Is there a flower more beautiful than a peony? Hydrangeas are up there with them. So are roses, lavender, ranunculus… Okay, it’s a difficult question to answer because they are all so amazing. I tell my girls that women are like flowers; they are all different, but all beautiful. However, the peony is arguably amongst one of the top most beautiful flowers in my opinion. (Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, am I right)? There’s a reason so many brides choose the peony for their wedding bouquet. They bloom in the late Spring early Summer, a time when most brides have their weddings. Simply put, they are a majority favorite; universally loved and admired around the world.
If you wanted to, you could personify a flower according to its bloom and growth capabilities, noting its human-like characteristics. If a peony were a woman, it could be argued that she has the ability to be quite pretentious. The way she chooses to show herself for only a mere few weeks, selfishly concealing her beauty the rest of the year can be construed as “high maintenance”. Although you could also argue that only blooming for a short while is a trait of modesty and restraint, unlike other showy flowers that continue to bloom on and on commanding the attention upon themselves. She has the reserve to put on an act only for a short while, and refuses to make an encore appearance no matter how much you might applaud when her show is over.
She is quite fussy and doesn’t like to be moved around the garden. However, she also has the solidity of character in the way she consistently makes appearances year after year, for up to conceivably 100 years! In this way, she shows stability and comfort similar to the love your grandmother had for you when she served you her homemade apple pie.
I purchased most of my peonies at a garden center when they had already sprouted and bloomed. I was impulsive and fell in love with their beauty and probably over spent what I should have at a gorgeous, but expensive boutique nursery.
If I were to go back in time, I would have just bought all my peonies at the big box store as bulbs, as they were far less expensive, and they grew with fantastic results. I will say, that the boutique peonies I purchased (the Chinese/Japanese Bowl of Beauty), are exquisitely gorgeous and not sold at the big box stores (to my knowledge).
However, the bag of peony bulbs I bought at Home Depot turned out beautiful as well, and it really all comes down to a matter of personal preference. I say, buy the ones you love because you know they will make you happy for years to come!
I still need to add some more peonies this Fall to fill out my garden as there are some bare spots where I once had other flowers that didn’t work out. We also took out a tree which changed the shade in our yard and will hopefully give my peonies more sunlight that they need.
Although all our special events are being canceled and there are limitations to what Summer activities we can do, due to the terrible Corona Virus, I know I can count on the flowers in my garden to make an appearance. My garden gives my family and I something we can all enjoy no matter what other crazy things are going on in the world. Working on my garden and home is one consistency in my life that I can count on for now, and my family and I can take comfort in that fact.
I appreciate the short time my peonies appear in my garden. It’s a bit sad to see them go, but I do have many other flowers that take the stage once the peonies have faded away. I take comfort in their perennial nature, knowing that year after year they will return, bringing joy and beauty to my garden.