Peony Heaven + Addendum

Every year I ask myself the same question.
Photo | Lisa Porter
Do I leave them in the garden?   
Photo | Lisa Porter
Or do I bring them inside for bouquets throughout the house?
Photo | Lisa Porter
Since the old fashioned aroma of this gentle flower is most appreciated indoors, they make their grand entrance in my Grandmother’s old fashioned cut glass vase ~ the kitchen table is best for photographing in the morning light.  
Photo | Lisa Porter
Before long, I’ve pulled out all shapes and sizes of vessels and the house is filled with the sweet smell of peony heaven.
Even though they’re gorgeous when in full bloom, snip them just before they open and they’ll last longer indoors.
Photo | Lisa Porter
Tiny Visitors?
Shake them from the cut blooms, or wash them off with a gentle spray of water. Ants are neither beneficial nor harmful to peonies, they’re only attracted to the sugary liquid secreted by flower buds.
Photo | Lisa Porter
That little lady got a free ride inside.  If she doesn’t bother me, I won’t bother her.
See ~ she’s already disappeared.
Photo | Lisa Porter
Like I said, peony heaven.
Photo | Lisa Porter
If only they lasted all season. Imagine how nice it would be to always have peonies in full bloom for a special occasion, to give to a friend, or simply to refresh a bouquet at your kitchen table.  
 
Good news ~ there’s a way to harvest peonies in their bud stage to save for whenever.
Photo | Lisa Porter
Select flowers with a well-developed bud. Ideally, the bud should be neither too loose or too compact. Pinch it lightly. It should have the consistency of a soft marshmallow.
Photo | Lisa Porter
Cut the peony, leaving at least a 12-inch stem attached to the bud. Wrap them loosely in a damp paper towel and then wrap the bundle in a sheet of newspaper. I used craft paper like the photo below.
Google image
Store the bunches horizontally in the refrigerator ~ tell your family. The flowers will keep for 3 to 4 weeks!
After two weeks I was ready. Plus I needed more room in my fridge. So this morning I unwrapped my bundles to find this!
Let’s just say I had my doubts ~ especially about the little pink babies. Those buds were attached to big blooms, hence the short stem.
Photo | Lisa Porter
I removed the lower leaves, gave the stems a fresh cut and placed them in room temperature water.
Then I waited.
Photo | Lisa Porter
My tiny visitor…poor thing froze to death. She’s most likely in peony heaven.
Photo | Lisa Porter
By noon I kid you not ~ I was enjoying big beautiful blooms!
Photo | Lisa Porter
I added fresh greens from the garden & they were even prettier this afternoon!
Photo | Lisa Porter
Like I said, peony heaven.
Photo | Lisa Porter
Learned a lesson along the way too ~ Don’t snip your buds too early.
Photo | Lisa Porter
 Addendum to Peony Heaven added this evening.
Those little pink peonies above that I was about to give up on ~ took their sweet time and blossomed right open today!
Photo | Lisa Porter
Just goes to show ~ you should never give up on your buds!
What’s your favorite bloom in your garden?
I’m looking forward to Herbs, Hydrangeas, Roses & Sweet Peas!