May 11, 2020

Peonies - almost there

May 11, 2020
My mother and grandmother both loved peonies. My grandmother had a row of them planted along her driveway, and my mother did the same thing in 1965 when she and Dad bought their house. My grandmother, in fact a lot of the older women I knew as a child, called them "pineys." 

When I moved to the manor, my mom insisted I have a start of her favorite variety, one that is pink with a yellow center. The problem with that was I'm not the same caliber of fan my mother and grandmother were. But I was dutiful in those days. 

Somewhere along the line, probably in 1993 when my mother sold the house she and Dad had lived in, I went to the row beside the driveway and dug starts for a white, red, and mauve-ish pink, and planted them in a row front of the porch. Pink, white, red, step, red, white, pink. The women before me were more haphazard in their plantings. 

I must admit that, now, in the spring, I wait for the "pineys" to bloom, checking them daily for progress. The deer taught me a hard lesson - if I live here I can't have many flowers. I spent years doing backbreaking gardening only to have the deer eat the flowers down to the ground. They don't eat my peonies. 

It won't be long now until they open and the connection to my grandmother and mother comes full circle for another year. I have a lot of those connections and they mean more to me with each passing year. 

I miss having lots of flowers. I do. But it's too much work and the deer too plentiful to spend all that time so they can have a salad bowl every year. Life on the manor is a mixed bag. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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