Pink peonies make me smile! They remind me of my grandmother, the month of May in Michigan and everything elegantly graceful and delicate about life. As delicate and fragile as the blooms appear, they are very hardy. The bushes grow very big, survive through the harsh winters and will live to be a hundred years old. In fact, my Grandmother had peony bushes that were over a hundred feetlong on the side of her house.! She lived to be 85 and the bushes are still blooming for her.
Peonies come in every color except blue. The deep salmon color is yummy. The variegated hot pink and white is candy stripped sassy. The passion purple feels spiritual. The crimson red brings passion alive. The cream, buff and apricot are lovelybut the pale pink is my favorite.
It was always a treat to visit Grandma and come home with a huge bouquet of pink peonies, with stems wrapped in tin foil, and a bag of oatmeal cookies. My wedding bouquet was filled with white gardenias and pink peonies. Peonies are a symbol for good fortune and a happy marriage. If you know someone who is having their 12th wedding anniversary, send them peonies. (I’ve been married for 38 years, there might be something to the tradition)
Peonies have been the inspiration for many Oriental water color paintings. They are the floral symbol of China. Indiana has made it their state flower. Marco Polo, the explorer called them “roses bigger than cabbages.” In ancient times they were believed to relieve headaches and help with asthma. Now they are the celebrities choice bouquet.
For me, I love the fragrance of their memories. The strength, longevity and beauty they exude remind me why I trust in tomorrow. I love the anticipation of watching theirbig round buds explode into an intoxicating bouquet. It thrills me to witness over fifty pink petals open gracefully to reveal a perfectly symmetrical center, dripping in golden stamen. Blink your eyes, and the colored petalsmagically fade to pure white.
Word of warning. Watch out for the ants! They’re the little critters who are responsible for opening the buds to beauty.
It’s true, even nature has a gotcha!