by Jennifer on July 3, 2009

Peonies. Because this place could use something bright. Something unabashed and splashy and bold.

Something pretty and soft, when all I see out the window is desert, brown. And the greedy clouds that hold onto their rain even when they crowd the sky each afternoon, as they often do throughout monsoon season (may they let loose the rain, soon).

Because I want to plant peonies when we’re settled, so that in a year or two or three, I can shake the ants off an armload of their blooms and bring them inside for the dining room table. Or so that Elle can pile her small arms high with them and make little arrangements to spread throughout the house, as I used to do with violets when I was her age. As we may both do, next year.

Because so much is contained within a blossom that hasn’t quite opened. (A whole world, it seems, in such a small thing.) All that hope, all that promise. Potential.

What could be. What will be.

What is already, even if we can’t see it, or know it, yet.

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

V-Grrrl at Compost Studios July 3, 2009 at 5:17 am

When my parents died, my husband, an avid gardener, removed many plants from the home where I grew up so they could bloom again at our house–incl. peonies, irises, pachysandra, and veronicas : )

He took my mother’s houseplants too and we still have them. Some of them are almost 40 years old…

Daryl July 3, 2009 at 6:53 am

Sounds like those blooms are reflective of your coming move .. waiting to open and share the promise of new places and things … have a happy and safe 4th!

Indigo July 3, 2009 at 7:02 am

I lived in so many places that would leave someone else wanting. To me it was never the place, it was what I brought to it. Home is wherever the heart is. You find your place, pour your heart into it, blood, sweat and tears. Before long the walls echo with memories of laughter, padding feet, and words that gently touch on delicate heartstrings, stirring within you. Then you know your home. I think Peonies are a wonderful idea, seeing the potential of what can be, hoping…it energizes the soul. (Hugs)Indigo

PAPA July 3, 2009 at 10:01 am

You’re an inspiration, Jennifer.

In our case, we have a lot of plants in our house (all real, of course) and they add so much LIFE to our home.

If only I didn’t have to water them. 😉

Jenn @ Juggling Life July 3, 2009 at 10:47 am

And you know you will.

De July 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm

I love peonies. I’d love to have some someday, too. On one of my walks in a beautiful local garden I stopped to sample the fragrances of several different varieties, and discovered the medium pink ones smell the best; therefore, they probably attract the most ants.

?Boomer? July 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Just beautiful!

Green Girl in Wisconsin July 3, 2009 at 5:36 pm

I planted one–not nearly enough because I adore those bootylicious blooms. They show off like NO other flower.

suburbancorrespondent July 3, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I love peonies – they’re so luxuriant and generous!

JCK July 3, 2009 at 9:49 pm

You know what? Your writing brings us armfuls of these every time. Lovely peonies. Lovely you.

flutter July 4, 2009 at 1:26 am

beautiful girl.

Cammie July 4, 2009 at 9:33 am

I agree with JCK
You know what? Your writing brings us armfuls of these every time. Lovely peonies. Lovely you.

I actually thought about planting some flowers after this post. Unfortunately, need to wait until we get some rain!!! Grass and landscaping is THIRSTY down here in Houston! But I will!

Ree July 4, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Our neighbors have peonies. I always wanted to go over and see if I remembered correctly about the ants.

See, my gramma had peonies. And the ants always made me itch, but those flowers were so beautiful. I didn’t know if I had imagined the ants or not, so every spring, I tell myself to sneak over there and see…if the ants are real.

thanks babe.

Wonder where I can plant some peonies.

Jessica July 5, 2009 at 9:55 am

I have several rose bushes and have yet to clip any of them and make a nice bouquet. flowers really do brighten up a room. Plant, baby, plant

david mcmahon July 5, 2009 at 3:30 pm

…. always the promise of beauty blooming – and it’s a metaphor for life itself.

Madge July 5, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I can’t grow peonies in Georgia. I miss them..

Sandi McBride July 6, 2009 at 4:49 am

I go out every morning and examine my Peonies for signs of bloom…I’m heartbroken to say that while there is much greenery, there is no sign of deep pink blossoms, just yet…still I hold hope…yours are lovely, so I’ll just share them for the time being. Congratulations on the Post of the Day nomination!

Denise July 6, 2009 at 7:56 am

The more I see of Peonies, the more I want them in my own garden. Lovely post, congratulations on being mentioned in the POTD at David’s.

moannie July 6, 2009 at 8:55 am

Every year I decide I must have peonies in my garden-they are short lived I believe but are the lushest plant. Next year for sure.

Worthy mention on POTD over at authorblog.

Shaye July 6, 2009 at 9:09 am

Just beautiful. I felt myself holding my breath. What amazing words you share here.

Congrats on POTD contender through David’s blog. I’m glad I stopped in today!

~Shaye @ Miller Memories

Emily July 6, 2009 at 11:00 am

The garden is pretty overgrown, but the Van Aken house has some lovely peonies.


Debbie Davis July 6, 2009 at 11:48 am

Congrats on the Post of the Day Award from authorblog!

Tom Volkar / Delightful Work July 6, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Well said. They are feathery soft and lovely as long as you remember to shake off those ants. I haven’t seen them around much lately. Too many folks are planting annuals.

the mama bird diaries July 6, 2009 at 8:18 pm

i hope your new neighbors bring you a bouquet of peonies. when are you moving?!

Kimberly July 7, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Peonies are some of my favorite flowers. I have two big bushes and the blooms each year get better and better. I look forward to seeing pictures of your garden.

fancy feet July 8, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I love peonies. This is a really beautiful post.

Louise July 8, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I miss peonies. There is nothing that speaks more so softly of summer. I’ve seen some here. Mostly pitiful specimens. A necessary early planting after your move! (Way more necessary than the small garden.)

Bruce July 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Very well written. Sadly the only thing tha tblooms with any regularity here in the desert are the roses……and they do have those thorns…..

Momisodes July 9, 2009 at 8:57 pm

The desert brown is tough. I remember seeing that for the first time during a dry summer in San Diego coming from lush Florida.

I hope you can plant those peonies soon.

phd in yogurtry July 9, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Wishing you lots of peonies!

apathy lounge July 12, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I’m a lazy gardener, but I’m married to someone who really enjoys it. I’m hoping it will catch on. 🙂

Mrs. G. July 12, 2009 at 10:55 pm

I love them too. I would like a skirt shaped like one.

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