Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Pretty, Pretty Peonies

By Amanda Rainey, May 18, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Amanda Rainey
When it comes to celebrating the pastoral perfection of the early summer blooms, peonies often herald the warmer months’ arrival. As any flower grower will tell you, these highly sought after treasures enjoy a brief yet spectacular season. Typically starting in the last week of April to the first week of May (depending on when Mother Nature makes the call), peonies make their final appearance by mid to late June. With their lush petals, light fragrance and sense of rustic luxury, these blossoms have cemented their place in the hearts of brides, moms and floral devotees everywhere! One of our partners in bringing these splendid blooms to you is the Van Staalduinen family at The Terra Ceia Farms. In 1938, Leendert Van Staalduinen left Holland with his wife, Cornelia, and their ten children. After a five-year stay in Ontario, Canada due to war-time immigration policies, their paperwork was finally in order and in 1943, the family arrived in Pantego where they established The Terra Ceia Farms. This part of North Carolina was originally known as dense swampland and literally translates as “heavenly earth” — all that decaying organic matter made for ideal growing conditions. Now in the hands of the 3rd generation, brothers Carl, Mark and Casey Van Staalduinen have watched their family business grow to include 1250 acres devoted to row crops, and 250 acres devoted to cut flowers and nursery bulbs. Our friends in the peony business aren’t just on the east coast but spread throughout the United States — Van der Salm Bulb Farms located in Woodland, Washington; Holland America Flowers in Nimpo, California; and Star Valley Farms in Madison, Wisconsin, just to name a few. Each farm, regardless of location, takes great care to ensure that their peonies are packed with their customers’ enjoyment in mind. There is still time to take pleasure in the fleeting beauty of spring… but it won’t be long before the heat of summer comes calling, and more sturdy (though no less beautiful) flowers take their place in the limelight!
Category: Floral




Margo says ...
Aren't peonies wonderful? It is fun to know more about your growers and suppliers. Hooray for the beauty of Spring flowers!
05/18/2010 4:08:03 PM CDT
Mary http://www.mygreendiet.com says ...
Thank you Whole Foods. These are my favorite flowers, they make my heart happy.
05/18/2010 4:53:06 PM CDT
Dottie says ...
Peonies are my favorite flower, thanks for this info. I live only a block away from a Whole Foods in Chicago. I should pick some up the next time I'm there :)
05/18/2010 9:47:16 PM CDT
Mary says ...
Peonies are one of my favorite flowers. They remind me of my grandmother. She had both peonies and hydrangea flowers growing in her backyard.
05/19/2010 8:34:22 PM CDT
Debbie Jones says ...
Do peonies grow better in cool weather than in warm? Not sure what makes me think it is a flowering plant that is more successful in the Northern States than the Southern.
05/19/2010 10:40:56 PM CDT
derf says ...
If you grow peonies and want to keep them from falling over when they bloom, try cutting sticks in the woods to use for supporting your peonies. Cut 1/2 wide hardwood sticks (beech works well) about 2 1/2 ft high and look for branches that have a natural Y shape to them. Place the sticks about 6 inches into the ground close to your peonies with the Y facing up. The stick and the Y shape provide great support and are nearly invisible from a distance. Use 3-4 sticks per peony. Works great ! for other cool ideas, check out http://www.wheretogoandwhatodo.blogspot.com.
05/23/2010 3:09:40 PM CDT
Ashley says ...
I inherited a peony bush from my mother in law when my husband and I bought his childhood home from his parents about 5 years ago, and I absolutely adore them...the beauty of the flower compares to no other, and I so wish they would last longer ;) mine blooms a gorgeous baby pink, and I'd like to plant another, maybe darker pink bloom to fill out some arrangements...I need to pick up a bouquet next time I'm at Whole Foods.
06/02/2010 9:56:11 PM CDT
Deb says ...
I bought peonies at the Milwaukee Whole Foods store last Friday. They still look gorgeous. Pick the ones that are still buds. They will open fast and last longer. Check the water once or twice a day. They really suck a lot up their into their thick stems. Peonies and Lilies of the Valley always remind me of my mother and grandmother. We always had them in the garden and house when I was growing up. Boerner Botanical Gardens is full of them right now, so I was really thrilled when I saw them at Whole Foods (minus the usual ants.) Thanks Whole Foods!
06/03/2010 5:51:56 AM CDT
Louise says ...
Where can I find peony plants to plant? I live in the Allen/McKinney area. Thanks!
06/03/2010 12:19:13 PM CDT
Linda Malone says ...
You have a lovely floral selection. I live in Denver and I am always pleased with the variety and quality you carry.
06/06/2010 11:49:03 AM CDT
Julia says ...
Do these growers use pesticides? Those sold I'm Lynnwood, WA. Thanks.
06/07/2013 8:23:50 PM CDT
Alaina Kipko says ...
Hello, I was wondering when you will be getting peonies in the store. I wanted to order some for my wedding for next saturday and would like to know asap thank you!!! Orlando, Florida
06/18/2014 2:10:02 PM CDT
Julie S. says ...
I'm looking to see if you will have peonies available or if I may pre-order them from you for the end of October. I understand they are out of season but I am also aware that they may be imported from other continents. I'm not sure if you do that so please let me know. Thank you for your time.
10/08/2014 2:53:45 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@JULIE - I would suggest calling your local store directly to see what they have in stock. They might be able to special order the peonies for you but I would call as soon as possible in case it takes a couple months to receive.
10/08/2014 5:26:05 PM CDT
Maxine Redmond says ...
Hi. I shop at Whole Foods regularly, and love the flower selection and the knowledgeable staff who can help me. My daughter receives her Masters degree on May 16th. Peonies are her favorite flower, but we can never find them. Would Whole Foods (I live in Newton) be able to make me an arrangement in a vessel/basket etc for this occasion? Thanks, Maxine
04/21/2015 12:06:54 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@MAXINE - I'm sure the Newton store would love to help. All special orders are handled by the store. We have a couple stores in Newton so it's best to reach out to the store where you plan to shop to place your order. Just give them a call and they'll be happy to help!
04/21/2015 12:58:33 PM CDT