Peony Inspiration

Peonies Galore

My creationThe peonies are in full bloom this week and heavy rain is predicted for tonight. I thought the petals might be damaged with the rain, so I brought some of the peonies into the house to enjoy. I read about the meaning of the Peony:

The Peony flower is among the longest-used flowers in ornamental culture. It originated in China 4,000 years ago and often the subject of Chinese painting. It is a traditional floral symbol of China, where it is called (mu-dan). In 1903, the Qing Dynasty declared the peony as the national flower.

Peony Light

Is it any wonder that peonies have inspired so many designs over the years?

Peony inspiration

Or that we are amazed each season at the beauty of the peonies when they bloom?

Peony Delicate

Imagine the fashion designers seeing these peonies.

Peony Detail

I can only imagine the dancing images within in the mind of a fabric designer, as they walk through a garden of peonies.


People walk through gardens and stare at these wonderfully made flowers and never tire of their beauty.

My creation

Photographers capture the drama of the peony even in black and white.

Created with

Oh, I wonder did this inspiration lead to organza?


Were the great POP artists inspired to create peony inspiration?

My creation

Oh, the artists...

Created with

The dreamers...

Peony Surprises

The Designers...

peony design

The song writers...


I love to photograph the peonies.

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It used to be such a puzzle to me when I saw those big black ants crawling all over the peony bud. Until my art teacher explained that the ants help the peony to bloom.

peony puzzle

Were Stage performances inspired by peonies too?

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I wonder how many poets wrote sonnets to honor the peony or gave their beau a bouquet.

My creation

My creation

I wonder how many songs have been inspired by the peony.

My creation

And when the inspiration for design begins to stir the creative muse...

There's no telling...

Where it might lead to!

Little BallerinaI found this wonderful Chinese music, called Peony River, and placed the pitcher of peonies close by. When the creative muse was ready, I saw the image I wanted to create. I had printed some prints of my ballerina a few weeks back and took them to die cut into fancy-edged squares to glue to chip board in the same shape. So, I took a print of my Ballet dancer and added a skirt, which I cut out from one of my peony photographs.

closeup of peony photo skirt

Ballet Peony skirtThen I added some ribbon, and a large silk peony and ta dah.

peony inspiration rackPeony Inspiration

How beautiful the peony from bud to full bloom,
Unlike the rose which can proudly hold it's head steady boasting it's strength and beauty,
The weight of the peony’s blossom seems too much for it’s delicate stem to bear.

The peony leans instead, on the family of flowers which surround it,
each blossom cascades gently upon the other,
creating a bouquet of flowers,
a celebration of blessings,
an embrace for one another.

The song for this post is You're Beautiful by Kenny G.

Peony Inspiration

Hello Karen,

Oh peonies, my favorite!!! Originated in China and got famous in Europe...Wonderful beautiful to be painted.

Thank you so much for sharing these great photos on your blog!

~ Gabriela ~

Ms.Daisy said...

Karen, Thank you so much for stopping by my blog...

You have a lovely blog and the pictures of the peonies are just wonderful. Thanks again!


Treasure Barn said...

absolutely beautiful!

suesviews said...

My goodness, Karen, you have truly been inspired by your beautiful Peonies! :D I love your photographs, and everything you've done with them.
I hope you found the one I posted for you on Flickr ;)
Have a beautiful Sunday...
Blessings, always.
Suze xXx

Beverly said...

The beauty of the peony could be an inspiration for all things soft, lovely and magical.

They are definitely one of God's most breathtaking creations.

And, you have captured it and offered it as a gift to us today. Thank you.

Mya said...

What a beautiful and creative post. I love peonies. They are my fav flower. I miss my garden of peonies from my past home. Your project was fantastic. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Sherry/Cherie said...

What a delight -- spending my sunny Sunday morning looking at beautiful peonies..something I do not have in my garden but always think of doing. Perhaps just a little inspiration here!!!

Have you read Lisa See's book? It's called "Peony in Love" and is set in China.

Mo..."Mo's Cottage" said...

"Fabulous" pictures.....I really enjoyed your work.....and I love peoines. There is something so calming about them...
Mo :-)

Susan said...

Very beautiful post! Thanks for coming by for a visit. You always inspire me.

Hugs, Susan

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

Oh Karen! Your photos are just beautiful! Did I ever ask you what kind of camera you use?

I love your inspiration piece. It is lovely....

Kari & Kijsa said...

Delightful photos, text, inspiration!!! the peonies are absolutely stunning!!! Their luscious blooms are almost unbelievable!
Happy Father's Day!

kari & kijsa

Alison Gibbs said...

Karen your peony photos are beautiful. Such pretty colours.

Mary Isabella said...

Peonies has a very special place in my heart. My Grandmother had several bushes in white, pink and dark pink in our yard. Each year I go to my Mother's and pick some to place on her grave. She was so special to me and she died in my arms when I was 16 years old. I was with her and she woke me during the night. She had a massive heart attack. She went home to be with her Lord on Holy Saturday. I can only image what a special Easter Sunday she had. Your pictures and all of the creations are stunning....Hugs ...Mary

celestina marie said...

Hi Karen, I have missed stopping by this week. I have been so busy, but taking the time to visit tonight is such an inspirtation. My mother used to grow the most gorgeous pink peonies in her garden. I was always fasinated with the ants too. But she also told me why.
Yours are just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing and making me think of a sweet memory.
la rea rose

donnasintheattic said...

Peonies is my favorite flower! Your photos are absolutely beautiful!

Loved your post!


Mary said...


You peony photographs are simply beautiful. I can imagine that peonies have inspired all types of fabric designs and I could see the organza in that lovely peach bloom.

Thanks so much for sharing and also for dropping by my Writing Nook to leave a comment. I certainly enjoyed my visit.


Linda said...

Hi Karen,
Beautiful Peonies, I love the colour so soft and girlie.
Cheers Linda


What a beautiful post. And the music too!!! So very relaxing!!
I had to look at it all several times to take it all in!!

SweetAnnee said...

Absolutely lovely
the beauty of a peonie!!

Teri C said...

Karen, what an amazing post! So full of beauty and information. Thank you for sharing it all. Peonies bring back such wonderful memories to me.

windy angels said...

What a wonderful way to start my day when I am preparing to depart on my little retreat.
Angels be with you

Kathleen Grace said...

What beautiful photos, I love peony season. If roses have rivals I think they would be peonies!

Bunny B said...

Thoae are amazing photos!! I never realized how beautiful peonies were!! Thank you SO much for sharing :)

Charlie McGee said...

Beautiful. Beautiful. Did I mention Beautiful?

Cindy@Cutepinkstuff said...

I love peonies! Wish I could grow them here in the heat of S. California! Beautiful photos!