When I moved in to this house, one of the first things I did when Spring rolled around was start tearing out all the weeds and the plants I didn't like or which had been poorly placed. There was a small stalk that shot up and I nearly yanked it, too, assuming it was a weed. But something stayed my hand - somehow it just seemed like something important. Not long afterwards, I found small round buds being tended by ants. Peonies! I had peonies! I absolutely adore these flowers. They are on the list of flowers-that-smell-too sweet-to-be-believed. If I were going to design a heaven it would be scented with peonies, lilacs, gardenias, camellias, honeysuckle, and lilies of the valley.
The buds have a sticky sugar coating and the ants are quick to find them and feast. I liked to see them out there busily gathering up their treasure while it lasts.
There were two other peony plants elsewhere in the yard and I dug them up and planted them all in the same bed. This one is a single bloom variety, the one above it double. I like the cheery center.
The third one only gets a bloom or two each year, in a deep crimson.
My favorites are the pale pink, double blooms. They are so heavy the cause they plant to bend to the ground. But they make gorgeous cut flowers in a small vase or floating in a bowl of water. When I move, I might just dig up this one and take it with me.