Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pining For Peonies




Do you have a favorite flower? You know,  the kind that you get excited about everytime you see them in a floral shop window,  a gorgeous wedding bouquet or even a photograph on the web? My favorite happen to be peonies. I love their lush, fluffy appearance. To me they are soft, romantic, playful and feminine. You might recall that I listed them under my favorite things.

I remember exactly when I first fell in love with them. It was about 8 years ago and one of my best friends had picked some up at his friend's parents' farm property for me. I had two clippings- they were both a fuscia color and one was fluffy, in full bloom and the other was still tucked tight into a large ball, just waiting patiently to open up. Later that year, I would discover that the property I rented had a path leading to the backyard where peony bushes would produce some of the most amazing flowers. I especially loved the pale pink ones.



Several years later when I met my husband I had told him about my love for peonies. While we were engaged and soon to be married, I was tying up loose ends at the job that I would be leaving when I decided to move from Canada to the U.S. He sent me the most stunning bouquet of lilies, pale pink peonies and white hydrangea. I could have stared at that bouquet everyday for the rest of my life and never would have tired of it. I wish I had a picture of it.

It would seem fitting that one day (3.5 years ago) when I got married that they would be the chosen flower for my bridal bouquet. However that was not to be. We had a September wedding and they were no longer in season and the cost to have them shipped was outside of our budget. So, instead I had soft blush color roses. Now that I live in Florida, peonies are impossible to find since they cannot withstand extreme heat. I called a local floral shop to see if I could splurge a little and get a couple of stems. When  I found out they were $10 per stem with a minimum of 10 stems, I knew it was out of the question. I do however have the most realistic looking silk peony arrangement in my office and I get to look at it every day. :)


This to me is a dream bouquet!

To share my love of peonies, I thought I'd include some of the images I've found online and saved in a folder for those that adore them as much as me. I have others I enjoy too such as white orchids, stargazer lilies and tulips but these are my absolute favorite.


Perfect sping bouquet, love the tulips. I'd love to have this on my kitchen table right now!







 



This is one of the largest bouquets I've seen, so full and fresh!








Another beautiful bouquet!

What is YOUR favorite type of flower? What makes it so special to you?

24 comments:

  1. I love white roses!!!I dont know why but I think they are soo elegant!!!Loved your post!!!

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  2. To be honest, I do not have any knowledge about flowers...and didn't know what a peonie looked like! They are just gorgeous!

    My favorite flower has always been sunflowers...and long, long before it was 'trendy' {remember that?} but I also like gerber daisies as well.

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  3. Oh, you are a girl of the same mind. I too am a huge fan of peonies and am so excited about them coming into bloom soon.

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  4. Peonies are gorgeous. I bought my mom two peony bushes for Mother's Day last year. She claims that they are the easiest flowers to grow and she was able to cut some for around the house. (Sorry, I hope I'm not making your yearning for them worse!)

    I love lilies myself and carried white and pink on my wedding day.

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  5. Oh, these are lovely and so painterly too.
    I so enjoyed the journey within. xx

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  6. I never really had a fav flower but a couple years ago, I got my first digital camera and just walked around my mom's yard taking pics of her flowers. Later I saw the dahlia on my laptop screen. I was IN LOVE!!! The Perfection of it. All those petal the same shape but in different sizes.

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  7. These look so beautiful.
    My favourite would have to be Hydrangea (I can't spell!)

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  8. My fav is the peony. I have two bushes that bloom around end of May/early June. They are heavenly!! Last year I found out that our town hosts a National Peony Show. Just 5 minutes away from my house. Took all 3 kiddos. It was simply heavenly. Was able to talk with all sorts of people about how they ship them to the show & other details~fascinating. It will be back here (North Central Ohio) next year. Might have to put that on your radar! BTW, you should blog about your engagement (read your comment on another blog). Be sure to stop by my blog today as I have my first giveaway!

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  9. Hi Karla
    Ahh.. just gorgeous, every single one. I love the pink contrasted with the green mason jar.. and the white enamel pitcher.. hmm I will have to try those. Thanks for this post, I really enjoyed it! Have a great night
    Janice

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  10. Oh, I love pink peonies too !! They are so romantic.

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  11. absolutely gorgeous karla. i just moved from florida to new hampshire and goodbye lilies... hello peonies!!! they are so gorgeous... it was love at first sight! i even had to ask around for their name because i had never seen them before.

    i had no idea how sensitive they are to heat. they bloom quickly... and now they've gone just as fast. but ill keep them in my memories until next year :p

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  12. Just seeing this post. A couple of years ago, I planted 14--yep, 14--peonies never expecting all of them to come up. They did! And finally last year they all bloomed. They're the color of your first picture and just gorgeous. Can't wait till they really bush out and bloom. The smell is divine.

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  13. Karla, I noticed that you were having trouble finding peonies in Florida. I'm not sure if you have a Whole Foods near you, but they often have peonies, and they are fairly priced.

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  14. Thanks for stopping by to tell me @Wiggley! I actually came across some in Whole Foods as you said, it totally took me by surprise but I was so happy to see they carry them. I can't wait to grab the next bunch. :) I wrote about my discovery here with photos: http://theclassywoman.blogspot.com/2010/05/sweet-surprise.html

    ~K

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  15. Those are some beautiful peony photos!

    Paula
    http://www.bridgewatergardens.com

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  16. Going to Florida with the hubby and my daughter. St. Petersburg florida to be exact in June. Any suggestion on what to do? What to take to wear :) Trying to be cute and sext along with being a mommy.
    Love your pictures you seem to match well.
    B

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  17. @BPankau- I don't see an e-mail address connected to your comment. I'd love to respond, it's beautiful in FL but definitely warm in June. I can help with the vacation attire. If you see this comment, you can e-mail me, it's listed under "About" or you can click on the envelope in my sidebar.

    ~K

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  18. I have loved peonies since I was a little girl. My grandmother had bushes of them in her backyard, all colors. My very favorite flower has to be gardenias. As a child living in Tyler, Texas we had bushes of them growing around our house. I still love their fragrance.

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  19. @Babycakes- Ooo, I love gardenias, they smell heavenly! :) Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    ~K

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  20. Love peonies. ♥ where did you find your silk bouquet? I'm on the hunt for one right now and I came across your blog. So great. I'd love to order one..or two... :) thanks! janie.hendry@gmail.com

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  21. I love peonies! I planted 3 bushes years ago to no avail. You have inspired me to try one more time. Thank you.
    Celeste

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  22. Roses are such beautiful flowers. Karla you have great taste in flowers.

    zane

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  23. I came across your blog via Google searching for artificial peonies.. would you mind sharing where you purchased your realistic silk peonies for your office? I've been searching for ages, but can't find anything close to what I have in mind. Judging by these photos, it looks like we share a love of fluffy flowers :) Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your question, Melanie! The artificial peony arrangement was a totally random find at Marshall's. Lately, I haven't seen any in Marshall's at all. HomeGoods generally has a pretty good assortment but this is going back a few years. I've seen some online but they're pricey. Yes, I love my fluffy flowers. There is something so romantic and sensual about them and they have such a light fragrance too. :)

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Warmly,
Karla

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