Peony Metaphor.

A few years back, owners of a stellar nursery gave me a cardboard box with a twisted root inside, tangled ends clotted with dirt. I planted as directed, and then the bartzella was at the mercy of nature and its own self whether it would grow, or not.

This June, the irises have flooded a purple pond around the lilacs. The mock orange is opening its snowy petals. And these yellow peonies with their ugly name — a few days of inimitable beauty.

A day of cold rain in the forecast today. A Saturday of writing and catch-up chores and my determination to do something about the mold on the bathroom ceiling. It’s mid-June. We’ve lived in this house for five years. The blossoms are rampart. I’ve added my own gifted dull root. For a few days, heart-pausing beauty.

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready

to break my heart

as the sun rises, 

as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers…

— Mary Oliver, “Peonies”

Peonies

On my walk to the co-op, I stop at a bed of peonies and cup a giant blossom in my hands: perfect white stained with drops of red, like a strange variation of the drops of blood on the snow in the Grimms’ tale. Enchantingly beautiful. And that, perhaps, is metaphor enough for one Saturday morning.

When the peonies bloomed,
It seemed as though were
No flowers around them.

– Kiitsu

FullSizeRender

The Promise

Beautiful news!

Via email, I’m offered a division of a giant “butter yellow” peony. Oh, in this gray-upon-gray end of October, such a radiant promise of tender blossoms.

A piece of the Bartzella will be coming our way. Roots and dried stalks = creamy petals.

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers…

From Mary Oliver’s “Peonies”

IMG_2321

Okay, not a peony….

 

Flowers and Sustenance

In my first gardening days, I planted few flowers, hoarding what little space I had in those days for vegetables – work to eat, work to eat.  How years unravel and unwind.  Today, the garden is lush with vegetables, but my beloveds are the blossoms.  This morning, the reseeded calendula is nearly open.  My earlier days, with nursing babies and accumulating bills, were a scramble to plant and weed and harvest.  These days, I pause and watch the traveling pollinators at their work.  Sustenance.

Your peonies burst out, white as snow squalls,
with red flecks at their shaggy centers
in your border of prodigies by the porch.
I carry one magnanimous blossom indoors
and float it in a glass bowl, as you used to do.

– Donald Hall

DSC01046

Blue delphinium by Gabriela J. Stanciu