per blossom is not enough
for a peony
I’m lucky to have a neighbor who plants peonies but spends the month of May in Florida. Luckier still that she invited me to pick her peonies whenever I want, and when it comes to peonies I don’t wait for a second invitation.
Seeing them out our bedroom window every year is, indeed, glorious. They’re a flower I grew at our previous house, and I miss them.
I’ve been watching those buds, and after Monday’s deluge, I just knew there’d be blooms Tuesday, ripe for the picking. And all that beauty unplucked seems a great sin, you know? As any gardener worth the dirt under her fingernails will tell you, picking flowers begets more flowers, not fewer.
Maisie-Cat agrees. My morning harvest amounted to seven huge blooms, which I divided into the two arrangements shown here and in the previous photo. Thank you, Nelda (my neighbor)!
Both her pink bush, across the lane from our bedroom window, and her white bush out front (which I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t started walking) are FULL to the brim with buds. Now if only the storms will let up and not destroy what’s left. I want to try to pick some to dry and perhaps reward my neighbor with a wreath after she returns home.
You didn’t know they dried well?
|Via Just Grand|
|My Mother’s Pearls|
Then hang upside down singly or in bunches of two or three. I tie them together with rubber bands and hang the bands on a nail, around a cupboard knob, or strung on a line. A clothes rack works well, too, if you use string.If I make a wreath this year I’ll take pictures and post instructions.
Waiting for these beauties to bloom got me thinking about peony motifs in home décor
I’m forever seeing bouquets of peonies in interior design magazines, but peony designs have populated the decorative arts since what seems like the beginning of time. At the least, since the beginning of decorative arts.
|One Kings Lane|
And what about the pattern in this quilt? Looks inspired by peonies to me. What other flower that shape do you know of that gets so large?
Marco Polo, after all, reported back from his visit to China, where peonies were first cultivated, that he found roses as big as cabbages. He was writing about peonies. Indeed, peonies open larger and wider until the heads fall over from their very weight.
|Thomas Darnell photo / Martha Stewart Living|
|Chinese Peranakan Style, Herry Ashari Collections|
The Chinese have, in fact, been putting peonies on china for centuries.
You’ll also find peonies blooming on rugs….
|Natalie Shelton photo / via Keltainen Talo Rannalla|
…and upholstery, as on this pair of matching ottomans.
The peony motif is versatile, too
|Miguel Flores-Vianna photo|
Sometimes it lends an oriental look, as on the pagodas of peony blossoms in the fabric used for these wing chairs.
|Photo courtesy of Kit Kemp / via Lonny|
While other times the look achieved is more of a traditional/modern mix.
It can even look decidedly boho. That’s my favorite, of course.
|Alexandra Kaehler Designs / via Mix and Chic|
It’s a sexy flower, I’m telling you!
|Husman Hagbery photo / via Planete Deco|
I’d be hard pressed to miss the peonies in this wallpaper. They have a William Morris feel to them and look so senusous in this otherwise minimal scandi dining room.
This wild tangle of peonies on a mural with a midnight-blue background makes a perfect backdrop for a bed. Peony seeds, according to legend, glow in the dark just like the images here seem to.
|Design Loves Detail photo / via Domino|
Even peel-and-stick, repositionable peonies are available these days to customize the effect you want without the work or permanence of wallpapering.
Peonies are also popular subjects in art and prints
|Kimberly Gavin photo / Studio80 Interior Design|
I love how this print brings together all the elements in the room.
And I am absolutely, positively, swooning over this juju hat tipped in magenta to look like a peony. I’m not even a big juju-hat fan, but I’d hang this one in a jiffy, right above my bed, of course! No sense wasting any of that good juju, right?
And what’s that pendant light shade meant to emulate, if not a peony? There’s even a pillow to repeat the flower’s shape, and the crosses on the throws do the same, though in a more abstract way.
Here, the sunburst mirrors, painted pink, remind me of peonies against all that spotted wallpaper and fabric (which represent the plethora of buds!) in this sweet little girl’s room.
But I think us adults need to save some of the peony’s lustiness for our own private spaces. One poem certainly may not be enough for a peony blossom, and one peony blossom is certainly not enough for a home.
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