The first time I saw a picture of a peony, I feel in love with this gorgeous flower and it’s been a mad romance since that day. And this began with a mere picture of the flower. Never mind the fact that it was the middle of the summer. I knew not much about gardening, except that I had just caught the gardening bug. I purchased the peony roots and proceeded to plant them in the dead of the summer. Of course since peonies are to be planted in the fall, nothing came of those efforts, except a loss of money and a great lesson learned. RIF, reading is fundamental. Had I read the package, I would have known this was not the right time for planting peonies.
Someone famous once said, “I never saw a flower that I didn’t like”. Well, I have some friends who, let’s just say, they’re flower snobs. Most of their garden is filled with small, very rare, and delicate types. They don’t like peonies and consider them too big and showy. To each his own, I absolutely love them; to me they’re bodacious and beautiful. When they’re totally open, their texture reminds me of paper, kind of on the order of poppy flowers. And their transformation from that weird looking bud, to the show stopping, pink blossom, never ceases to amaze me.
Fast forward to today and I have been taking pics every year of my peonies, as if they were school pictures of my kids or something. This year I tried my best to get each stage of their development. But that’s a tricky task. This past Monday one of the peonies was barely open, just sort of peaking out. You could barely see it. Two hours later when I came outside to take a photo of it, it had totally opened up (it was 89 degrees). I couldn’t believe it! Imagine if I had had a video taping the entire opening, like a PBS nature show or something. It would have been phenomenal. But such is life. I missed that show.
I’ve been through this almost every year with my peonies. They will be locked up, closed tight, taking their sweet time to open and bloom. And then it’s like, BOOM, there’s a heat wave and they literally explode open. I would prefer a slow and steady opening, so as to drag out this fabulous show of nature. Because once they’re all the way open, the next stage is the petals dropping one by one, to the ground. It’s a beautiful experience regardless of the timing of the heat wave. And I am so blessed to have this enchanting experience year after year. Sweet peonies, my love, I’ll await your return again and again.
2009 peony show.