Blushing with Pleasure for Peony Season

Known since Antiquity for its medicinal, ornamental and cosmetic properties, venerated in China as the “king of flowers,” the Peony sends gardeners wild. For over 150 years, the Maison Rivière has cultivated these wonderous blossoms in countless variations…
By Sarah Carrière-Chardon

The story begins in 1848, in Caluire in the Rhône region. The appropriately named Fleury Jean-Baptiste Gabriel Ruitton and his son François launch the first cultivation of herbaceous Peonies. His son-in-law Benoit Rivière contributes by introducing tree Peonies. Sixty years later, in 1908, the garden catalog counts more than 400 varieties, which take Monsieur Rivière to Paris, London and Turin, where he wins numerous prizes that establish the company’s reputation among notable European nurseries. Since then, each generation has left its mark, one bringing back rare plant varieties from Switzerland and Japan, another perfecting flowering techniques…

In 1990 Jean-Luc Rivière, sixth generation, established the Crest garden site at the crossroads of the Rhône, Dauphiné, Vercors and Provence regions – which is dedicated exclusively to the beautiful peony.

The Peony takes its name from the Greek god Paean, mentioned in the Linear B inscribed clay tablets found in Knossos (Crete), for having contributed to curing Ares and Hades of their wounds. This peony was also used by Hippocrates to treat female illnesses. Another version of the legend recounts that a nymph called Paeonia was transformed into “a flower with a thousand petals” by the jealousy of a goddess.

You will find hints of green freshness in the aroma of this legendary flower, featured in the Peony range of products by L'OCCITANE. Certain varieties of this remarkable plant also boast medicinal and ornamental properties.

In Crest, there are 650 peony varieties as far as the eye can see. Will you fall for the dramatic Sarah Bernhard - the absolute best-seller, or for the plump Festiva Maxima, or the minimal and radiant Neon? All the Peonies are cultivated, weeded, and pampered on site, until the time it takes for them to reach complete maturity. According to traditional methods of division and grafting, the plant will be delivered to you after between three and seven days, depending on the variety. From April 15 to June 1, the Maison Rivière opens its doors so that you can choose your flowers straight from the bush. And if the current selection is not enough, you can always follow the creation of new flowers!

Pivoines Rivière
La Plaine
26400 Crest

Blushing with Pleasure for Peony Season
Pivoines Rivière, Drôme
Photography Pivoines Rivière

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