Posted on May 9, 2009
I feel as though I crossed a rite of passage. A few days ago, I cut and placed in a bud vase my first peony blossom of the spring. It will be the first of many flowers from my cutting garden this year, but I am so thrilled with this peony I feel like sharing.
It took me many years to realize the value of the old fashioned peonies as the perennial garden work horse. Once I recognized this value, it took a few more years for them to produce flowers from my “Irish Cuttings”. “Irish Cuttings” are the bits and pieces that I collect from my work. I thought they were easy, ordinary, and old fashioned. I could not understand why gardeners took up so much time and energy and space with these fleeting blossoms that are always covered with ants.
Then something really special happened to me. I became a mother. I celebrated Mother’s Day in a different fashion. Peonies, tall bearded iris, roses, lilies of the valley, and lilacs make the most lovely bouquets on the dinner table that second Sunday in May. Suddenly it made sense to me why my grandmother always complimented my mother’s peonies. Grandma always took a bouquet home to enjoy. I am a member of that Mother’s club now. I look forward to that season in May when My children say,”I love you, Mom.” and honor me with the flowers from my garden.
The peony on the kitchen window sill is still a lovely white and looks more like feathers than petals even after almost a week in the vase. They smell so sweet. I am overwhelmed with memories awakened in me today.
The pleasures of gardening are many. Most of them in the fleeting scents, sights, and sounds of a moment. Moments so vivid they keep memories alive to recreate for another generation.