My grandmother loved flowers and my grandfather adored my grandmother and so he kept a large mixed flower garden where something was blooming from earliest spring until latest fall. Every few days he would tour the garden and cut the finest blooms for my Oma who kept them in an indigo blue vase beside her reading chair. First would come tulips and hyacinths, then branches of apple, cherry and plum blossoms. Soon lilac would follow in fragrant shades of deep purple and white and then finally, finally, the peonies would bloom. They were my Oma’s favourite flower and their yearly appearance was an anticipated event.
I’ve always wanted to grow peonies, but it’s one of those things I never quite got around to. We have a small yard and a large patio and we just didn’t have space. Then, one of our trees died. It was a white lilac tree (not a lilac bush) that had never done well and suddenly I had an open space big enough for peonies. A friend who helps me with my garden found 2 peony shrubs and last year we planted them in early June. They struggled and straggled along over the summer and fall and I wasn’t sure I’d get blooms this year, but about 2 weeks ago buds appeared, three on the pink bush and one on the purple bush. I’ve been filled with anticipation waiting for them to open and yesterday when the sun finally appeared all three pink flowers opened at once and they’re glorious.