My love affair with Peonies goes back a long time - I grew up in a Fenland village & our neighbour's flower field was at the bottom of our garden.
He grew Peonies & sent them to Covent Garden Flower Market in London by train.
Probably realising I adored the flowers, he gave me a huge bunch for my 7th birthday - Wow! Funny how putting these stems in a vase brought back that memory isn't it?
Flowers do that.
Sadly, that field of Peonies disappeared under houses long ago. Like many growers, closure of the village train station (Beeching cuts) made it difficult & expensive to get his flowers to London fast. Plus the flood of imported, cheap flowers & changing fashions in the Seventies, finished off his business. So he sold the land.
The image of that field, those flowers made a big impression on me - I knew it was possible to grow fabulous cut flowers in the UK. Not always easy, but possible.
And so I've grown & cut flowers my whole life, learning what works well, what will last in a vase, what doesn't last long but is so utterly gorgeous, I do it anyway. I make mistakes, of course, it's inevitable if you're experimenting.
But if I hadn't lived there, if he hadn't given those flowers, maybe I wouldn't have discovered the sheer pleasure of growing flowers & veg. My life might have taken a very different turn.
Tiny actions with a big impact. And I'm grateful for how that one turned out.
These are a new variety to me 'Catherine Fonteijn' grown in Lincolnshire. My Peonies are budding up nicely but waiting for a good soak before being ready to cut. Think I might need to add a few of these to my collection this Autumn!
Rosie Gray of Galloway Flowers. Artisan Florist & Cut Flower Farmer near Castle Douglas, in South West Scotland. Using 100% Flowers & Foliage grown in British Isles, all year round.