As the peonies slowly “go over” for another season, I want to take a moment to enjoy the sweet scent and pearly beauty of this double pink peony. The aroma is a cross between the rose and carnation, with over-tones of baby powder. If you are fortunate to have doubles of this hardy perennial, you are doubly blessed. The bloom is large with so many layers of petals it resembles a powder puff. The silky sheen of the petals reminds me of the delicate pink interior of an oyster shell.
To enjoy the blooms as cut flowers, gather them early in the day after they have just bloomed. Older blooms quickly disintegrate after being cut. This flower can also be successfully dried for floral wreaths. Also cut only new blooms for drying and quickly hang them upside/down in small clusters using rubber bands to bind them. After fully drying, attach them to wreaths using a hot glue gun. They resemble dried roses.
Peonies transplant well and are not finicky about quality of soil. In order to produce a number of blooms, however, they need full sun to half-day sun. And do not worry about those little brown ants crawling over the blooming heads. The nectar they are gathering causes the seal to break on the flower head to allow the petals to unfurl. God’s creation is perfectly balanced.