Today’s guest post about peonies is by Becky of Crafty Garden Mama, another Philly Social Media mom blogger, and fellow lover of all things wonderful in the gardening world. Peonies are one of my favorite spring flowers; I think I have about 10 plants in my garden. I was so happy to learn from Becky that I could rinse off those pesky ants that love peonies, too!
I have been anxiously anticipating the blooming of my peonies. They are one of my favorite flowers in the garden and the scent is intoxicating. We use our garden as an unofficial outdoor classroom for our daughter and some kids in the neighborhood, and peonies are a great teaching tool. Fortunately, they are blooms that your toddler can really poke his/her face into and the many layers and textures of the flower are visually intriguing. It’s also a great way to talk about weight and why you need to put peony supports around them.
This week, the blooms were at their prime in our garden and with the rain approaching, I headed out to clip a bunch in order to bring them inside. You need a few basic supplies for clipping blooms for inside display. You will need your gardening gloves, pruning shears and the vases that you will be using for display.
I have great basic pruning shears that I grabbed at Ace Hardware years ago. They stay very sharp and are comfortable to use around the garden for a variety of tasks. The gloves that I have on in these pictures are the machine washable Nitrile brand. They are super easy, wash up nicely and are very durable.
It is important to bring your vases outside so that you have a gauge of how long to clip the peony stems. I love to have peonies on our kitchen windowsills, so these vintage milk bottles are a great way to get a bunch of blooms in one vase. Low cube vases are another great option for peonies and other thick blooms because you can cut the stem short and make the blooms the focal point of the display.
Once you clip the stems, take some time and trim the leaves form the stem. This helps to prevent things from getting funky in the water when you fill the vases.
When you feel like you have a beautiful arrangement in your vases, it’s time to head inside. The most important part of bringing peonies inside is that you need to rinse between the petals. Ants love peonies and relish living inside of them. Luckily, peony petals can stand up to a good rinsing under the faucet. I found a few ants and a couple of other interesting fellas living in our petals, so it was good that I rinsed.
Next, fill your vases with enough water, pop your peonies back in and double check your arrangement. Once you are satisfied, find a good spot where you can admire these beautiful flowers each day. Keep an eye on the water each day and if it gets cloudy, drain it and refill the vase. With good care, peonies last about a week or so once you clip them and bring them indoors. I love having them in our kitchen since they are up in the sunshine in the windows and out of reach of little hands. We can still lean in to smell and the colors brighten up the room. They are definitely my favorite flower to bring indoors at the end of spring.