Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Peony Story

My favorite flower is the Peony. I love their green glossy leaves, their big beautiful flowers and how they smell. My grandma had a peony bed on our farm... but I'll get back to that in a moment. First some info:

The Peony is named after the Greek God of medicine and healing, and has been cultivated for more than 2000 years as a medicinal and ornamental plant. Peonies are a hardy perennial that are drought tolerant, low maintenance, and deer-resistant (perfect for the prairies). The flowers come in a range of colors including yellow, coral, peach and lavender, in addition to the more common white, blush, pink, magenta, and red. The blooms may be single, semi-double, double, anemone, or Japanese in form, and their scent is kind of rosy, lemony, honey-ish, with a hint of musk. The only thing that I'm not a huge fan of are the ants that peonies attract.

As I mentioned, my grandma had a peony bed on our farm that I vividly remember. She'd tie them up to keep the stems upright, then cut them once they bloomed and bring them in the house where they found a home in a big vase. Many of my grandma's peonies came from my great grandma's farm then, which then travelled from my grandma's to my Aunt's farm and house... and now I have THEM. These peonies are well over 100+ years old and have survived all the transplants and divides.

I'm happy to report that the five plants I have, have all popped up this spring and are doing wonderful!! I can't wait to see the buds bloom.


So not only do I think peonies are gorgeous on their own, but they hold a place in my heart of fond memories and family history. Just like any good story, another meaningful chapter includes having peonies at our wedding as my bouquet, all boutonnieres, on our wedding cake and as the centerpiece on every table.

I'm sure My Peony Story is to be continued....

5 comments:

  1. Have your peonies flowering yet? Would love to see the beautiful colours.

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  2. It has been said that the ants are what actually open the flower.

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    1. Really! Ants! That totally makes sense, and you've just made me think about how when my grandma would bring peonies into the house she'd let them sit in the sink so the ants would crawl out!

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  3. I dug my Grandmother's peonies up when she moved. I left them in the back yard, in the shade, in a black garbage bag...for two years :( I finally remembered them, and when I opened the bag I realized they were still active. They've been planted for a couple of years now. One set bloomed from the start, the second set is almost ready to bloom now. Finally, a plant that I can't seem to kill!

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    1. Wow! I'm so happy to hear that they are still growing!!

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