This is the arrangement that graces my kitchen counter on this Monday morning of June. It is a gorgeous arrangement and it was a gift to me from my dear friend. She created the arrangement and many, many more like it or similar to it, for her son's wedding, which was held on Saturday evening. Now, what makes this beautiful bouquet so exceptional besides the fact of how it looks, is the story of the peonies within the bouquet. I tried to get all the facts of this story straight before telling it, since it almost sounds like a fairy tale to me.
Peonies in this part of the country, are finished blooming by early June. Many were asking at this wedding how the florist(which happens to be my dear friend and mother of the groom), had hundreds of peonies to use in the bouquets at the end of June. Flippantly, I said, "maybe she sent to the Northwest for them since I seen some of my friends from the Northwest sharing their peonies lately."
But, that was not the case. Here is how my friend had different varieties of these flowers to use;
She was told by a reliable source, that if she would pick the stems of peonies while they were still buds, wrap them in newspaper and put them in the refrigerator, they could be kept up to 6 weeks in refrigeration. So my friends, that is what she did...360 peony buds went into refrigeration to wait for her son's wedding. Where did she find that amount of refrigerator space? Who knows?
On Tuesday before the wedding, she pulled a few out, put them in water and found our first hand, that it worked. They opened beautifully just as she had been told.
On Friday she and her good friend, two amazingly talented ladies, and together created ALL the bouquets, arrangements and centerpieces needed for the wedding and the reception. Did she have a back-up plan if this not work? Yes, she had a supplier on stand-by that would ship them overnight to her...but oh, that would have been so expensive, and my friend always creates beauty without expense. My friend grew these peony bushes in her back yard, so her way was very inexpensive. Last summer I visited her home and saw her peony bushes and was left speechless when I saw her loaded bushes.
I am going to share pictures of the wedding and reception with you sometime this week, but for now, I just wanted to share my fun and almost unbelievable peony story with you.
Guess who is turning 3 years old tomorrow?