It's Peony Time

Shoots appearing in Spring

During the last week or so we have been busy picking our crop of peonies. They have been a bit late this year due to the cold Spring. They are either used there and then for lovely bouquets and arrangements or we put them in the cooler where they can last for a further few weeks.

The ability to store the peonies in a cooler is really useful as they have a very short cropping period so this way we can prolong the season of use. They are cut at "soft bud" stage and we trim off most of the leaves. They are then wrapped in tissue paper in bunches of 30 and placed in the fridge out of water laying on the shelves.

They go a bit limp and sad looking but can be revived when needed by cutting the ends off and placing in water. Apparently they can be stored for up to 3 months like this but we have usually used them up by the end of July so haven't put this to the test!

We have a generous bed of peonies in the field and they bulk up year on year which is great!

Zelie Billins is a florist growing and selling English country garden flowers in East Sussex