They're blooming now, heavy, many-petaled heads that fall forwards. They should be tied up - perhaps over the weekend. These deep pink peonies are of the no-name variety; they were here on the property when we moved in. I've moved them and divided them and they have rewarded me with more blooms each year.
The paler version is (I think) Sarah Bernhardt. How I love these. They remind me of romance - delicate, exuberant, full of careless joy.
Since I knew we would be away last weekend, on Friday morning I cut a blossom that was just about to open into ruffled glory, put it into a glass of water and placed it in the fridge. What joy to return home to a peony blossom that seemed to have not aged a whit over 3 days. Here it is now, impossibly lush.
There's a promise of more to come. Fat buds of possibility nestle into pale petals.
Because peony plants can bloom for up to 100 years, they are symbols of marriage, but also of royalty and honour. Whatever their meaning, I'll enjoy their all-too-short season in the sun, or as the case is today, in the rain.
edited to add: Things are a little rough in our extended family just now. Tim's mother is not doing well at all, and there are serious health issues in so many directions that it's hard to keep them all straight. It's a bit overwhelming, to tell the truth. My garden calms me and turns my thoughts to prayer. I'd appreciate prayers for Tim's mother, and for others I've not mentioned specifically. Thanks.