The Peony bloom is an exceptional and fleeting moment caught in time. So perfect and memorable in the instant when the petals unfurl like the loveliest vintage party dress. These luscious coral blooms caught my eye at the florist and became the inspiration for this post. And so I’ve been reminiscing about all the beautiful peonies that used to grow in my garden.
Shortly after I bought my first house, my new neighbour told me about a yard they were going to rebuild on. She suggested I rescue the peonies lining the front pathway. Sure enough little red shoots we’re pushing through the dirt and so I dug out five beautiful healthy looking clumps from this abandoned yard.
A Flower of Tradition
Peonies are very long-lived and can live for a hundred years. It was totally worth my effort as I got many years of enjoyment out of those original clumps. I even dug them up and took them to my next house. They’re very garden worthy; and easy to grow in a completely organic manner. Even after blooming the foliage is handsome and somewhat shrubby in the garden. The large flowers are heavy and so it’s important to place the obligatory peony ring (metal support) in place before the shoots have gotten too high.
The anticipation builds from the moment the buds start to form. They get bigger and fatter and tend to burst open right as some heavy rain is eminent. Run out and clip a generous bunch as they open and bring a bouquet into the house to enjoy. Such beautiful petals in a ruff of overlapping deliciousness deserve to be admired up close!
While the doubles are probably the most recognizable form of the Peony, I’ve always been partial to the semi doubles myself because of the contrast of the beautiful stamens in the center. Peonies come in many lovely colours; butter yellows, white, many shades of pink through to crimson red. The bloom of a peony is one of those moments in the garden that is truly memorable. Just like the most special moments of our life; your first kiss, when your grandchild is born….the bloom of the Peony is fleeting but no less worthwhile.