Sunday, May 22, 2016

Please pass the peonies

There was a time in my life where I wasn't keen on peonies, at least not inside the house. Every time I picked one to use in a bouquet, an earwig (or two or three) would arrive with it. Earwigs are insects that give me the crawlies. But I guess I have something in common with them. If earwigs could talk, we might both say the same thing: What's not to like about peonies?

I love how peonies start out as round tight buds, not even hinting at the glory that will burst forth when they reach full bloom. They remind me of children--you can't tell what they're going to be like when they're little. You have to wait and see.

Peonies introduce fragrance and color into the garden and when brought indoors defy visitors and unobservant inhabitants to ignore them. A person simply cannot walk into a room with a vase filled with peonies in full bloom and not remark on them.
Photo  by Katie Sullivan Remley
used by permission

Many years ago, a favorite coworker married a young woman who was a serious photography student. When Micah told me that some of Katie's photos had been accepted into a juried art show, I was impressed and made a point of attending the exhibit to demonstrate my support for her hard work and talent. I fell in love with her photo of a peony and purchased it for our home where it's been hanging ever since. I don't know if Katie Remley is still photographing flowers, but I do see the amazing photos she takes of her two growing sons every year in her family's Christmas card.

My one and only
big vase--in use for more
than fifty years already!
As I was snipping the ends of a half-dozen tightly closed buds I bought today at my local farmers' market, I stopped to study the vase I was using. Received by Jay and me as a wedding present in 1962, it is the only large vase I own (except for a few florist freebies).  It's a great size and shape, but I rarely think about its enameled design.

Today, I couldn't help but notice the design. No wonder I like it!

The flower-grower at the farmers' market told me today's peonies could be the last of the season because of our early spring and the heavy rains of the past several days. The best thing about peonies is that they'll be back again next year and every bit as spectacular as they are this year.

Meanwhile, breathe in. Imagine a spring evening where the light is fading and a beautiful fragrance fills the air. What a wondrous gift.

No comments: