I heart peonies as much as the ants do!I bought these peonies yesterday at the Washington Farmer's Market. I'm so happy the farmer's market is up and running again! Finley and I strolled uptown to the peruse the wares and came home with home made BBQ sauce, fresh local grown strawberries, a dozen fresh eggs and this bouquet of Peonies.
The side of the house of the home I grew up in, was lined with great big Peonies bushes. They were planted there by my mother when she and dad bought the house. The Peonies plants were from her father's garden in her childhood home. We had pink and white ones but the pink were always my favorite.
At the end of the school year my mom and I would go out to the side of the house early in the morning to cut some peonies so I could take them to my teacher. The grass was cold and dewy wet, mom was usually in her nightie, bathrobe and sandals. She showed me how to cut the peonies stems on an angle just below the leaves. "They drink up the water better if cut on an angle." she told me. She would run the heads of the Peonies under the garden hose to get the ants off. "The ants help the flowers open," she told me. I just thought she didn't want me to carry the ants to school with me. Carefully she wrapped the ends of the stems in wet paper towels and covered them with a plastic bag held secure with an elastic. "It's to keep the flowers from wilting until you get them to school,"she told me.
I loved presenting the peonies to my teacher. I felt special all day. I loved seeing them there on the desk knowing they had come from my mom's garden, my mom's ants had helped them open, my mom's thoughtfulness had landed them on the teachers desk.
I bought a bunch of Peonies and thought about all these things on my short walk home pushing my daughter in her stroller. One day I will tell her about the ants on the Peonies buds and hopefully she will also know the unexpected joy of bringing such beautiful flowers to her teacher.