What is a good alternative if I am getting married when peonies are not available?

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.


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?

For more information on Peonies and Garden roses, please visit our website at, visit our flower guides at  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 wedding flowers DIY style, head over to our website for bundles of information and services that are there solely to help you !! For instance, we have an Estimate system designed solely to help you with budget – link @estimates.

Look out for more blogs on wedding planning and flower advice coming soon, from country, to contemporary, exotic and Gothic weddings!

Good luck with all the arrangements for your wedding!!

Best Wishes,

Triangle Nursery Ltd. xx


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A family run wholesale flower business specialising on supplying events and weddings. UK delivery - no minimum order or trade account required.

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