I picked peonies in the bud stage way back in May, stripped off the leaves, wrapped them individually in plastic wrap, then put them in the back of the refrigerator.
I peeked at them a few times to make sure they weren't growing mold or anything like that. They just smiled back at me. "We're fine, Carol, please close the refrigerator door, the light is rather bright you know."
Then Monday evening, I took them out of the refrigerator, re-cut the stems, and put them in vases of water. The next morning, I realized they had opened much faster than I anticipated based on a trial run I did with one flower a week or so ago.
In a near panic, because I needed the peonies to be perfect TODAY (Friday), not earlier in the week, I re-arranged the contents of my refrigerator so I could put all these vases of flowers back in there to keep them from opening any further.
Here they are combined into one vase, ready to be taken away to a special event this evening.
A special treat... peonies, in July.
Pictures of my trial flower from late June:
I was pleased with how the trial flower opened up and lasted for about five days, maybe longer, after I pulled it out of the refrigerator.
And the scent.
Just like you'd expect.