9 thoughts on “Plaited”

  1. Yes, I love peonies. One or two blossoms can make a lovely arrangement. Unfortunately, my husband can’t stand them because they droop in the rain, despite the cages around them. So he can’t wait for them to finish blooming so he can whack down all the spent blossoms.

  2. Well, I like peonies, but they don’t like zone 7b gardens much. I found a nice clean white specimen that reputedly blooms reliably in the south and when it finally did, it had no fragrance – which was one of the primary reasons I wanted a peony. It also drops developing buds at the drop of a hat. Oh, well…

  3. Lovely poem, Laura. Peonies are wonderful flowers inspiring many images.

    How about a Mary Oliver poem?


    This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
    to break my heart
    as the sun rises,
    as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

    and they open —
    pools of lace,
    white and pink —
    and all day the black ants climb over them,

    boring their deep and mysterious holes
    into the curls,
    craving the sweet sap,
    taking it away

    to their dark, underground cities —
    and all day
    under the shifty wind,
    as in a dance to the great wedding,

    the flowers bend their bright bodies,
    and tip their fragrance to the air,
    and rise,
    their red stems holding

    all that dampness and recklessness
    gladly and lightly,
    and there it is again —
    beauty the brave, the exemplary,

    blazing open.
    Do you love this world?
    Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
    Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

    Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
    and softly,
    and exclaiming of their dearness,
    fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

    with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
    their eagerness
    to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
    nothing, forever?

  4. Well, yes, they Do inspire poetry in me. It just does not come out!

    We have a bunch of beautiful red ones blooming now and then white ones in a few days! Love ’em …

  5. Jayne: There are yummy, yes.

    NCMountainWoman: Hmm.. so you’re married to one of them too?


    My favorites are the single peonies, like this one – no cages required!

    Dr. Know: Do they not the like the heat? I didn’t know that.

    I have another that grows right next to this white one – gorgeous foliage, but never a single bud in the 10 years or so that I’ve had it. Can’t understand why that is, either. Someone suggested once that it might be planted too deeply – what do you think of that?

    Trixie: Hi and thanks for the Mary Oliver. Fun poem!

    Rabbit’s Guy: I have that problem too, mostly.

    Red? Sounds lovely. I think that one of mine that won’t bud may be a red if I remember right.

  6. Ever read The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy? It’s a great novel.

    I am a little surprised by my peonies this year–they seem to have bloomed a lot earlier than usual; normally I have to wait until mid- to late June; this year, they bloomed last week. ???

  7. Laura,
    AIR, up in Yankee-land peonies can be planted a little deeper (in well drained soil) than in the south. They need winter exposure to 20 deg. or less temperatures to bud. Also, up north they want full sun, in Dixiecrat-land they need protection from harsh afternoon sun. I believe where you live, the “root” should be no more than a few inches below the surface. Too deep and they won’t bloom. Too wet and they rot and the buds drop. They are also subject to a variety of fungii. But when they’re happy, they show it.

    Heck, I’m still trying to find a cure for Daphne odora sudden-death syndrome (senescence). Nice shaped evergreen, they smell great, and often bloom while there is still snow on the ground — but often die suddenly for no apparent reason other than old age (6-10 years).

    I’m neck deep in yet another garden project as we speak — one reason I haven’t been around much lately. Good luck with your gardening!

  8. i have a work buddy who is a gardener extraordinaire, and she has been bringing in the most gorgeous peonies to the office. What gift – they are spectacular!

    lovely, delicate, wistful photo, Laura.

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