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The Breathtaking Peony: Number 5 in a Garden Photo Series

Updated on January 31, 2018
Fragrant peonies are photogenic, always making for an amazing photography experience!
Fragrant peonies are photogenic, always making for an amazing photography experience! | Source

Nothing looks like peonies.

Nothing smells like peonies.

They are quite incomparable.

Encountering a peony bush in bloom brings to mind one song, “Unforgettable.” Their pure fragrance and intricate beauty make me want to write poetry.

The blooms remind me of a loving grandmother’s eyes when she smiles, of holding a newborn baby girl, or watching kittens when they’ve first learned to walk.

Like white clouds against a blue sky, peony flowers are crisp, yet soft, ethereal, but still substantial. Clearly, peonies did not come from nothing, but from a Creative Mind that loves and gives good gifts.

Peonies In The Rain--Enjoy!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Glorious PeonyFirst BudsGetting ReadyOpening GentlySome Are Like SaucersBeautiful PetalsBright ColorsSoft ColorsRegalWelcomingFragrantDelightfulBeautiful in BunchesSolitarily GorgeousPeonies are Spectacular
The Glorious Peony
The Glorious Peony | Source
First Buds
First Buds | Source
Getting Ready
Getting Ready | Source
Opening Gently
Opening Gently | Source
Some Are Like Saucers
Some Are Like Saucers | Source
Beautiful Petals
Beautiful Petals | Source
Bright Colors
Bright Colors | Source
Soft Colors
Soft Colors | Source
Regal | Source
Welcoming | Source
Fragrant | Source
Delightful | Source
Beautiful in Bunches
Beautiful in Bunches | Source
Solitarily Gorgeous
Solitarily Gorgeous | Source
Peonies are Spectacular
Peonies are Spectacular | Source

Peonies--A Charming Plant in Every Way

Mysteriously, up through the mulch peony stems begin to grow tall in early spring. As the days warm I gently pull the mulch away from the delicate young stalks and weed until the foliage is thick enough to prevent unwanted visitors from taking root at their home base.

As the bushes fill out, buds begin to form. Large buds develop quickly and demand extra water. I have to keep an eye out if I want pictures of flowers as they develop for it seems the blooms waste no time opening up.

Different types of peonies have lovely variety to them. Colors may be solid or variegated, heads may be like a ruffled ball or more saucer shaped. Their foliage a delightful addition to summer gardens with substantial leaves on medium height bushes.

With names like Coral Charm and James' Pillow peonies make splendid dried flowers for arrangements and wreaths. It’s possible to buy them ready made or to dry fresh peonies and make your own.

There are a couple of easy methods, but they all have one important factor. Begin the process by cutting the bud or flower at the right time. If the flower is too mature, the drying process will not go well.

Learn When And How To Divide Peonies

Grow Your Own Peonies!

Growing your own peonies to choose flowers from is not at all difficult as this flower is almost carefree. They generally grow between zones 2 and 8, and are quite hardy. They do not have many pests, and if not kept too wet they are normally disease free.

A lot of information is available to any one wanting to plan a peony garden. Do the reading this summer and plan to plant this coming fall so you can have an Easter bouquet of lilies mixed with peonies next year.

Growing up in Florida I had never seen peonies on the bush. “I’m sorry,” is all I can say to my Florida friends when peonies bloom here, “it’s a pity you can’t grow these there.” Cut peonies are exquisite, and a bouquet from the florist for a breakfast nook table is a wonderful thing. Sipping morning coffee, munching apricot muffins, watching the morning sun dance off the water, while having a nice chat with large heads of peonies is a delightful way to start the day.

But, oh baby! On the bush, nodding in the spring air, filling heart and mind with that heavy aroma while birds sing and the cat purrs, busy bees coming and going, the mailman hailing a “Good morning” and neighbors stopping to admire this second flush of spring--it’s a gardening experience to envy. To be outside with these flowers warming up in the sunshine stretching their petals like butterfly wings after a chchchchilly winter, oh me, oh my, oh, it’s indescribable.

One day, a dream fulfilled would be to visit Paris when peonies are in bloom. Can you imagine the sight? Exquisite beauty can be an odd thing, you know, momentarily mixing emotions up in one’s head until it is impossible to make sense of what we know is true.

The fragrance wafting in the air would be overwhelming, adding to the confusion until a person would have to give in to the compelling joy of the heady aroma and, like a child, simply enjoy the experience.

It could be almost heartbreaking to see the bunches of blooms stacked on every counter, and if you are wondering whether what I say could be true, take a peek at the link marked Peonies In Paris just above the comments section below, along with a link to a fairly comprehensive study of peonies.

My pictures of this year’s peonies did not turn out as well as the photos of my other flowers for this series, but in this gardening photo series I’ve mentioned that I am learning. Please be patient and I will try again next year. In the meantime, I’ll go ahead and share these with you. Maybe by next year I’ll have enlarged my peony garden and will be able to share more varieties with you.

If you do not have your own flower garden, stop in at your local florist’s shop and pick up a few peonies for a vase to put by your computer table. Inspiring and unforgettable, getting either one peony or a bunch will be treating yourself to a beautiful experience and you deserve it!

Blooming Peonies Time Lapse Video

See and Study the Peony for a Beautiful Experience:

Do You Love Peonies?

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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      Looking forward to your future work!

    • anidae profile image

      Anita Adams 4 years ago from Tennessee

      It is great to be back and I am setting aside time to share my thoughts with the Hub community.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      I'm so sorry that you lost your butterfly garden. Sure hope you can enjoy planning and planting anew before long. Thanks much for your visit here--it's good to have you back at HP!

    • anidae profile image

      Anita Adams 4 years ago from Tennessee

      Your peonies are beautiful. It seems that you have a beautiful flower garden. Someday, I hope to have lovely flowers to view. My butterfly garden didn't survive and I have been putting off getting new plants. Thank you for sharing your garden and I look forward to next year's pictures.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey


      I'm so glad you were able to enjoy your new plants. I'm planning to divide some of mine this fall--wish I could share some of them with you! Thanks much for stopping in with your note.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 4 years ago from Norfolk

      Peony's are one of my favorite flowers. I bought two new ones this year, one of which flowered a month or so back. It was a really beautiful yellow one.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey


      Thanks much for taking a look at this peony hub and for letting me hear from you. Amazingly, everything is blooming extra early this year. I have the deep pink peonies on my kitchen table in a bouquet with snowballs right now! :)

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Peonies are some of the world's most gorgeous flowers. This hub is a wonderful glimpse into the summer which is just around the corner. Fabulous photos!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      It's been really delightful to get up close with my flowers this year. The learning process with photography is going to go on for quite a while, I think, but is an interesting journey!

      This early heat has taken its toll on everything and with other projects going I've mostly just kept things watered. I have some garden projects I want to complete, partly so I can take pics and post them on HP. :-)

      Thanks bunches for your visit and input, anidae. Hope to see your garden projects in HP one day!

    • anidae profile image

      Anita Adams 6 years ago from Tennessee

      I love the smell of peonies. I like most flowers but nothing can compare to the peony. You must be having a lot of fun learning the photograpy of your flowers and your pictures are beautiful. I voted up and beautiful.

      Your flower garden must be just awe inspiring! My gardens are a work in progress but I have hopes of getting a couple in place by the fall.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thank you kindly.

      My little furry friend is quite amazing. She has recently found a cool overgrowth of one of my summer blooming flowers. It has grass like foliage and she is spending these hot afternoons under a green canopy. She loves that I have been busy inside these last few weeks and her yard has turned into a pint-sized jungle. :)

    • katyzzz profile image

      katyzzz 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Very beautiful, and the cat.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks Denise! I'm hoping to plant a lilac this year, or maybe two. And maybe I'll see you at Mackinac Island one day--or you might like to join our group in Europe for their peony season one year. ;-)

      Although I do love the azalea season up here, they aren't so new to me as we had them in Central Florida. I am now growing two white azaleas in a location that allows them to let go and grow! It was too hot for peonies, lilacs, etc. in Florida though. I am continually amazed at what we can grow here.

      Appreciate your visit and input!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Very beautiful. Like you I love to be in special cities when there is a burst of spring. For me, Mackinac Island Michigan during the lilac festival is one place. It brings back wonderful memories.

      Here in NC the azaleas go crazy during the spring. So many colors and you see them popping open everywhere!!!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      A. Creative Thinker:

      Isn't it true?! Can you imagine a summer of peonies? Maybe it would be too much for us! :)

      Appreciate that your visit and comment very much!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Peggy W:

      Having grown in up Florida I know what you mean. It was an odd experience to be without all the greenery after fall, through winter until spring, but I do love the changing seasons that bring flowers we could not grow there.

      So glad you enjoyed the memory via this hub. Thanks much for coming by!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      tebo: Thank you kindly--appreciate your visit very much!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I remember how gorgeous they were when we had them growing in Wisconsin. We had several different varieties. Unfortunately they do not grow down here in Houston as we do not have much of a dormant season. Guess we will just have to appreciate all of the numerous blooming plants that we have year round as consolation. I also miss the lilacs that do not grow down here. Such fragrance! Loved the reminder of these pretty flowers. Up and beautiful ratings!

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 6 years ago from New Zealand

      Peonies are lovely. A lovely hub and beautiful photographs. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      A.CreativeThinker 6 years ago

      Hi RTalloni,

      This is such a beautiful flower, I wish that they could bloom all summer! I have one Peony that was bought over

      10 years ago and every year it welcomes me with an extra bloom. Great hub. :)



    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Oh my! Just the fact that they are yet to bloom somewhere in this world this year makes me smile. Who needs Paris next year...we could do Sweden this year! I do hope we get to see some pics of your peonies...maybe a hub about them? :)

      Thank you kindly for your visit and your comments!

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 6 years ago from Sweden

      This was a beautiful hub with wonderful photos of your Peonies. They are truly amazing flowers and every year I am taken by their beauty. I am happy to say that my Peonies haven´t bloomed yet so I have something to look forward too. Thanks for this uplifting hub that is written with great passion!


    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Peonies do require a good dormant season, but maybe you can enjoy them from the florist's shop. There are several neat varieties of geranium with different scents and colors. Many will bloom throughout the summer if they are deadheaded after each flush of blooms fade. I was thinking of putting some in with our hot days around the corner--thanks for reminding me! :)

      Appreciate that you came by with your encouraging comment!

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      I love peonies R. they are so beautiful! I have been trimming my boring Geraniums this afternoon and wondering if I could possibly grow these, it is too hot here I believe but you have a great collection of other blooms so I will check, I know you have quite the green thumb! Great hub. Voted up!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Oooh--would love to see photos of your daisy collection! I only have two kinds.

      Gracing your front yard with peonies would no doubt be a delightful addition. My friend gave me what we thought was a bright red, but again this year it did not like to bloom so we still are not sure. They don't like to be moved around so I'm going to give it at least another year. Maybe it needs a friend nearby! If I ever get a pic of the bright red I'll try to post it here for you. :)

      Thanks much for your visit and sharing your input!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Washington

      I'm basically a daisy kinda gal and have about 6 different varieties at least but I LOVE peonies and am thinking of adding those to my front yard maybe this year or next year. They are GORGEOUS. My favorite are the bright, bright red but they are all gorgeous. Great piece!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      I'm sorry you cannot grow them in Florida, but maybe we should plan a group trip to Paris next spring. I think Trish_M might join us! :)

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      I miss peonies so much as we always had them in Ohio and yes, I am Rated beautiful.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey


      The ants are a funny combination of mystery and practicality, aren't they? :)

      Once you experience peonies in bloom we can never forget it, can we?! Every time I think of the fragrance I am inspired to write something, or paint something, or plant something, or... They make me want to find a way to share beauty!

      Thanks kindly for your visit and your comments!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey


      So good to hear from you! If I could, I would zip up to Seattle and pick up a bouquet of peonies for your desk, drop them off in California, then zip back home to my east coast. :)

      Appreciate that you stopped in with your input--thank you!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey


      Thank you very much. I'm so glad it brought back pleasant memories for you! Appreciate your stopping in!

    • cardelean profile image

      cardelean 6 years ago from Michigan

      What a fantastic hub! I love how you described the peonies and you are right, nothing can explain the scent that they emit. They are wonderful! I remember when we moved into our first house we have peonies but I didn't know what they were at the time. I noticed the ants crawling on them and I thought they were bothering the plant. I kept flicking them off and they just kept coming back. I finally realized that it was all part of the blooming process! :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey


      Thank you kindly. I'm glad the pics are showing up better than expected, but I'm also looking forward to next year when I have some more experience with photography. :)

      Your bridal bouquet must have been lovely and fragrant! Like your Texas Mountain Laurel, the peony's blooms don't last long, but they are worth the wait.

      Appreciate that you came by with your input!

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Peonies are beautiful and I always loved them. In California they are so rare we almost do not see them at all so I miss them a lot. Thank you for the great hub and gorgeous pictures

    • joymk profile image

      joymk 6 years ago from Michigan

      That was beautiful. It makes me remember a childhood neighbor who always great peonies...loved the smell.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 6 years ago from North Texas

      I agree as well. Wonderful, evocative hub.

      I'm in zone 8, but I know very few people who can grow them successfully. Well, one lady did. :-) I have heard that they need colder winters than we have here. I do envy anyone who can nurture and care for them.

      I love them so much that I had a few in my bridal bouquet. Nice photos on your hub, BTW.

      In the meantime, I will have to content myself with other fragrances. The Texas Mountain Laurel is exquisite in the Spring, but only has blooms that last for two weeks or so. I need to plant one of those shrubs!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Shall we plan to meet there next spring during their peony season? ;)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Hope to see your peony photos next year! :)

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 6 years ago from The English Midlands

      PS. Those Parisian Peonies are amazingly beautiful!!

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 6 years ago from The English Midlands

      I do love peonies!!

      We had some deep reddish pink ones in our garden, when I was little.

      Absolutely beautiful!

      I must go to the nurseries, and buy some for my garden!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks kindly. I wish I had taken shots of this year's peonies at different times of the day.

      Very much appreciate your coming by and commenting!

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 6 years ago from United States

      No wonder I didn't see your hub--it's new! And your pictures look great. (Where are the ants?) I just love the pale pink and white blossoms. Beautiful!