Peonies. They are back with a vengeance and are hogging the floral narrative as is always the case at this time of year. Peony is a trusty stalwart in May and June and is a national floral treasure that we all adore here at McQueens. They are the must-have flower for many weddings and are the most requested flower for gift bouquets delivered in and around London from our HQ in Bethnal Green and McQueens at Claridge’s stores. We spoke to a handful of McQueenies to find out what’s the big deal with this notorious flower.
‘Peony has a vintage charm but they will never go out of fashion,’ explains Alison, McQueens events florist. ‘There are so many gorgeous varieties to choose from and they make the perfect flower for a wedding bouquet. We work with them continually at this time of year for parties and events. The variety called coral charm seem to be very popular at the moment – this is definitely a key trend that we have noticed – but my favourite has to be the very deep burgundy red peony. I think they are spectacular!’
‘We get requests for peony all year round and you can hear people’s disappointment when we tactfully explain that peony isn’t in season in November,’ explains Costa Popadopoulos, McQueens sales manager. ‘The season has expanded to meet the demand, but peony is perfect at this time of year and the finest quality at the moment. Most people understand peony and the way they open gradually, but we do occasionally get comments from clients who are not impressed with peony when they are first delivered. Just wait and see is the advice we give and customers are always rewarded when they eventually open. We have a lovely selection of bouquets featuring peony and they are our most popular bouquets in May and June. Most people appreciate the short season so our advice is to catch them while you can!’
‘Peonies are a big hit at Claridge’s,’ explains Paulina Kwiatkowska, McQueens shop manager manager at Claridge’s Hotel. ‘White peony is the most popular variety; they are the quintessential classic flower that everyone loves. We always get the most amazing comments from guests when they see them in our installations at Claridge’s – they are perfectly matched to Claridge’s art deco style.’