Our Peony of the Month for February is “Lovely Rose”
Billy, The Peony Man, selected “Lovely Rose” for its wonderful colours and unique shape, similar to a rose. We all agreed and were very excited about the opportunities in the home and garden for this very special Peony.
Join us in our "Peony of the Month Chat Show" to find out all you can do with it.
The Story of “Lovely Rose”
"Lovely Rose" is a semi-double peony - it means that she has more than one row of petals. She belongs to herbaceous peonies - peonies that grow on green, long stems and die back in the autumn.
"Lovely Rose" has beautiful petals - soft, warm, creamy, salmon pink - with the yellow centre, in big, easily-flowering blossoms surrounded by medium-green leaves. Her stems are strong, sturdy and straight - which is rare for herbaceous peonies - able to withstand bad weather conditions.
She blooms relatively early in the year - in the late spring and early summer. She will flower for 7-10 days so make sure to appreciate that fleeting beauty.
All in all, standing tall with colourful, large flower heads, she is a wonderful addition to a garden!
Why we chose her
We have picked her because she is a perfect match for festive, love-filled February! She is our flower of choice for a beautiful gift, especially around Valentine's Day - an original alternative to commonly-chosen roses with creamy, silky, soft petals.
Apart from that, like her predecessor "Hillary Itoh", she's also a prize winner - in 2009, she received the Award of Landscape Merit from the American Peony Society. It's a prestigious award bestowed on peonies that have superior ornamental value and great performance throughout the growing season.
"Lovely Rose" in Your Garden
When designing the part of the garden with "Lovely Rose", it's important to consider the colour palette. One of the choices is to go with a pastel colour scheme and use flowers that have similar colours to the warm-pink peony petals.
The second option - recommended by Binny Plants - is to create an exciting and refreshing contrast by using darker colours to pair with "Lovely Rose". There chose two perennials to complement our peony.
The first one is Nepeta grandiflora 'Bramdean'. It's a stunning catmint that has dark blue flower spikes on very dark stems. It loves full sun and will flower at the same time as our peony.
Because this particular nepeta has such rich dark flowers and stems, it really adds to the richness of warm salmon-pink petals of "Lovely Rose". Also, growing growing from a central clump, it wont interfere with the crown of peony as both plants begin to grow in the spring.
The second choice is Melica altissima alba - an elegant early-season grass whose soft lime green leaves will add a subtle frame to herbaceous "Lovely Rose". It will mix and mingle between the nepeta and the peony, giving a soft, natural look.
The white beads of the flower heads will nod and sprinkle, adding a see-through veil spreading between the nepeta and the peony. Both of these perennials will continue to add interest after the peony has finished, but wont out-compete "Lovely Rose" as it peaks in early June.
"Lovely Rose" in Your Home
With the weather still a bit cold, we remain to spend much of our time at home and look forward to spring. We cherish the warmth and cosiness we feel during the love-filled February.
Jens wanted to convey a little bit of that cosy feeling into his proposition of a floral construction with "Lovely Rose". He used familiar cabbage leaves and elevated them to a beautiful floral arrangement in which the peonies are put in a comforting embrace. Such a construction can be put directly on a table or in a vase. Alternatively, cabbage could be substituted for another leafy plant like lettuce.
Botanical Art on the Wall
All peonies from the Peony of the Month collection will be painted by Siyuan Ren and turned into a limited edition series. There will be only 35 prints available of each peony. Each piece will be numbered and signed.
Click here to view the "Lovely Rose" print in the store.