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With Peonies, winter means everything

December 10, 2009

In the cooler seasons throughout the Northern Hemisphere, festivals are held to celebrate summer harvests or remember traditions or history. Women — and men — lay their tables with fine china, and crystal, brine and bake turkey and conjure up rich fancy desserts.

Wreaths are hung, pumpkins are displayed and vases are filled with seasonal flowers and foliage. Slowly the air fills with a mix of floral scents and cooking aromas, smells that can’t be replicated any other time of the year, no matter how hard you try.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in the Southern Hemisphere, spring means a busy harvest for producers that grow a special type of bloom that fill the vases, that sit on peoples tables and mantels on the opposite side of the world — Peonies.

by Cate

During the spring in the South Island’s cool Central Otago region of New Zealand, thousands of Peony buds are preened to perfection and flown to various markets in the Northern Hemisphere including America and Asia. The Peony’s reputation as a cut flower is big, being high sought after for its shapes, colours and lack of thorns. A true rose.

by Cate

The cut flower market in New Zealand is not big compared with warmer countries mainly because of its location and climate. Being a special kind of flower and holding royal status, the Peony enjoys the extreme conditions found in Central Otago and also in cold areas of the North Island.

Including my family’s back garden.

by Cate

For avid photographers and flower enthusiasts, the Peony Gardens located the Queenstown Lake Hayes area is open to visitors during the months of November and December and worth a visit. Check out this link here: The Peony Gardens

by Cate

Winter has it’s benefits even if it’s half way around the world.

Caffeinated Traveller

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9 Comments
  1. December 11, 2009 9:58 am

    I am curious that you tag the post as “New Zealand-100% pure” .

  2. December 11, 2009 6:43 pm

    They are such beautiful flowers – Perhaps you have Peony Gardens like we have Rose Gardens in England – here Peonies epitomise an English country garden in summer.

  3. Carolina permalink
    December 12, 2009 12:05 pm

    I love peonies but here in California they are hard to grow, except for the foggier coast. Thanks for this mini spring break, from the cold side of the world.

  4. Bear permalink
    December 14, 2009 8:46 pm

    They are beautiful and had no idea they existed — thanks 🙂

  5. December 14, 2009 9:39 pm

    Rainfield – it’s a secret and I can tell you but then …..

    Heather – I guess so, although NZ has rose gardens as well. I’m not sure how Peonies came to feature in NZ. Something for me to research.

    Carolina – you are welcome. I know the feeling living where it is too warm.

    Bear – you have just learnt about a new type of flower. Quite photogenic aren’t they?

  6. December 15, 2009 12:17 pm

    Beautiful pictures of Peonies – such vibrant colours!

    My experience of New Zealand is that the landscape’s pretty much like Scandinavia actually, which I found quaint, but then again not, because the two regions are quite extreme in their locations, both being near the poles!

    Enjoy your NZ stay!

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    Cheryl

    • December 16, 2009 6:39 pm

      Right back at you Cheryl!!! I can imagine how Christmas is in Sweden very different to NZ.

  7. May 25, 2010 9:35 pm

    New Zealand & Peonies. WOW! Great pictures. I live in Wasghinton STate, USA and I grow peonies. I can attest to the fact, that when peonies are in bloom, it is heaven!

    • May 26, 2010 5:17 pm

      Oh I envy you! I would love to be somewhere cool so I can enjoy these gorgeous flowers. If I can make it up your way I would love to come and visit when the flowers are in bloom. Thanks for your comment. Cate

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