When Michael and I moved into our house (7 years ago this year) a friend arrived with a very beautiful vase as a house warming present. She apologised for not filling the vase but that she would be back in a couple of weeks with flowers that would suit the vase perfectly. Peonies. It is my Peony Vase. (I hope it is one peony, two peonies). You only get peonies in South Africa for about two and half weeks at the end of October and early November and even then, they are a mission to find. As true as her word, a couple of weeks later Jen arrived with the promised bunch of peonies. It was such a special present that whenever I put any other flowers into the PV, they don't look quite right. That bunch of peonies was the only bunch that I had ever been given and I have only managed to ever buy myself two other bunches (confession, because I always forget which weeks you can get them) but I think of them often, especially on dull days like today and when I walk past my empty vase on the bookshelf in the passage.
They are the most beautiful flowers - right up there with sweet peas for me . America is full of them at the moment and in this country we really don't know them very well at all.
They are the most popular bridal bouquet flower in the USA.
Take a look here. (Look a bit further on this lovely site and spy the beautiful hydrangeas)
So on this pretty dark and miserable mid-winter Cape Town evening, think of peonies and please remind me when you see them around that it is peony season. I have promised myself that the vase will be filled for the full season this year.