There are two things in life that instantly make me happy.
The first is filling my car up with gas. Not because I love filling my car up with gas. I hate filling my car up with gas. As far as life’s little pleasure’s go, it’s right up there with the family pet’s wretched breath waking you up in the morning. No, filling my car up with gas makes me happy because I know once I drive out of the gas station I have another 500 kilometres to go before I’ll have to do it again.
The second thing that makes me happy is when my Peony bush blooms. No that is not a euphemism.
A rose by any other name is a Peony. Of all the women I know 90% of them would name the Peony as their favourite flower. I’m completely making that statistic up, but it’s somewhere around true. It’s political true, as opposed to hand over heart true.
You can create a beautiful arrangement with a single Peony. Can’t say that about a rose. Yes, a single rose is … well … cute. But it’s no Peony.
If you have 2 or 3 Peonies, the simple beauty of them is almost breathtaking. Which gives Peonies another leg up if what they happen to take the breath away from is your family pet. Not alllll the breath. Just the bad breath.
Our cat let out some sort of gassy substance on the couch this morning. We didn’t know if it was a toot or her breath. When you can’t discern if the smell is coming out of the bum or the mouth, you know your pet has a breath problem.
Back to the Peony! After a year of waiting and a pretty miserable, cold spring my Peony bush has finally bloomed, which means I can finally cut a few flowers and bring them inside.
It’s only been in the past couple of years that I’ve felt like my Peony bush was big enough to cut from. When you only have 3 flowers, it’s kind of hard to whack one off and bring it inside. That’s the thing about Peony’s. They aren’t what you’d call robust for the first few years. In fact they’re downright touchy. The success you have when planting your Peony bush largely depends on how deep you plant it. They don’t like to be moved. They like to stay put. They’re like the Waltons.
So when you plant them, make sure you put them exactly where you want them. Once they’re in, they’re in. There’s no moving them around. Not if you want them to flourish.
Also, if you’re planting a potted Peony, make sure when you plant them, the soil line is exactly level. If you plant them too deep with the soil line from the pot lower than the soil line in the garden it could take years for the Peony to bloom for you. See? I told you. Touchy. It’s not surprising though. Most beautiful things don’t like to be disturbed. Case in point, Naomi Campbell. If you disturb Naomi Campbell she’ll even take a swing at you.
The only thing you have to be mindful of with Peonies and bringing them indoors is their hitchhikers. Just tap the flowers while upside down a few times and you should be O.K. The flowers have to be upside down. Not you. Although that would work as well I suppose.
If you’re thinking of planting a Peony bush, your best bet is to plant them in the fall. Not when they’re blooming and looking all pretty in the garden centres in the spring. Planting in the fall gives the Peony the chance to develop a good root system, resulting in a faster blooming plant.
If you already have a Peony bush you can split it in the fall. Just make sure you don’t disturb the roots too much and don’t change the soil level. The splits, should have at least 3 or 4 shoots coming from it, and remember to plant them at the exact right soil level to keep it happy. You don’t want it throwing a cell phone at your head out of anger.
When planted correctly a Peony bush can live for a century. That’s 100 years of this …
… and in the evenings … this.
Every night when I walk through my dining room into the kitchen to get whatever snack it is I’m looking for I smile at the sight of my Peonies. And not just an inside my head smile. An actual smile.
This smile usually lasts exactly until my cat breathes on me.