June 13, 2017

Peonies have become an extremely popular pick of flowers in Wellington. Blooming only in a New Zealand spring, these special flowers make the perfect bridal bouquet for a Spring wedding day! Picture-perfect and larger-than-life, let's take a look at the Peony's special place in history...

The Pretty History of the Peony 

The peony is a luxurious flower, thick and ruffled with countless layers. It’s place in history is equally so! The Chinese city of Luoyang is often called the City of Peony, and hosts the National Peony Garden and an annual peony festival.

It’s the unofficial national flower of China, and was even the official national flower, it’s blooms having filled the royal palaces for generations, until it was replaced by the undoubtedly less worthy plum tree in the nineteen twenties. Nonetheless, the royal associations have stuck, and the flower now represents prosperity, wealth, and power. It’s very name translates to ‘most beautiful.’

The Victorians however looked at the luxurious decadence of these innocent flowers, and were immediately embarrassed. They declared peonies to be the flower of shame and bashfulness and hid the lovely flowers away from sight, although they certainly didn’t stop growing them.

Fun flower fact: This bout of flower-shaming started with the ancient Greeks, who said that peonies were really naked nymphs. Legend claimed the nymphs delighted in prancing shamelessly through the forests, but would promptly turn into flowers whenever any nosy humans happened upon them.