Our first house was brand new and needed landscaping badly. One of the women I worked with lived in a grand old renovated Victorian house in the country. She asked me if I wanted a few peony roots and I said sure. This was long before I knew anything about gardening so when I looked in the brown paper bag she gave me and saw what I thought were withered up carrots, I didn't think they would ever grow into anything beautiful.
The lady has since passed on and every summer I am reminded of her when I bring some of the white peonies in for a vase.
Another friend offered me a division of her pink peonies which I gratefully accepted. The only thing is, when I went to get a piece, she wasn't home so her husband dug up the whole clump in spring and chopped off a section for me. She didn't get any blooms that year, but I did!
I'm active in my horticultural society and although we have flower shows, I don't show too often because I like my flowers in the garden. There is a 'Best Peony' award and one year the winner was stunning. I asked the lady who owned it if she ever divided it, could I have a piece. The next year she came to a meeting bearing bags of peonies for me. She figured she could spare the whole plant and was I excited! Two went into my gardens and I gave away the rest. The next spring one bud flowered and..............it wasn't the peony she thought it was. Here she had dug up the wrong plant and given me a plain Jane instead of the winner.
Before we could get me a piece of the other peony, this lady too passed away and the family farm was sold.
In the mean time, I patiently await blooms on my Itoh peony 'Bartzella' I bought with a gift certificate 2 years ago. Here is what I can expect, isn't it a beauty?
Fertilizer Friday, come flaunt your flowers!