Judith Blacklock
Flower School

My Favourite Day of the Year

Today is a very special day; at least its special to me. Because once a year we run a day course dedicated to peonies. Imagine a day where you are surrounded by this much-loved flower that starts off in a small round shape and slowly reveals an array of petals to lift your mood.

I would probably go as far as saying that peonies for the British are like tulips for the Dutch. We simply love them and can’t get enough of them. Maybe its because they have a relatively short season of only six weeks, which makes them extra special or because they come in all sorts of colours and can vary from snow white to vibrant pink, such as the new variety P. ‘Coral Sunset’.

Personally, I love the fact that peonies have a mind of their own – they simply open when they wish and not on request. Yet, there are some tricks that can influence the opening. For example, if you need them for a special occasion, but they seem to be opening too fast, then take them out of the water and place them on a cold surface, such as stone flags.

You can do this for up to a couple of days and trust me it won’t damage them.
And when you like to grow peonies, you might have noticed that ants are also attracted to them and we all know – an ant is never alone… Peonies produce lots of nectar which encourages ants to run across them. Just give the peonies a good shake and that should sort it.

There are also many myths surrounding peonies; for example, when growing your peonies are you allowed to move them or not? To find out, come and join our Growing and Arranging your own cut flowers course on September 7th. This day will be filled with tips on how to create a year-round cutting garden for flowers. We will advise you which foliage and flowers to grow, as well as offering personalised advice on your garden design; and of course, a gorgeous hand-tied bouquet made by you to take home. Another special day to look forward to!