A One's Cocker Spaniels
Peonies at my parents' and some of my own
"I know of no plant that is so satisfyingly
beautiful in every stage of its development.
The changing of the shades of red, green, copper and bronze of the young stems and foliage,
the slow unfolding of the leaves of fine design are exquisite in themselves —
and yet they are but a prelude to the burst of glory in the flowers.
When the blossoms appear, it is indeed hard to leave the garden:
no matter how many times a day one gazes at them, there is something newly entrancing on each successive glance.
There is one peony lover, bewitched by their spell, who, loath to leave them for even a few hours,
makes the rounds of her garden every night with a lantern.
This mistress of a much-cherished garden often rises to listen to the birds and see her peonies at dawn.
The piercing tenderness of the woodthrush's song, the dream-like purity of the peonies,
the inspiration of the summer morning, bring a happiness that is poignant,
a thankfulness for life that is ecstasy itself."
from The Book of the Peony by Alice Harding
Tree peony & Single peony
My own little darlings (2009). Next summer my Dill Peony will hopefully shed its blossoms along with two others,
that I have moved from a dark corner of my parents' garden into full sunlight at the cottage. Fingers crossed.
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