1. Tempurature: As soon as you expose the peonies to heat, they will quickly unfurl and spend their strength. If you're not ready to use them, keep them cool! If you like the variety of shapes, and would like to incorporate buds & full blooms together, put some in the cooler, and some at room temp. If your peonies have already opened further than you're ready for, try putting them back in the cooler for several hours as sometimes they will respond to the cold by pulling their petals in tight.
2. Season: Modernization in the flower industry and more efficient shipping practices, have allowed us to enjoy many plants out of their natural seasons. Peony are one of the exceptions, here in California, they have only two seasons of availablitiy; Later spring/early summer, which is their natural season in the US, and the start of winter, when we import Peonies from outside the US when they are in season elsewhere. Sometimes, when the weather allows, their season will extend, but come a big heat wave, that will be the end of it. If you MUST have peonies at your wedding, plan a May, June, or December event, to be safe!
4. Colors: The Coral Charm, shown pictured to the left, and the baby pink, Sarah Bernhardt, pictured above seem to get the most press in the Peony world, but the variety of colors available are delightfully surprising; Cream, lilac, white, barely blushing pink, scarlet, maroon, salmon, raspberry, cream with purple throat, white with flecks of fuchsia on the petals, as in the Festiva Maxima, to the Candy Stripe, a white peony, wildly drizzled with raspberry streaks! Not all varieties are available for order in cut-flower industry, but if you like to garden, and you live in the right climate...the sky is the limit!
When you are rewarded with the Peony's unique display of eternal soft petals, you realize these voluptuous blooms are worth the extra effort & expense to enjoy, even for a moment.