Vibrant Peony Painting by Artist Tandy Pengelly

Peonies date back to 1000 BC, a staggering 4000 years ago! They first appeared in Chinese gardens and reached Japan, which is now a major player in producing peonies, by the 8th century. The peony flower was mainly used as a medicine to treat things like headaches and asthma or even to relieve childbirth pain.

They were brought over to Europe in the late 1800s.  And used for gardens right away all over Europe, North America and beyond!

There are actually a couple of theories on how peonies got their name. One comes from Greek Mythology where Paeon extracted a milky liquid from the peony root and cured Pluto. This caused the green monster to rear its ugly head in the god of medicine. Zeus ended up saving Paeon by turning him guessed it...the peony flower.

The second story on how the peony got its name comes from another Greek myth. This time, Apollo was caught being a bit naughty and flirting with a nymph named Paeonia, behind Aphrodite’s back. Of course, Aphrodite got a little bit upset by this and turned the nymph into a peony.

55cm by 65cm Acrylic/Mixed Media

Cotton Stretched Canvas

Varnished and framed in a neutral wooden frame


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