Peonies are a heck of a flower.
The Chinese believe peonies symbolize wealth and fortune, as well as noble status.
The Japanese poets memorialized the peony in haiku:
Made him measure it
With his fan.
In the stillness,
Between the arrival of guests,
The stamens and pistil
Of the peony gush out
Into the sunlight.
Whoah there, Taigi. Don't get too excited.
I loooove these floofy, dinner-plate-sized flowers. Not only are they gorgeous, but they can withstand snow. How's that for badass? When I visited Japan in winter, I noticed gardeners would build a little hut for each peony so it wouldn't get crushed by the weight of the snow.
Every time they're in season, I go nuts stocking up. Trader Joe's in Southern California must have a great dealer, because they are packed to the heavens...
$6.99 for five stems? That's insane! At a fancy Silver Lake florist last year, I bought three stems for 24 dollars ($8 each) and all the petals fell off within 24 hours. On the contrary, my Trader Joe's peonies or the ones I pick up at the farmer's market (at about $3/stem) usually last me up to two weeks.
My guy has caught onto my peony craze and bought me some gorgeous tulips and peonies for my birthday this past week...
And for now, our home is filled with these lovely power puffs of color.
Aaaah. Now doesn't just looking at that make you happy?