Pick the Perfect Flowers for a New Mom

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Peonies are the perfect way to celebrate a mother’s first tender days with a new baby and help soothe them both during those challenging first nights.  Just a few stems of these large, sweet-scented blooms fill a room with softness and light that are sure to put a smile on her face, no matter what the hour.

Harbingers of summer, these late-spring bloomers are at their prime in April-June and come in a variety of colors from white to deep magenta.  Native to Asia, these lovely blooms begin as perfectly round buds that open up into hundreds of whisper-soft petals that have a subtle scent.  While fragrant, the smell is lighter than lilies and sweeter than roses, making them perfect for new moms who might have a heightened sense of smell.  Paired with a few sprigs of eucalyptus, this bouquet is soothing on both the eyes and nose.

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Peonies are named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing, who was said to have received it from the mother of Apollo.  In other mythology, mischievous nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the Peony, peeking out from time to time, giving it the meaning of Bashfulness in the Language of Flowers.

Cultivated for hundreds of years in Asia, the peony has special meaning in China where it is frequently found in art and rich in symbolism.  Its common name there translates to “flower of riches and honor” and its root was often used in traditional medicine.

With their size and texture, peonies do well in vases on their own or mixed with flowering, spring branches such as cherry blossoms.  Place them along with gentle sweet peas in a short vase or elegant irises in taller arrangements.

While these large blooms have a scent that lingers, the blossoms themselves go by quickly and, much like childhood, should be appreciated every moment.

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