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Picnic with peonies. (Easy Arrangement).

There's nothing more evocative of summer than a generous handful of the season's first cherries, especially when paired with cream-colored peonies. We used 'Rainier' cherries with fragrant 'Festiva Maxima' peonies, but you can use any combination of cherries and peonies, such as deeper pink peonies with shiny, dark red 'Bing' cherries. If you don't have any cherry trees in your neighborhood, get chummy with a grower at a farmers' market.

1 Immerse the cherry and peony stems in a bucket of water, and cut their stems on a diagonal. Gut the peonies to slightly different lengths of 14--18 inches, depending on the height of your jar. Remove any foliage that will fall below the vase's waterline.

2 Arrange the cherry branches in an upside-down triangle shape in the glass jar, crisscrossing at the bottom to make a structure that will help hold the peonies in place.

3 Tuck in the peonies among the branches, allowing fruit and leaves to peek through the petals.

RELATED ARTICLE: WHAT YOU'LL NEED

4 or 5 18-inch-long cherry branches with leaves and fruit attached

6 or 7 stems peonies pruning shears

8- to 10-inch-tall wide-mouthed glass jar (one for canning fruit works great)
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Title Annotation:related article: What you'll need
Author:Chezar, Ariella
Publication:Sunset
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2003
Words:198
Previous Article:Flippers and fins. (Best of the West).
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