Monday, June 06, 2011


June 4, 2011

September, 1994. Madison, Wisconsin. Franklin Avenue. In the backyard.
Time and place, when I first saw a peony.
It was unforgettable.

Not a rose, nor a camellia, yet familiar. Something like a dahlia, or ranunculus, suggestive of a tulip when closed, but abundant of petals, like a zinnia, when open. The petals, crinkled like crepe paper, yet so silky and supple... an oil painting in flesh. Inside, like a poppy, bold and complex.

I have never seen any in a garden here, though I am sure they are nurtured and coaxed somewhere in California. Mine came from Trader Joe's, and today I am bringing home a fresh bouquet.


Kim said...

So gorgeous! I love peonies too. And although I don't remember the first time I saw one, I do remember the first time I realized that when people are talking about "Pianese" they mean "Peo-knees" which is how I thought you pronounced it. Ha!

Janece said...

They are amazing, aren't they? There are some in the gardens up here... I always stop and admire as we walk through the neighborhood. :)

mtnchild said...

When I lived in Omaha I had a yard full. I knew I wanted them here in Oregon, but I have not had any luck. They are tiny plants and haven't bloomed in years ... Some of them have the most delectable fragrance, and some are single petals. I love them.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

They are amazing... no matter how we pronounce it... Peo-Knees!! So, does anyone know what growing conditions they need? I love flowers, and I have many favorites, but I think these are an exceptional marvel.