Friday, June 8, 2012

Time for Precious Peonies

One flower that evokes vivid memories of my paternal grandmother is the peony. 

They grew abundantly in Grandma's garden. Their blooms were always huge and magnificently fragrant.

The perfume from peonies intoxicates, in a good way.

I remember sticking my whole face into  Grandma's burgundy, pink and white peonies.

Once, I inhaled deeply and an ant got up my nose. That was not pleasant.

Did you know that peonies, a perennial, can last up to 50 years?  Now that's a good run for flower.

Peonies are no shy violets. Uh uh. They have big, "splashy babe blooms!"

They  tend to be very heavy, too, and this year my hubs even tied them to a unique looking "stake," a crooked branch.

Peonies are native to Asia, southern Europe and Western North America.

Asclepius was a Greek god of medicine and healing and one of his students was Paeon. Well,  apparently even Greek gods could be jealous and that's what happened, according to legend. 

Zeus stepped up to the plate and saved Paeon from the god's anger by turning him into a flower, the peony of course. That's how the flower apparently got its name.

Peonies with ruffled blooms are called Sarah Bernhardts and by golly, I think those are the kind growing right now in our front yard. (Sarah Bernhardt was a famous French actress.)

By the way, ants really do love these flowers so if you make a bouquet of them for inside the house, chances are you are going to find ants on your table.

Some people believe the flowers cannot grow without ants who are said to help them open with their little feet but, apparently, the flowers would open on their own without the ants, thank you. 

It would just take longer. 

(Many thanks to eHow and Wikipedia. Some of the information contained in this post was gleaned from those websites.)



Lynn-Teacupstitches said...

Your peonies are GORGEOUS Susan!!!
Thank you for all the info on them also!
Mine have just finished blooming and I sure wish I had staked them like you did.
Next year for sure :-)
Enjoy a great day!

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I love peonies! Gorgeous!

Nellie said...

I am glad I have one peony, but wish I had more. I plan to add a couple, hopefully. Ours have bloomed awhile ago. Right now, the hydrangea is blooming. I am reminded of my maternal grandmother who lived next door to us when I was growing up. She had some lovely ones at her place.

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

I adore peonies, Susan. Yours are gorgeous but I can't imagine getting an ant up my nose! How horrible that would be; poor you! Your peonies are such pretty colours too.
Thank you for your visit and leaving your nice comment. Everyone has been so nice, congratulating me on my magazine feature. Blogland is a source of inspiration & encouragement for sure. Have a lovely weekend.


Bookie said...

The pictures are lovely and peony is such a special flower...a favorite!

diane.stetson said...

We do not have them here in sunny California to my knowledge but I do remember them and conjure up the wonderful smell of them from time to time. Love the pictures!

Chatty Crone said...

They do live here and thrive here in GA! I remember my mom telling me that they have to have ants to grow - do you know if that is true of not? They are gorgeous. sandie

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

I grew up with azaleas in the south. Don't know that I've ever actually encountered a peony. That deep burgundy sure is gorgeous. I've only ever seen folks post the pink and white ones. Interesting info about how it got its name. Zack studied Greek gods in school this year but don't think they learned about this. Have a great day. Tammy PS When Zack was about 2, he would play with and even eat ants. Now he's afraid of all insects and bugs. :/

Rebecca said...

Beautiful pictures of some beautiful flowers! Peonies remind me of MY grandmother, too. She used to pick them just before they were full bloom, wrap them loosely in damp towels to hold them in dehydrator drawer of refrigerator to "hold" till Memorial Day to decorate the graves...

I have a couple of small whites - would love to have more. However, the bloom so briefly that I have an on-going debate with myself about how much room to give them in my flower beds. said...

Your so right. My mom had them in her garden it seems like forever Peonies. Then her liliacs came into the house as well . Oh my those ants sure came out and ran every which way. Mom has passed on many years ago at the ripe old age of 95. I do still bring the liliacs in and I laugh to knowend when the ants come running out. Back flash memories but in my case the ants are free for the picking. The house sold not sure if the garden grounds are still dueable of her peonies . That was her prouds. She said they reminded her so much or a beautiful rose in full bloom to the end. Oh I love your blogs.

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