O, Pink Peony! There’s not a flower that can compare with your beauty and grace. Your crowded petal arrangements develop into outrageous flowers, large and beautiful. You have been cultivated in gardens for over six hundred years and were popular way back in Victorian times. Peony plants are among the longest-living perennials, often thriving for decades, even when neglected.
My Grandmother grew peonies. I still have memories of being a little girl accompanying Grandma to the cemetery on Memorial Day, carrying bouquets of Grandma’s peonies.
And it was Grandma’s peonies that filled the tall white baskets at our wedding. It was these flowers that stood beside us up by the altar when we made our vows on June 6, 1943.
Then it was my turn to grow peonies. Every year these plants gave me bouquets to fill my vases. Your endless unfurling gave me flowers for many weeks as your buds slowly opened.
The friendship of the black ants climbing in and out of the buds did no harm; they were sipping sap. I clipped your peony blossom stems, shook off the ants, and brought the blossoms inside to enjoy. Oh, Pink Peony, you are my old-fashioned favorite!
By Doris Stensland, May 2015