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how to arrange peonies

I assume you’ve seen a barrage of peony phones across the internet in the past few weeks and I, friends, am certainly not missing out on the fun.  Although a tad late this year, it seems that it’s the height of bloom for these beauties.  Matt and I went hiking last weekend and I think I exclaimed, “AH – look at their peonies” upwards of seventeen times during our drive two hours south to the trails. I’m sure that didn’t get old.

Regardless, I helped myself to some of these ‘cherry bomb’ peonies from the flower market this weekend and at $5/stem (oof!) I only bought three.  I wanted to share with you guys my tricks for arranging large blooms like this when you only have a couple.  It’s underwhelming when you bring these beauties home, stick them in a vase, and then they look lonely.  That certainly doesn’t have to be the case.

If you follow @earnesthomeco on the app Periscope, you might have seen the video that I posted of this arrangement last friday!  If you missed it, download Periscope where I share some DIYs while I’m actually doing them in real time!

First things first – the vase.  Most people are temped to throw big blooms into a big vase and then they flop to the edges of said big vase and look lonely and underwhelming.  Let’s not do that.  For larger, fewer stems, use something with a narrow opening, but enough room below the opening for the stems to come in at an angle and not stick straight up and down.

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Next, the greens.  I think every arrangement should have greens, but with only a three stems, I don’t want to overwhelm them with too much green.  For that reason, I followed the same pattern as the flowers and went with a very large monstera leaf and just a couple accent sprigs.  The giant scale of the monstera leaf adds a lot of green, but not a lot of excess fluff.  These are also my favorite for just leaving in a vase alone, but we’re going to go the extra mile here and add some flowers.

When adding the flowers, think about how an actual flowering bush arranges it’s blooms.  When you see a stem with multiple blooms, typically, larger blooms grow closer to the bottom with the tip/edges of the plant having smaller buds.  I want to mirror the same thing in an arrangement so that it looks natural.  A plant doesn’t have all of it’s blossoms at an equal distance apart, so creating a natural and wild looking arrangement shouldn’t either.

To do this, start with your largest flower closest to the opening of the vase, then stagger the blooms upwards in a kind of zig-zag with the smallest flower at the top.  If you have three stems like me, they’ll form an irregular triangle.

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After the flowers are in place, I added just a couple of smaller pieces of greenery to fill in some of the gaps between the flowers and to provide a little texture.  Speaking of texture, I also added this crazy pod seed thing just because I liked it and I thought it was nice with the tropical vibe of the deep red peonies and giant monstera leaf.

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I think the mixture of a classic flower like the peony with the tropical greens makes the arrangement feel summery and unique!  Don’t you?

Ok, I’d like to hear from you!  What’s the hardest part for you of picking up a few beautiful stems from the store and then arranging them at home?

Want more floral arrangement tutorials?  See them all here!

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  • Gah! You are SO talented! Marc got me a TON of peonies a few weeks ago and I struggled to make them look good… these are gorgeous!! Congrats on the 28 weeks, mama! xoxo

  • Beautiful!