Saturday, May 5, 2012

Resilient peony

Months before Daryl decided to sell the farm, my cousin Jackie gave me a small one stem peony start. The start was from a peony that had been in my family for generations. The story goes that my Grandmother, after her marriage, moved the peony from her home place to her new home, father's home place. Years later, my Aunt  Helen moved the peony to her home.  Before she passed away, Aunt Helen instructed my cousin to dig it up and take it to her home.  Doing so, Jackie also gave each of us cousins a start from the peony. It was an unsettled time in my life. As a result, the poor peony endured life in a pot, three locations, two moves, and me as a less than attentive caretaker. For over three years it lived in a pot, not thriving,... just enduring...trying to survive.  I wasn't able to plant it until 2010. At that time it was a small four stemmed plant. The next spring it emerged looking good but still so small. The question was...'how many years would it take before I saw any blooms'?  However, mid summer the leaves  turned brown, and it died back prematurely. I didn't dig in the dirt to investigate, but I felt sure that I had lost it. All the other peonies, that I had planted in the surrounding area, were doing OK,... so... I decided it just couldn't over come the harsh conditions that life had thrown at it.

Surprise! It emerged again this spring! ...three short stems. Even more surprising, was to see a tiny bud on it.

 A bud that I didn't think would mature, but it did.
One solitary flower on a small stem...

Unfortunately, the day after it opened up, we had a thunder storm. The wind blew and the rain came tumbling down,...whipped about, weighed's life was shortened. But hopefully, my family peony will continue to be resilient, and establish itself  in time.

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