Peonies are named after the Greek mythical figure Paeon (who was doctor to the gods) leading Pliny the Elder, writing in around 79AD in his book ‘Natural History’, to describe them as “the most ancient plant of all”. They are one of the most versatile plants too, with the seeds being used as a spice in meat dishes whilst the roots have been used for medicinal purposes. It has been noted that they are symbolic of financial prosperity and are given as tokens of good luck. They can overpower a bouquet, and so often are used in moderation, as in this summer bouquet, but they are so intricate and beautiful that they often steal the show. Whilst there are over 3,000 varieties of peonies they can be split into different types - the single, the Japanese/anemone, the semi-double, the double and the bomb. The latter two are distinguished by the multiple petals that seem to keep on opening until you often have a real ball of petals on your hands with the middle ‘crown’ covered up completely. These often overshadow other flowers in a bouquet and so it is often the case that semi-doubles are used - these have a number of different rows of petals but retain the centre which is often a bright yellow (as here). They are guaranteed to make your bouquet extra special!