There is something about peonies: their lush, feathery petals, their intoxicating smell, their rich, dark green foliage, their old-fashioned beauty…and they don’t get as much attention as the rose, but they should. They don’t have thorns, and they are easier to grow. All you have to do is stake them when they flop or better yet, clip them and bring them inside. I’d love to have a field full of peony bushes like Martha Stewart does at her country house above, but since I don’t, here are a few of my favorite things that would add a touch of elegant country style to a home wherever it might be.
Stylist and author Tricia Foley, using a simple straw bag in the photo above, highlights the striking beauty of pink peonies freshly cut and ready to be arranged. Click here for a similar bag that I love from Dreamy Whites (which of course can be used for many other things as well).
Try floating the flower heads in a pretty bowl on a coffee table (I learned about this first from writer Katherine Mansfield, who did this often and notes it in her diary). And click here for a video from Martha Stewart with other tips on arranging peonies.
Colefax and Fowler’s Tree Peony linen fabric is a favorite. It comes in three colors and I like them all, but this version in a muted pink and green would be perfect on throw pillows for a summer refresh on a porch or in a bedroom or family room.
Inspired by 17th century Dutch still life paintings, Liberty London’s Peony tablecloth makes a perfect gift this wedding season, or a new addition to your own linen collection.
Antique botanical prints are a way of bringing the garden inside. Here is a gorgeous white peony by artist and botanist Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759-1840). You can find an unframed book page version on Etsy here and another printed version here.
Enjoy the rest of May and the peonies wherever you find them…