Peony Photos (with a poem by Mary Oliver)

Peony Photos (with a poem by Mary Oliver)

Peony Photos (with a poem by Mary Oliver)

The peonies this year have been exceptional as you can see by the volume of photos in this post. The weather stayed cool for quite a while allowing these beauties to linger until now that it has finally gotten hot.

Above you can see our very first yellow peony; we recently bought this new plant at Costco. The other photos here are of our peonies as well as some from the New York Botanical Garden. These little explosions of color and fragrance are some of my favorite flowers.

Here is what Mary Oliver has to say about them; one of these years I need to write my own ode to them… And the answer to her question is, yes, of course I brought in an armload again just this morning. Hopefully there will be some left for tomorrow.

This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises, 
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers

and they open —
pools of lace, 
white and pink —
and all day the black ants climb over them,

boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls, 
craving the sweet sap, 
taking it away

to their dark, underground cities —
and all day
under the shifty wind, 
as in a dance to the great wedding,

the flowers bend their bright bodies, 
and tip their fragrance to the air, 
and rise, 
their red stems holding

all that dampness and recklessness 
gladly and lightly, 
and there it is again — 
beauty the brave, the exemplary,

blazing open. 
Do you love this world? 
Do you cherish your humble and silky life? 
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?

Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden, 
and softly, 
and exclaiming of their dearness, 
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,

with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling, 
their eagerness
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
nothing, forever?

by Mary Oliver from “Peonies” from New and Selected Poems

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I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

1 Comment

  1. Heidi Clawson 7 years ago

    Dear Polly,
    Thanks for sharing your peonies. Mine aren’t doing well anymore due to poor location. I feel so comforted to be able to drink in the sights from your garden. Celia Thaxter would just love this also.


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