(I love that line from Mary Oliver's poem--more below.)
This week the peonies finally make their long awaited appearance. They usually bloom about two weeks earlier just after Memorial Day.
They are so very welcome whenever they choose to bloom.
Last year I added two Shirley Temples to my collection. Most are older varieties. They were planted on the farm before I moved here.
I love the huge doubles, the ones packed with so many petals you can't find the centers. The ones that smell so cloyingly sweet they scent a room when you bring them inside.
The heavy rain and high winds were wreaking so much havoc on the blooms, I cut most of them to enjoy inside. My house is full and so is the office.
Festiva Maxima above white with the red highlights is one of my all time favorites. The dark pink is an old unknown variety. The white below is probably Festiva also.
This fall perhaps I'll research some early bloomers and add them. It would be nice to extend the season a little longer.
I added this yellow iris to mix in some color. I'm not sure of the cultivar, maybe Pure and Simple. It's a stunner with the sun-bright yellow and the graceful ruffles.
Peonies by Mary Oliver
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 ---
the flowers bend their bright bodies,
and tip their fragrance to the air,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly,
and there it is again ---
beauty the brave, the exemplary,