the bee emerges
from the peony"
Waiting all winter--and then, we have the peonies! If not for that period of cold and dormancy , we wouldn't have peonies, here. This is their time, now, and they are blooming everywhere. If you have a sunny garden, maybe you have a peony bush or two. But even if you don't, you can appreciate the extravagant beauty of this most glorious of flowers.
Here are some facts about peonies---
1. They are the State flower of Indiana
2. They originally came from China
3. They have been used in herbal medicine
4. They are perennials, returning year after year
5. They live a very long time--50 years or more
6. The flowers come in many colors--white, pink, magenta, maroon
7. They need ants to open their flower buds
8. They like alot of sun
9. They have delightful fragrances that vary from rose-scented to hints of citrus!
10. The flowers do not last for long, the first big rain, they're gone
To me, they are the first flower of summer. Kids brought bouquets of peonies on the last day of school, teachers walked around with armloads, radiant as queens.
One June, at the Botanical Gardens in Glencoe, I went with a friend to a special peony show. It was an impressive display, rows of clear-glass vases, each holding a single, perfect bloom.
A small boy and his grandfather were also admiring them--
The boy ran from color to color, "Grandpa! Come smell this one!"
The grandfather bent down to admire a white peony. "Oh my," he said, "that's like my grandmother's garden..."
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