Thursday, February 17, 2011

Stories

Things we own or have inherited are more interesting when there's a story attached to them.  Peonies are one of my favourite perennials and and I have a a few that have been given to me.
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.
But how wrong I was!  The most fragrant white blooms developed and a piece of the original plant has come with me to two more homes since. 
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!

This peony which is unnamed has travelled to house # 3 as well.
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?

I'm linking with Tootsie time for Fertilizer Friday, come flaunt your flowers!

23 comments:

  1. Dear Judith,
    Thank you for showing your peonies. We do grow them in our garden but have never seen a yellow one. I showed this to my husband and he said as soon as our area is ready we are goign to find one of these. Thank you for displaying the "Bartzella"
    Yours Sincerely,
    Shirley

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  2. Peonies are just the most georgeous flowers. And they smell divine! Your story of how you acquired some of yours made me smile, too. It seems that whatever you plant it grows nicely. Your fingers are green!
    It was nice to see your photos today as it is cold and windy outside my house and they warmed me up!
    Hugs from Colorado
    Jan

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  3. Your peonys are breathtaking, I truly enjoyed reading about them and your cherished memories of how you obtained them. Maybe everyone in the world should start sharing plants/flowers with their neighbors and we would live in a more beautiful world full of good memories instead of a cynical world.
    Blessings from Kansas,
    Nicole

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  4. Hi Judith
    Your peonies are beautiful...absolutely beautiful. I haven't seen them in all those shades. How special that you have something special to remember each one by...the special people in your life who have shared with you. That is so much nicer than simply picking them up from a nursery...
    Wasn't it a nice mild day today...nice despite some of the rain....
    have a good weekend.
    Judi

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  5. We once had a house with a bed full of peonies - what a joy in spring! Out here I don't have a single peony, but hope to remedy that this spring.

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  6. I do love peonies and your's are magnificent!!! I don't take very good care of them but they bloom anyway!!!
    Have a beautiful day!!!

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  7. How fun. I adore peonies! So fluffy and ruffled with a sweet fragrance. We are all itching to get out and stir around in the gardens, but they are still frozen.

    Candylei

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  8. Peonies are so pretty, and you have such history behind yours to make them even more special. I love Bartzella but its price was steep for me. I ordered a yellow tree peony last fall that is yellow instead. Hope your spring is wonderful and that you have lovely peonies!!
    Blessings, Beth

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  9. Hi Judith – what wonderful stories connected with these incredible flowers in your garden. It's a good thing that they can be shared as some are so expensive. But there's nothing like them, is there? Bartzella is so fragrant, you only need one in a whole room. Well, it won't be long now until they are blooming! Have a lovely weekend. – g

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  10. All these peonies are gorgeous! I also planted one in my garden, but I don't have a special story for it. I just bought it from Wal-Mart. I can't wait for it to grow. I hope it will bloom this year.
    Have a nice weekend!

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  11. I love peonies in the garden. The Bartzella is a wonderful colour I hope it looks just a beautiful when it flowers. Take care and enjoy the weekend Judith.

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  12. Judith,

    {I left a post earlier but it didn't appear to take. It may just be my computer. If this is the second post, please feel free to remove it}.

    Your peony photographs were a special treat this evening. I absolutely adore floral photography. It takes me back to our garden in Virginia (which I miss). But, when the desert is in full bloom it's uniquely beautiful. I got my floral fix for a little while this past week-end in San Diego - aaah. I will be traveling to Charleston, South Carolina in May. There's just something about the south. The flowers, ocean, plantations and lots of good friends to see.

    Hugs and Blessings

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  13. What pretty pictures of peonies! I love them too, but none of mine have stories behind them. I bought an Itoh peony last year, but the flowers were kind of disappointing. I'm hoping for bigger and better things from it this year. It's too bad you didn't get the one you wanted, that won an award. That Bartzella is very colorful and bright, love it!

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  14. I found you via another blog. What a lovely blog you have! :)
    I can spend some time here... ;)
    I want to see more, so I became a follower.
    Have a nice weekend!
    Greetings from Sweden

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  15. Beautiful peonies... wouldn't it be lovely if they bloomed all spring and summer long...

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  16. Hi Judith: Love your peonies and the fact that they bloom for you so well. I don't have much success with them. Don't think it is the soil as I see many people have them blooming around me just fine. V

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  17. What beautiful Peonies you have! and I love the story with them. I grow white and pink too! I'm playing Fertilizer Friday for the first time today so pop over if you can and meet a special friend of my garden and see a sneak peak of my 2010 spring blooms!
    Dandelion Wishes,
    Deb

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  18. Peonies are so gorgeous...so blowsy. Don't have any in my garden, but I can see that's a big oversight and have made a resolution to get at least one. Wonder if any of my sisters have any!

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  19. Your peonys are gorgeous!! They smells so good too. I don't have any luck with them :(
    *hugs*Deb

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  20. Really beautiful photos you have here and your dog is adorable. I am your new follower. Stop by my new blog, I will be updating a lot this year as the season starts.
    Cher
    Goldenray Yorkies

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  21. your peonies are divine, I have never tried these, perhaps I will soon:)

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  22. Judith, peonies are the best passalong plants...sadly I do not have any that have been passed along in my garden...I was foolish and did not take any from the garden I left and they were the most fragrant old fashioned type...thx for sharing these beautiful memory plants

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  23. The peony is Indiana's state flower, and rightfully so. No other flower compares to the fragrance of a peony. :)

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Judith

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