We heard of a couple not far from where we live who have a field of peonies. When they are in bloom you go pick out what you want, and in the fall they'll dig up a root for you to purchase. We knew we didn't have much time, as the peak time for these pretty posies was almost over.
Without even an address, my sister-in-law & her baby, my mom, me & my babies, went on a peony adventure. Unfortunately it did not end as well as we had hoped! We found the field, full of beautiful blooms, we found a kind old man, but he no longer sells his plants.
Years ago his father would spend his paycheck on peonies - pretty impractical I'd think, but romantic. The plants were beautiful, but overgrown, in need of a good weeding, some nice conversation. They were decades old, but you'd never know. Some flowers were as big as a salad plate and heavy with petals. Some had just a few petals, with a small puff of color in the center. They were just out of reach for us, & we couldn't help but be a bit upset.
My peonies are finished, the last of them shredded by yesterdays rainstorm. Their long stems are waving goodbye in this mornings chilly wind.
I just told my mother the other day that I'm so glad that my garden is getting established where different plants bloom at different times. It's a struggle, and it's sad when something is finished blooming and looks dull and boring again, after months of anticipation, bright green leaves & buds. When my husband and I bought this property almost 6 years ago, a single peony was the only plant here. I now have honeysuckle, hollyhocks, lilacs, ruffled iris, many clematis & climbing roses on my picket fence. I have foxglove that are standing tall & blooming bright. Large hostas are in the shade, housing baby bunnies. The wisteria on my chicken coop has not bloomed yet, but it's huge, vining all over the eves and I've heard it takes a few years.
This weekend we tilled another bed next to the house, where that single peony lives. I'm hoping that with some friends and a good dose of compost it will grow a little better, but I may have to move him to a sunnier location in the yard.