it begins the minute those first tender shoots begin to push up out of the still cold earth in early march. every morning i watch as they appear to literally grow overnight. then the deep green foliage starts to spread out. and by the first of april, small spherical buds develop at the tips.
the buds grow fatter and fatter. then the ants come. a symbiotic relationship which feeds the ants and remove the sticky, protective coating around the peony bud. the more ants, the bigger, fuller blooms…at least that’s what i’ve heard.
this year, the peonies started to unfurl in early may. gigantic ruffled blooms the size of grapefruits. layers and layers and layers of silky, magenta petals that i couldn’t help but stick my entire face into and inhale deeply.
and then the real dilemma sets in…do i leave them outside? or do i bring them inside so i can enjoy their heavenly scent while i’m in the kitchen.
it’s a beautiful dilemma if you ask me….win/win – my favorite kind.
and then, just like that, the petals tumble away and onto the table. in their wake, a delicate center is exposed.
let the peony watch of 2017 commence.