Red Charm Peony for a moment

peonyPhoto Abby Greenawalt Local Red Charm peonies are only available for a couple weeks each year. I can get them prior to the local season for a couple weeks from Holland and for a couple weeks after the local season from New York, Vermont and Maine.  Right now I am getting them from close by, Virginia and they are gorgeous.  I just used them in arrangements for a mid-week event at the Mandarin Oriental and have more coming for a wedding in a private home this weekend.

Centerpiece Sample Shades of White/Cream/Ivory

At the end of last week I was hired to do flowers for a wedding in early May.  The reception is at Adour in the St. Regis and I am looking forward to working with Cherry Blossom Events for the first time.  The couple wants want rich, lush, textured, clean arrangements all in shades or white, cream and ivory.  I rushed a quick sample over for the tasting––  I love the brief window when peonies and ranunculus are available at the same time––  there are some white garden roses in here too. white sample

Evermay Holiday 2012

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do holiday decorations at Evermay this year.  The one of a kind home was recently re-done by my talented friend Jodi Macklin.  It is now the home of the outstanding S&R foundation which hosted a series of concerts in November and December.  My friend Kate Headley the fabulous photographer documented, thank you!!  Fun Project– 12 foot tree, 2000 led warm white lights, Makuba ribbon, silk velvet, old chandelier crystals, lots and lots of magnolia, orange citrus and crisp white flowers including peonies... 003


Mid May Wedding Flowers









The northern hemisphere peony season is winding down (I can usually get southern hemisphere peonies starting in late November).  These photos from a mid-May wedding at Dahlgren Chapel and The Cosmos Club feature local peonies at their peak.  I was excited to work with the photographer Brian Tropiano for the first time, thanks for the photos.  And, thanks to Arney from Pineapple Productions for coordination.

Tree Peony– gone until next year

The fall before our daughter Martin-Lane was born, nearly 13 years ago, we planted a tree peony. The first flower bloomed on April 16, the day she was born, and on her birthday for the first 9 years of her life.  A couple years ago a cool early spring delayed the flowers opening until the end of April. This year they bloomed on April 5th.

Tree peonies have larger and more delicate flowers than more common bush peonies. The trees grow slowly and prefer not to be moved. Tree peonies buds are formed above the ground on the woody stems during the fall so take care not to prune in the fall or you will not have any flowers the following spring. With bush peonies next years buds are also formed in the fall but in the underground rhizome so cutting leaves will not affect the next springs flowers. Tree peony flowers only last a few days on the tree or in a vase.  Like all peonies if you want to use the bloom as a cut flower cut as soon as the bud feels like a marshmallow, before the flower actually opens. Place the cut stem immediately in cold water, most likely the flower will open in a few hours.