Your weekly source of floral inspiration, sage advice, industry news and encouragement. Written with floral designers and boutique farmer florists in mind.


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Botanical Brouhaha Expert Discussion Panel: Session 39

Mar 5, 2014


The Question:

I am frequently seeing photos of peonies (out of season) from florists around the world. Can you tell me where you source these from and are these sources reliable year on year?

The Answers:

In France, the peony season is mainly May and June. There are peonies available at Rungis (Paris’ flower market) all year round though. Out of season, the choice is thin, usually limited to Sarah Bernard and after testing some of them last year, I discourage my customers to select them for their weddings as their quality is really low. As for where they come from, I don’t know, but certainly not from nearby areas…

–Laetitia Mayor (Floresie)


Because I have been designing for so long, I can clearly remember when the peony was sacred. When the season ended it was simply over. This made explaining availability to the brides so much easier. Now you can expect an elongated season as peonies are coming from all over the world, but I never put peonies "out of season" in a flower proposal without that famous qualifier "if available".

I live in Virginia and you can expect to see them from mid-May to early June. My daddy taught me that Memorial Day was peak for peonies when he was a child. Now we see an extension of the peonies into the summer months because of the Alaskan product that is available into August. In late fall and early winter you can expect to find Chilean peonies on the market.

It’s very likely that you will get your sought after peonies in these nontraditional peak seasons, but if I were you, I’d use that qualifier.

-Holly Chapple (Holly Heider Chapple Flowers)


My first thought is, are you sure they are posting current photos or are they sharing photos of designs that maybe happened during peony season? Although, as we all know, many flowers can be found now year round – for the right price. Peonies are finicky, one year will be great and the next year will be lousy. I sometimes wonder if it is the pickiest flower ever? (besides Lilac!). I’ve always relied on my normal sources for these flowers – in Denver I try Amato Wholesale, Stevens Wholesale and, of course, Florabundance – all of which will tell me the truth if the product is out of season or in terrible condition. You may want to try G Page in NYC. I haven’t worked with them personally, but I do know they get their hands on some terrific product.

-Alicia Schwede (Bella Fiori and Flirty Fleurs)


I’m located in Gothenburg, Sweden. In Scandinavia we just have to accept that peonies are not available all the time. The only time I use them off season is if I find them at the market and I can check the quality myself.

-Emelie Ekborg (Svenska Blomsterbloggar)

Thanks Alicia, Holly, Emelie, and Laetitia!

Do you all know Denise Fasanello? Let me leave you today with a few of her beautiful designs…

1606926_10152147526743850_2106529834_n chattman photo and denise fasanello flowers

Chattman Photography

1374111_10151905014678850_960747249_n denise fasanello flowers

IMG_6944-450x600 denise fasanello

1150935_10151778302713850_1972208322_n denise fasanello flowers

68670_10151600921258850_660948985_n denise fasanello

DFFGallery31 denise fasanello and shannen norman photo

Shannen Norman Photography

bridal guide sm  denise fasanello

frit NM-0029  denise fasanello

Have a wonderful Wednesday!



  1. WOW! Thank you so much. It really means a lot to me that you took the time to recognize my work. I’m so grateful to have found flowers as my life’s work but I’m even more grateful to have found such a great community of fellow flower enthusiasts! Wishing you the best

  2. Shelby says:

    There were some gorgeous peonies at the market today in Seattle, first I’ve seen of the season- such an electric pink. I let out an audible “wow” when I saw them- they kind of do that to me.

  3. david dahlson says:

    As long as there is a period of deep vernalization available to the peony plants then they will grow. Within five years they will be available year round because the production will move to the appropriate seasonal latitude.
    Typically the season in, say, California is May and June, then oregon, the Washington, Vermont, then Canada and Alaska in July, August, then in September starting in Northern Chile, October from central Chile November, December in New Zealand, Australia and Chile;January and February from Ushaia Chile, March and April form Israel….And the quality will be good. And I imagine that Lilac will not be far behind.
    However, the mystique of seasonal availability is being eroded. It is no wonder that a movement like Slow Flowers is gaining traction.


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