I've waited all spring for this moment. The house smells absolutely amazing right now due to two large vases of bright pink peonies; one in the master bedroom upstairs and one in the green room right off the kitchen downstairs. The peonies are finally, after a long wait, in bloom. Be still my heart.
Growing up on a homestead in Southern Illinois, my mom had the most gorgeous peonies of white and light pink. I remember the enormous amount of ants and the big bushy blooms like it was yesterday. Last spring I planted three cotton candy peony tubers from American Meadows, not knowing of course, that we would be moving that fall. I never got to see them mature, but hopefully the new owner will appreciate them... or at least his mom. :)
We closed on the Regal Beagle at the end of October last year. Al the vegetation was already taken out by the frost, so I really wasn't sure what all we had. I asked my brother-in-law who lives down the road and is a horticulturist at ISU. He confirmed my hunch that I had at least a couple peony plants next to the house. When spring came, turns out we have six! Woohoo. Unfortunately four of them were planted in not so good locations, so those aren't thriving, however I plan to attempt a transplant in the fall. I hear peonies don't like to be moved, so fingers crossed the relocation goes okay! It has to be better than where they are now in any case.
Back to what is blooming. The two next to the house took forever to open, and after a long weird spring, they are finally in full bloom. They are glorious! I am surprised by how few ants there are compared to what I remember on my mom's. Which is fine by me. They are after the syrup the buds produce. Go ahead, have your fill and then vamoose little ones.
This is what I know about peonies beyond their innate gorgeousness: they bloom in late spring, live for decades, make great cut flowers, and smell heavenly. They do tend to get top heavy, so I am considering a grid to help secure them next year. If you are considering peonies, I highly recommend them. They are a flower that will give, give, give!
Do you have peonies? What color? Do you plan to plant them?