Bloomin’ Update 41: The Belles of the Peony Ball


Letter O2nce upon a time, in a garden somewhere between here and there, peony blossoms remained tightly wrapped in anticipation of their debut at the grand ball.  Even the servant ants worked tirelessly and feverishly to ensure that each fold, each petal, was proper and elegant.


At last, the magic day arrived.  A buzz buzzier than the buzz of bees arose in the front garden bed and the air was perfumed with the intoxicatingly sweet scent of miniature lilacs.


The peony buds unfurled in a silent explosion of color — and all creatures and passersby paused for a glimpse of the swirl of finely ruffled crinoline petals.


And as the peonies bounced and nodded in the late spring breeze, the rhododendrons, the grand dames of the garden, fanned themselves with their stamen lashes and passed whispered judgments to one another.



“Scandalous,” they gossiped about the peony dressed all in white, save for a hint of a magenta flame at the tip of one of her petals.


“Indecent,” they agreed when looking at the harlot in red, shamelessly displaying her ring of fire for the world to see.


“Oh, so lovely,” they said of the one in pink and cream pastels, their sighs hinting at a time not so long ago when all creatures and passersby paused to notice them. This magical moment, they remembered, was for the young and fanciful and they should have their season in the sun.  After all, one heavy rain could wash it all away.


At that moment, the sky above exploded and peonies and rhododendrons, ants and bees looked upward — only to see a sparkling shower of climbing hydrangea starbursts.

Climbing Hydrangea

And the garden lived happily ever after.

28 thoughts on “Bloomin’ Update 41: The Belles of the Peony Ball

  1. Peonies are in the top 10 of my favorite flowers! Great memories of my mother picking a bouquet of pink peonies and placing them in the living room. The fragrance was wonderful.

  2. I only wish they would last longer, It rains and they crumble like confetti. I have peonies from my grandmother, my former home, and from old neighbors that have moved with me. They are like old friends.

    • That’s a great way to think of peonies — old friends that come back each year. Right now, my peonies look like confetti. Wet confetti.

  3. Oh now I feel awful. I finally gave our peony the ol’ heave-ho in the spring. It had failed to perform, I’d wagged a finger, said a few choice words & given threats of ‘the brown bin’ that would take it away if it didn’t pull its finger out.
    I thought 13 years ‘waiting’ was long enough, so out it went. Now……mwaaaaaaaa!!! I shall linger longer & drool over yours 9wipe s tear form eye) 😉

    • JANE! That is a long time — but I think you should treat yourself to one that will give you the results you want. If not, come on over to my house next year. 🙂

    • Hey Donna. We just received more than 4 inches of rain, thanks to Andrea — so the peonies are gone. I’m glad I took the photos when I did. Enjoy your peony season.

  4. The peonies have not yet begun to open here — which is fine, because we’re having a rainy week. I’m hoping that they wait for the warm sunny weather on the weekend!

    • Hi Jean. I hope they wait until after the rain. Mine took a beating in the tropical rain from Andrea, and tomorrow’s monsoon is predicted to be just as severe.

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