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pleasing peonies

June 3

One day I’d love to have my own garden, where I can poke about, getting dirt under my nails, admiring the change and cycle of all the seasons year after year through the perennial growth. But for now I’m a condo dweller with a single feature pot of flowers that will have to do until I have a garden on the ground to call my own. Fortunately, however, I can visit the family ‘homestead’ in west-end Toronto whenever I want to visit an established, heritage garden with perennials galore, which my parents have lovingly nurtured over the years and where I’ve learned much about the topic of gardening. My parents’ home was built in 1928; they are only the second owners. When they bought the house 1972 they were fortunate to inherit a very special garden from a couple who had a passion for flowers (which came along with the first owners’ dog-eared and faded plans and notes about the garden). And now, 38 years on, many of the original plantings remain and flourish.

One of the floral legacies of the original owners that remains today are two large Peony beds; the original plants are easily 60 or 70 years old. It is easy to see why, growing up in a backyard with two dozen or more of these plants with spectacularly scented and magnificently formed flowers of white, pink, and deep burgundy/fuchsia, that the Peony is my hands-down, favourite flower. I look forward to the start of June every year when these beds provide blossoms in full abundance that make a statement, both in the garden and in a vase.

(Oh, and the huge, cascading, flowering Beauty Bush seen just behind the Peony bed in the first photo is a close second favourite – the warm spring has certainly prodded it into pretty pale pink profusion!)

I have such an urge to hug, caress, and absolutely inhale these divine beauties like no other flower I know.

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