With Valentine’s Day coming up are you wondering what peonies to send to a loved one? Which peonies symbolise love?
Peonies symbolise many different things, depending on the colour. In China, red is a symbol of royalty. Only emperors and their families used it, so red peonies came to embody wealth, prosperity, honour and respect. Peony is a traditional flower symbol in China and is called 牡丹 (mǔdān) which means “the most beautiful”.
In Western culture red flowers are generally associated with love and red peonies have come to symbolise love, romance and passion.
Pink peonies are commonly used in wedding bouquets as they symbolise lasting love, good fortune and prosperity. They can also depict love at first sight.
FLOWERS SPEAK A THOUSAND WORDS
These days most of us don’t think very deeply about the specific meaning of flowers when deciding what flower to pick. We usually just go with a colour or form we like, don’t we?
But there was a time when flowers spoke volumes.
Communicating with flowers dates back to the 1700s in Turkey but the Victorian era was a time when this form of communication really took off. This happened after Lady Mary Wortley Montagu visited Turkey and discovered the way harem girls communicated with each other – sending coded messages via flowers.
“There is no colour, no flower, no weed, no fruit, herb, pebble, or feather, that has not a verse belonging to it; and you may quarrel, reproach, or send letters of passion, friendship, or civility, or even of news, without ever inking your fingers.”
It was the ideal vehicle for expressing thoughts and feelings that were considered taboo at the time. And in the Victorian age full of rules and restrictions, that was just about anything to do with expressing emotions.
Assigning meaning to specific flower types to communicate feelings or desires is known as floriography and it became not only a craze but one of the main ways anyone was able to get their untoward thoughts across without uttering or writing a single word.
So if you received a bunch of flowers like this:
White Peonies (bashfulness) + Red Peonies (true love) + Magenta Ranunculus (dazzled by your charm) + Pale pink Sweet Peas (meet me)
You can be sure potential love is on the horizon!
GIVE THE GIFT OF A PEONY
So why not send a peony? You never know what could happen…
Some options of appropriately named and coloured peonies you could go for are:
Unusual, rare and highly sought after. A mid season flowering 'Itoh' semi-double, white, bowl-shaped bloom with a beautiful fragrance
Herbaceous perennial with striking double blooms in blush with small red flares fading to white
'Bowl of Love'
A short version of 'Bowl of Beauty' with carmine pink outer petals and pale cream petaloids. An exquisite fragrant, mid season bloomer
A gorgeous, sweetly scented, large double peony with soft, creamy cameo pink rose-type flowers. Makes an excellent cut flower.
'Berry Berry Fine'
Unusual and highly collectable, mid season ‘Itoh’ with finely cut foliage on sturdy framework and incredible fragrant, single to semi-double, deep lavender pink flowers highlighted with darker pink streaks and plum basal flares
A late flowering, herbaceous perennial with double, deep pink highly fragrant blooms that make excellent cut flowers
An indulgent, sturdy, early flowering, herbaceous perennial with large, fragrant, deep ruby red cup-shaped flowers with ruffled centres
An early-mid season, strong and reliable herbaceous variety that’s a floriferous grower. It has beautiful fragrant, semi-double bright red flowers with golden centres
A heavily scented herbaceous perennial with divided foliage, erect stems bearing deep pink-red double flowers, with ruffled inner petals
Which peonies would you choose?
Click on a pic to take your pick!