The Seasonal Flowers To Buy & Style Now

When it comes to flowers, it tends to be best to choose what’s in season. And right now, peonies, roses, sweet peas and tulips are the blooms to buy. To find out how to get the most out of early summer’s floral offerings, we spoke to some of the industry’s leading florists. Here’s what they advise…


“English grown Peonies appear in mid-May with Coral Charm leading the way. Next come ruby red and burgundy giants such as Red Charm with the ever-popular Sarah Bernhardt (which is pale pink and cloud-like). Mother’s Choice, the softest, most billowy blush pink peony is a personal favourite, as is the damp, earthy fragrance from the creamy white Duchess Nemours.” – Sue Barnes, founder of Lavender Green Flowers 

“Peonies are definitely one of this season’s hero flowers – you’ll be hard pushed to find anyone that doesn’t love at least one variety. They look amazing on their own or paired with some fresh eucalyptus. There are so colours to get oyur hands on at this time of year, but apersonal favourite would have to be a Coral Charm.” – Liz Parker and Josh Murray-Webster, florists at FLWR 

“With their large, sculptural flower heads, in my opinion, peonies are best displayed on their own, in abundance, in a vase – plus, they’re the perfect gift for anyone who’s getting married, celebrating a birthday or in need of cheering up.” – Larry Walshe, florist at Bloom   


“Peonies look great styled in bud vases down the centre of a table for an early summer dinner party. Alternatively, group them in bunches of ten stems in a medium-sized vase and watch them erupt into a colourful explosion. No matter how you use them, their beauty and scent are intoxicating.” – Whitney Bromberg Hawkings, co-founder & CEO at Flowerbx

“Peonies are usually sent in bud, so they won’t look like much to begin with. After a few days in water though, they’ll open up to reveal their impressive flowers. If yours are struggling to open, rinse the flower with the head pointing down under warm water, as sometimes sticky sap can be the problem. You can also recut the stems and place them in warmer water for 24 hours.” – Becca Armstrong-Benson, florist at Appleyard London


“Another seasonal bloom at this time of year are roses, which bloom in June in the UK. They’re classics for a reason, and work well in several different bouquets, whether as the focal point, or to complement showier stems. We love lavender roses, such as Memory Lane and Nightingale, which have a delicate, vintage colour. They look stunning paired with summery pinks and creams. For a more vibrant look, the Miss Piggy Rose is a great choice. Its blooms are two-toned, with a bright orange centre, which fades out to a coral pink on the outer petals.” – Becca


“Known as the national flower of England, roses are a year-round choice – mainly because they’re such large flowers which fill the room with colour. They make the perfect gift, too, and our personal favourite from those which are currently available has to be the Vuvuzela Rose –they have a garden-like quality and come in the most sensational colour.” – Larry

Sweet Peas

“Sweet peas are coming into their own now, and we can’t get enough of them. They can add some frilly texture to a bouquet and come in so many different colours. We love a bunch of them in a simple glass vase or separated into smaller bunches and popped into some bud vases.


“As well as looking beautiful on their own, sweet peas smell amazing and can fill a sroom with a really lovely scent. One of our favourites would have to be the Brownie Sweet Pea – if you can get your hands on them, they have such a unique colour. 

“The good news is sweet peas are quite easy to look after. Just trim the stems by about an inch and pop them in room temperature water. To prolong their life, change the water every other day.” – Liz and Josh


“Still very much in bloom, tulips are a wonderful addition. Available in a rainbow of colours, they’re the perfect choice for a quick gift – especially if you want to lift someone’s spirits. Our personal favourite is the Cotton Candy Pink Fringed Tulip – they’re slightly unusual and really pretty. Because they’re a short-stemmed flower, tulips are best displayed in a low vase.


“Different to their Dutch counterparts, French tulips come with long stems that make for a more expressive arrangement. My favourite is the Orange French Tulip which, when displayed en masse, provides an incredible amount of colour and joy. If you want a unique, picture-perfect flower, these are the ones to choose. Tall-stemmed flowers are best displayed in a tall vase, too.” – Larry


“Spirea is a beautiful branch with small, blossom-like flowers. It’s a great filler, but also a really lovely stem on its own. Spirea comes into bloom during mid-to-late spring and is a lovely centrepiece in a simple hurricane vase. Alternatively, they work well in a Japanese kenzan – in other words, styled in a low bowl to create a more minimal design.


“Our favourite is the Snow White variety due to the heavy clusters of white blossom and naturally arched stems. It takes little to no looking after and just needs a quick trim (around an inch) before being put into some fresh water. Once the flowers have dropped, you will be left with delicate branches to work with, which will last for weeks, and even months, to come.” – Liz and Josh

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