Peonies are like orchids and roses: People usually love them or are irritated by them. (Not sure anyone actually "hates" a flower, so...). I LOVE peonies. And orchids. And roses. I also love something as simple as shasta daisies or as industrious as pest-deterrent marigolds, which stand sentry by my tomato plants. The simplistic shade-loving perennial groundcovers such lilies of the valley and myrtle, both transplanted from my grandmother's garden, give me hope each Spring as they brighten the darker corners of my yard.
But peonies! Oh! I remember the moment I fell in love with them: It was late Spring 2004, and I had just arrived home from five long days in the hospital with my newborn baby boy, my second and my last. After rising from the couch in between nursing--and dozing, I found a vase of blush pink peonies on my front porch, stealthily left there by a good friend. I plunked them down in a spot where I could admire them during marathon feeding sessions, and I have loved them ever since. They remind me of those sweet first days with my baby boy.
Four years later, as I opened my heart to a new marriage and a new path, it was peonies that called me home. As Ian and I toured a house for sale, I noticed bright pink peony blooms peeking from the side of the garage. I took it as a good sign. Two months later we closed on the house, and I've since relocated that plant to a more prominent spot in the yard.
So it is with delight that I share this posting from Apartment Therapy. The posting's final paragraph says it all. Love them or not, the slow unfurl of a peony's bloom is dazzling. I will take one peony over a rose garden any day.