Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

I’ve been waiting weeks for the first and only flower on my new purple peony bush to open. It sat there for the longest time just being a big, plump bud that didn’t change and I’ve been getting impatient. Well, finally, yesterday it started to unfurl and by late afternoon its petals were getting ready to spread themselves open to the sun. I was getting excited… and then the wind started to blow. And then the rain came and then my beautiful purple peony blew open and apart. Well, damn. At least the bees don’t mind. They’ve been busily gathering pollen all day so it hasn’t been a total loss.

©voyager, all rights reserved


  1. DonDueed says

    Wonderful color.
    One of my earliest memories is of a peony plant in my family’s then-yard — I was probably three or four. I was looking at it very closely, fascinated by the ants that were crawling all over the buds. (I think I may have already been nearsighted even then, although I didn’t get glasses until age six or seven).

    I seem to recall that the ants play some role in getting the buds to open, and in your earlier post about its late bloom I wondered whether perhaps your area lacked the proper type of ants for that variety of peony, or whether they simply hadn’t found it. Of course I may be all wrong about this…

  2. says

    Oh vanitas.
    I was growing a peony, next to our stairs. Now it’s under a couple of tons of dirt…
    But they’ve finished the wall. It”s the good kind of wall, the kind that gives support.

  3. voyager says

    I’ve always had this romantic notion of ants crawling between the petals and pushing them up and open. That’s what my grandmother used to say. She used to soak the flower heads in a bucket to get rid of the ants. I’m not sure if it’s true, but it’s a nice story.

  4. voyager says

    Support is a good thing for a wall to do. I’m glad it turned out well. I hope the pile of dirt gets sorted.

  5. DonDueed says

    Well, Prof. Google says that while peonies do attract ants (they secrete a nectar), ants are not necessary for the buds to open. Another myth busted!

    That initial experience stayed with me for the longest time. The buds I was gazing at were not yet open, and somehow I came away with the idea that the buds were the blossoms. In other words, I thought peonies had solid, globular flowers. I’m sure I must have seen them in full bloom shortly after that but I guess I didn’t put two and two together.

  6. Ice Swimmer says

    The peony does look a bit rumpled, but the petals still look vibrant and shiny. If the petals were an evening gown, the scene would be: “It was an academic Annual Celebration that started normal, but then the afterparty started to get wild so quickly that they never got around to changing from the gown and so they come to the Herring Breakfast next day, still wearing the gown, having been awake all the time.”

  7. Nightjar says

    I agree with Anne. It’s just a different kind of beautiful. The bees still got nectar out of it and you still got some wonderful and unique photos out of it, so all wasn’t lost! :)

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