Friday, June 27, 2014

Look What Opened Today...

If I say the word 'peony' to you, what is the first thought or picture that pops into your head?

Are you a little girl in your mom's flower garden? Or your grandmother's? Are you burying your nose in one of these old-fashioned blossoms hoping you don't sniff in an ant by mistake? Relishing that heady scent that you can't quite describe? What about feasting your eyes on the colourful bouquets sitting regally atop a laced covered table at a wedding or bridal shower?
For me, I just have to catch the faintest whiff on a breeze and I'm a young girl off with her mom (and younger sisters) to a bridal shower. I loved bridal showers as a girl. The excitement of watching the bride-to-be opening her gifts from well wishers, the laced covered dining table festively decorated with pretty china and vases of peonies just picked from the garden (whoever heard of using flower shops out in the country in the early 1960's).  I suppose wedding showers were held at other times of the year too, but in my mind's eye, all bridal showers were held in June when peonies were at their peak.
Many gardeners grow peonies for sentimental reasons. These old-fashioned flowers may remind them of their childhood or a grandmother's garden. Peonies are lovely in the garden or as cut flowers indoors. Their fragrance varies, depending on the cultivar, as well as the time of day. Peonies are most fragrant in the morning before their volatile oils dissipate with the heat of the day.

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So... did you know that peonies are most fragrant in the morning before their volatile oils dissipate with the heat of the day? I don't think I knew that (before I Googled), but I'm going to check it out in the morning. This beauty was picked late afternoon when I saw its petals unfurled. The fragrance is filling the house. One single blossom. I'm Swooning!

On a different vein, my Siberian irises were begging for a pose of their own, so below I give you this pair of lovelies ... as they coyly blend into the oil painting I used as a background for the photo. Aren't they exquisite?

Truly, my glimpse of heaven in an unexpected moment.  For early this morning when we arrived home from work at eight a.m., the peonies were still in bud form. The warm sunshine surely coached them into showing off today.

"... and they open --- pools of lace, white and pink... "

 from Mary Oliver's Peonies poem

 Wishing you a a beautiful evening,


Photo source:  (c) Brenda Leyland, 2014

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Glimpse of Paradise

"I couldn't live where there were no trees--something vital in me would starve."
~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

I'm staring out into the backyard at the bubble-gum pink blossoms that have turned the 'Toba' Hawthorne into a cascade of summer delight.
I could well imagine a row of these along either side of some ambling country road to soon feel I'd been transported straight into Anne's world of Green Gables where she swooned with delight as she and Matthew passed under bowers of pink cherry blossoms.

Surely this is a glimpse of paradise...
Beguiled by the bounty of beauty right under my very nose I take moments out of my otherwise full days of writing and needful tasks...  to pause and just while away a few moments to let it all soak into my soul. For I believe beauty has something of a healing balm in it. And in our up-side-down world where woes oft carry the day's news, we surely need our souls restored and refreshed.   

"And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden (which means delight) ... And out of the ground He made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight or to be desired..." from Genesis 2

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places...