Last Sunday, Mother's Day was celebrated in France. Peonies are beloved gifts and French peony growers often get a piece of the pie. This year however, this piece was a little smaller as the peony season ended a bit earlier. But French peony grower Richard Valentin of Valentin Fleurs is not disappointed at all. "Overall, we produced about 30-40 percent more peonies this season and for Mother's Day, we also supply cut chrysanthemums, cut anthuriums and lisianthus, which all received about 8 percent higher prices compared to last year during Mother's Day."

Peony fields at Valentin Fleurs.

French peonies popular
According to Valentin, the peonies are popular Mother's Day gifts in France. "The peony season usually ends around Mother's Day, which boosts the final sales for French peony growers", says Valentin of Valentin Fleurs. "Then there is a shift towards the Dutch peonies." Richard cultivates peonies in a 9000 square meter greenhouse and on 4ha open field and under tunnels. The flowers are mainly supplied to the French auction in Hyères and directly to the Netherlands.

Cut chrysanthemums at Valentin Fleurs.

Mother's Day supply
This year, however, the piece of the pie for French peony growers is a bit smaller as the season ended early. "We shipped out the last peonies around May 20, so we could only supply a small amount of peonies for Mother's Day." But Valentin is still satisfied with his Mother's Day sales. "Next to peonies, we also supply other cut flowers like chrysanthemums (in a 1.5 ha greenhouse), anthuriums (in a 4,500 square meter greenhouse) and some lisianthus (about 100,000 stems this year)." These flowers are supplied to the French auction and received about 8 percent higher prices this year during Mother's Day.

Good peony season
Valentin is also satisfied with the overall peony season. "We have had a quite cold winter which enabled us to produce about 30-40 percent more stems." This higher amount of stems resulted in a decrease of prices at the auction, but the increase of production was higher than this decrease. So, all in all, it's been a good season.

Anthurium cultivation at Valentin Fleurs.

Chrysanthemums for all All Saints' Day 2017
The busy times are over now and till September, it will remain quite calm. "In June we will supply a bit lisianthus and in September we will start to increase the number of chrysanthemums. These flowers are used heavily for All Saints' Day in France, which is being celebrated on November 1.

For more information
Valentin Fleurs
Richard Valentin