Peonies & Roses

If you’ve ever been to a grocery store, or local florist, and gawked over beautiful flowers and flower arrangements, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, they aren’t cheap. You can snag an arrangement for as little as $10 if you choose a bunch pre-made at the supermarket, but typically they can run upwards of $30-$50 -especially if you design your own bouquet. For all of you Chicagoans, did you know that the Crate&Barrel on North and Clybourn offers floristry?! They actually can offer some beautiful flowers and create jaw dropping arrangements. I’m not sure how the prices range though(sorry!). 
Luckily we get to enjoy spring every year, and with the spring season comes an abundance of flowers in nature, not just your local grocer. Many times naturally growing plants and flowers need to be trimmed and maintained in order to continue to grow. What does this mean for us? We get to cut flowers to display and enjoy in our homes! 
Recently, my roommate Missy and her mother cut a few flowers from the long extending bushes that surround the exterior of our building. There were so many of these purple fragrant flowers in bloom that you could smell them from a block away! Missy put a (literal) bunch in a vase in our living room and we had a perfectly naturally perfumed apartment for well over a week.
When I went home for the weekend, my mom was tending to her flower garden next to our driveway. In order to maintain each plant, and to keep them from strangling the other plants, she needed to cut some already bloomed flowers and trim the plant here and there. The product of this adventure? Beautifulnatural, white peonies (ˈpē-ə-nē) and roses. 
Roses are funny to me because I don’t really like them, and when I do I tend to prefer them in softer, light, feminine colors such as: white, yellow, or light-light pinks. I also think a lot of people don’t recognize roses in their natural setting… nature. Roses are very popular flowers, in bouquets and in gardens, but I think a lot of people are used to seeing the deep red roses offered for-sale in extreme bulk. Many don’t even know that during the spring they probably pass roses in neighborhood gardens all the time. I must admit that a fully bloomed, natural rose does look slightly different, and I actually prefer them this way! Take a look at the pictures below, and next time you’re out and about try to notice them! 
As you can see in the below picture, peonies are heavy flowers. They are easily bogged down and destroyed by rain and storms. As for a lot of flowers, peonies need support when growing. This can be provided by inserting wooden steaks into the soil and tying the flowers up. Usually the rain still gets the best of them, because the soil will moisten up and let the steaks loose and ultimately bringing the support down with the flowers. In order to lighten the load, it is necessary to trim some flowers away, and well I’m not complaining- Peonies are my favorite flowers, in any color and form (tight bulbs, slightly opened, or fully bloomed).
Next time you’re in the mood for a fresh arrangement, go prowling your garden/yard (not your neighbors!) and see what nature has to offer, I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised! 

Fully bloomed Peonies
Peonies, bogged down by rain
Roses

Fully bloomed Roses

Budding Roses

Enjoy!

Peonies & Roses

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