A small frog sits inside the bloom of a bright pink peony in the field.

Peony Season on the Flower Farm

We LOVE when peony season hits here on the farm.. from the vibrant colors to the beautiful scents, these massive blooms are some of our favorites!! Whether we have a peony wedding to create for, or selling them locally in arrangements and at farmer’s market, we know some people wait all year for these!

What is mind boggling to me about everyone’s favorite spring bloom is the fact that there are more then 6500 species!!!! All for just THIS flower, and it is the responsibility of the American Peony Society to keep track of all these varieties. This includes the both the full sun varieties that most people picture, as well as the partial shade loving tree peony. There are early, mid, and late blooming kinds so you can extend the growing season all through late spring into the summer. 

Loose bouquet of hot pink, white, and blush pink peonies held up against an ivory background.

These amazingly fragrant flowers originated in China dating back to the Tang dynasty, and are also native to Europe and Western North America.  They have medicinal qualities that are often described as mood boosting (I mean who wouldn’t LOVE just burying their face in these magnificent flowers and smelling their luxurious scent to improve their mood?).

Not only can they be medicinal, they are edible as well! I’ve seen are so many recipes on how to make the pickled petals, the fancy jellies, and a myriad of other home recipes passed down over the years. I’m fascinated by how these flowers are used in so many ways beyond just looking pretty!

Growing Peonies: Getting Started

Springtime usually brings spring rain, and many people find themselves struggling with their peonies falling over in the garden. These top heavy flowers crack open in all their glory and inevitably there is a rain that comes along and topples them over! You can find tons of metal hooks that stick into the ground, special circular disks to place before bud set, and other various methods of tying them up all over the garden centers. My favorite?  A little trick from Longwood Gardens is to take a piece of green twine and tie all the stems of the flowers together in a loop around the top of the plant. You can’t see the twine if its green, it can be biodegradable when you cut it back in the fall, and is super easy to place! 

Magenta peonies are ready to bloom in a field.

And Getting them Established

Growing peonies is honestly not as difficult as it may seem! If you have a young plant, you plant them and forget them… at least for the first year or two so the plants can get well established. For the first few growing seasons the roots will put out green growth and try to send small flowers up. Although it will hurt your heart to do it, cut them off! Give the plant time to really get established and have strong roots and a sturdy plant. The first year of flowering after that will be so amazing!!!! 

Once you have a strong plant that is well established there are a few other growing tips that people often look into doing. Want a super huge large bloom? Pinch the side buds so you only have one flower per stem. Not worried about one flower per stem? Let them just bloom and grow.  🙂 

A small frog sits inside the bloom of a bright pink peony in the field.

Finally, Time to Enjoy!

YIKES!!! There are ants on my peonies! Why? Contrary to common belief, ants are NOT needed to get a peony to bloom. Ants feed from some of the nectar and sticky substance at the base of the flower. These pesky critters actually protect the plant from other bugs that could try and grab a snack or two! But if you pick them right as the first petals open, you wont have any ants inside the petals causing issues for your countertop. Think of ants as guarding the peonies!!! 

Our best growing tips? Plant them, inhale deeply and often, and share with others. These flowers are here for such a short period of time! Love the fact that the deer don’t eat them, they are really sturdy and are just an awesome flower that so many people share stories about growing for generations, grandmothers, great-grandmothers and everyone in between have shared such awesome stories! Comment on our blog here about your peony growing! 

Our weddings use peonies whenever we can since these flowers represent love, honor, happiness, wealth, romance and beauty – they are the perfect fit! 

Pink + White on the Waterfront

Rachel + Seth had an absolutely gorgeous May wedding at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge on Maryland’s eastern shore.  They hit peak peony season, using all the best shades of pink, light pink, and white blooms.  We love how delicate they are in petals and scent!

The entrance to their ceremony welcomed guests with large urns overflowing with seasonal pinks and whites, leading down the aisle to our wooden arch rental.  Peonies were the focal floral on the arch as well!

Their reception tables had a mix of gold pedestal stands as well as gold mercury glass compotes to add height and depth to the room.  Their pink uplighting really highlighted the florals!

Vendors: Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay, Belle of the Ball Weddings & Events, Manda Weaver Photography

A Peony Wedding Closer to Home

Peonies were the perfect fit for a small elopement just around the corner from our farm at the Brampton Inn.  Maria + Jonathan (and their adorable pup!) had just a few pieces made in a petite size to accent their day.

Small terrier dog in a grey suit with coral bow tie stands next to a pink and white peony bouquet

Vendors: Brampton Inn, Shelby Darling Photography

Olivia + Caleb were married in late May down the road in Rock Hall, and we loved using the deep magenta peonies in her wedding flowers. Happiness, warmth, love, and beauty sum up this entire wedding! Emma Darling Photography

Spring wedding with wildflowers that are colorful and vibrant with bride and bridesmaids

Our hot pink peonies found the perfect home in Anna’s bright and big garden style bouquet!!  They were definitely the star of the florals in this local Chestertown wedding.  Read more about Anna and Logan’s wedding here!

Vendors: Stepne Manor Chestertown, Kristen Leigh Photography, Eastern Shore Tents and Events, Rachel Kendall Events, Cut Loose Salon

Soft Blues + Whites

We loved changing up the color palette with our soft white peonies highlighted with touches of pale blue in these beautiful and classic weddings. For Cassie in Annapolis, and Renee closer to the DC area, both bouquets fit into their venues’ gardens perfectly!

Cassie: London Town and Gardens + Taylor Webster Photography

Renee: Woodend Sanctuary + Kir Tuben Photography

Mid-May is definitely the sweet spot for a peony wedding, so if that is your must-have absolute favorite flower, definitely take that into consideration when choosing your date!

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Group Picture of staff at Wildly Native Flower Farm standing in the flower field

We're Wildly Native.

Located on the beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland, Wildly Native Flower Farm is a small (but ever growing!) family-owned flower farm and florist with a big vision, where it takes everyone working together to create success.

We connect with all of our products from literally the ground up, and love seeing every bloom that we grow find its way into someone’s home and heart!  So when you schedule a time to visit with us, we’ll walk our fields together and experience all of the scents, textures, colors, and more that a flower farm has to offer.  It is such a unique experience for brides, plant lovers, gardeners, nature enthusiasts, and all-around environmentally focused folks!

Providing locally grown and hand-picked seasonal florals in the peak of bloom is the foundation of who we are – whether for your wedding, a birthday, or just because!

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