Friday, June 7, 2013

Peonies

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.

42 comments:

  1. I particularly like the last picture, it has a French impressionist quality. Wish I had peonies, my front area has little direct sunlight, and not much room for more flowers though. My lilacs are in bloom today though.
    Cheers

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    1. My front yard is shaded by big old dogwoods, but the side gets lots of direct sun and is a good place for the peonies. My lilacs are done for the season, but I love them, too.

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  2. I agree with Mike - that last photo/flower is beautiful.

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  3. nice...easy to smell them just looking at them...reminds me of my great aunts house...she has plenty...the fully open one is very pretty....

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    1. They are an old-fashioned sort of flower.

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  4. They are blooming all over the neighborhood right now. I'm actually not find of the way they attract ants, but they do smell great

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  5. I have two peonies a pink one and a red one and if I ever move house they will be coming with me as my Dad gave them to me. Peonies are such beautiful flowers, so top heavy though we have to put a cage around the plants as soon as they get about 6" tall to help support them.

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    1. I meant to put a support cage up, and just forgot this year,

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  6. "Peonies! I had peonies! I absolutely adore these flowers. They are on the list of flowers-that-smell-too sweet-to-be-believed."

    HA! See...and yet another thing you and I have common, my Libra friend. I LOVE the look and smell of PEONIES!!!!!!

    Also, the pale pinks are my favorite color as well!

    Stunning photographs! I could actually SMELL them!

    Have a beautiful weekend!

    X

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    1. That's because you and I love ALL the sweet smelling flowers!

      Thanks! You, too.

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  7. move? you plan on moving?
    Good sights and smells in your yard.

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  8. Gorgeous...The flowers and garden alone might tempt me to stay...Enjoy your weekend.

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  9. Beautiful. I love them because they look like big bunches of ruffles.

    Flash 55 - Revenge by Chance

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  10. The peonies are so pretty. I've never had any myself but I remember a neighbor with them on the other side of the fence and I was very surprised by the ants! Have a great weekend.

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    1. The first time I saw ants on peonies, I was surprised, too.

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  11. I used to have peonies, I loved them, love the scent in the air and the colours....like you I would pick my doubles. Miss them terribly. They wouldn't grow here, my soil is so rocky.
    XO
    WWW

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    1. When I read this, lyrics from the anthem of this area (about moonshine) popped in my head:
      "Corn don't grow at all on Rocky Top
      dirt's too rocky by far.
      That's why all the folks on Rocky Top
      get their corn from a jar."

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  12. I haven't noticed them down here but neighbours had them in Minnesota...Wonder if they'd grow in FL? Gorgeous pics and colours!

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  13. I love my bushes and flowers like that, too :)

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  14. Peony buds cannot open without ants. I try to keep that in mind when they are crawling up my legs whenever I get near my peony bushes! I have white, pink and burgundy ones and they are truly lovely. Their blossom time is so fleeting, though!

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    1. That's actually a myth. I was told the same thing, but it turns out they are a benign presence. They're just there for the sugar, but the buds will open regardless. Still, they do no harm, so they're best left to forage.

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  15. Also a big fan of peonies, which grew in the backyard of my childhood home. Please do tell about "when I move"... Is that coming in the near future? Or is that a vague, one-day-in-my-life-I-may-move kind of thought?

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  16. Between their lush looks and intoxicating aroma, peonies always seem very luxurious to me.

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  17. Until now I had no idea what a peony looked like. So pretty!

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    1. I guess I grew up with them, because I had no trouble identifying them even though I'd never grown them before.

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  18. I'm not a big fan of flowers I'm afraid, I'm allergic to way too many of them. :(

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  19. oh i really like the double pale pinks too. so pretty. we have some of the bright pinks in the yard and for whatever reason the few whites we had don't bloom any more.

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    1. I have one that didn't bloom at all this year, and I'm not sure why.

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  20. i love the idea of your heaven. sounds great! the flowers are gorgeous. love the pale pink.
    i'd also have a special marbled room with a gentle heating system, scented by eucalyptus. basically a hammam :p

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    1. I'll take a hammock on the beach under palm trees!

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  21. I totally agree, peonies are such a gorgeous flower. I totally get your itch to move once the kids are out of the house.

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    1. I actually look forward to the idea of starting a new garden.

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