The last peonies of the season have been cut at Dictus Flowers. The Dutch family company added the flowers to its range a few years ago and is seeing the market grow year after year. "It's an emotional flower," says Mirjan Dictus.
In floriography, peonies are known as the flower of riches and honor. It's a very popular wedding flower and their are regarded as an omen of a happy marriage.
Flower with feeling
"Harvesting peonies involves a lot. You have to cut the flowers at the right time, otherwise, the flower will not bloom. That means going through the field regularly, sometimes even several times a day," says Mirjan. Together with her husband Ronald, she runs Boomkwekerij Ronald Dictus. A few years ago they decided to add peonies to the assortment of shrubs, forest, and hedge plants. This allows them to better distribute the workload over the year. Moreover, they see further growth opportunities for the peony.
"Peonies are a seasonal product and are many people's favorite flower. The lush blooms and diverse colors make it a seasonal product that they really look forward to. That's why we also put a lot of emphasis on quality: you want to be sure that the flower comes to bloom and that it stays with the consumer for a long time. We want the consumer to keep feeling positive about the peony."
By growing different varieties, Dictus Flowers offers a diverse color palette: salmon-orange, pink and white. Not to mention the magic ball, which turns from deep pink to salmon.
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This season certainly offered challenges. The cold spring in particular made it tense at the start. "Mother's Day is normally an important holiday, which we unfortunately missed. After that, things got better," she says. "As soon as the sun starts shining, the pink glow appears and we have plenty of fresh produce. That was from mid-May onwards."
Sales are partly through the auction and partly through the farm's own vending machine. Under the own brand Dictus Flowers, peony and mixed bouquets are offered there. "Also in home sales, we notice that the appreciation for the flower is high. We get many positive responses on our social media and we see it in the sales at our flower machine. Our nursery is located in Achtmaal, in the municipality of Zundert in the South of Netherlands, and we are not exactly on the main road here. We notice that people really make a detour for our peonies. That's a nice compliment."