Bloomin’ ‘eck! British flower growers say chilly spring means UK should have quality crop of peonies
10 June 2021
While Brits may have bemoaned the chilly and rainy spring, it’s been great news for UK peony growers who say that a quality crop should be on the way within days.
The classic garden bloom has in recent years soared in popularity as a gifting flower with it becoming a highlight at weddings.
Over the last three years Tesco has seen demand rocket by nearly 100 per cent and their popularity has grown when in season during the spring and early summer.
In that time, UK production of the beautiful flower has grown threefold thanks to them becoming a modern day wedding staple.
Tesco flowers buyer Georgina Reid said:
“The emergence of the peony as a beautiful gifting flower has been nothing short of spectacular over the last few years and the word we’re hearing from growers is that this year’s crop will be great quality.
“The UK peony season is very short compared with other gifting flowers, lasting just over a month, so when they are in season they are extremely popular.”
Peonies have been grown in the UK for around 50 years but commercial production only really started about 15 years ago and is still increasing.
The main areas for UK production are the east of England with growers in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk as well as Hertfordshire.
Peonies are very much a spring flower and the UK season usually lasts about a month - from mid-May and into June.
Before the UK season starts they are imported from France and Italy.
Tesco’s main grower is Bury Lane, a family run flower farm based near Royston on the Hertfordshire/Cambridgeshire border.
Bury Lane managing director Will Clayton said:
“Peonies generally need a cold winter frost and chilly spring start which helps them recover from the previous year followed by lots of warmth to bring on growth.
“Over the last few years we’ve had very mild winters so this year it’s been pretty much perfect growing conditions for peonies.
“As a result of the cold and rainy start to spring the season is about three weeks behind so unusually the UK crop should be around until early July.”
Peonies cost £6 per bouquet of five stems. They will be available in nearly 800 Tesco stores across the UK. Tesco also sells peonies as garden plants in April and May.