Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One of my all time favorite perennial garden flowers, the Peony. All of these images are from the Cornell Plantation's Botanical Collection, where I found a nice variety to explore. To me these flowers have always represented the true beginning of summer. The flowers are big, bold, and stately, yet delicate and ephemeral. They almost look like something from a dream, timeless, with a scent to match that of the most lovely and deepest memory...

I arrived at this bloom the same time as a native bee. This appears to be the same variety that I remember around the house I grew up in. Almost white at first glance, but the center is a soft yellow and the outermost petals are soft pink.

This last image is a Chinese Peony or Paeonia lactiflora. In Chinese medicine the roots of the peony are used to treat gastric and intestinal disorders.