In July 2007, we moved into our current house. Remember those terrible floods we had that year? Well, the day the heavens opened is the day we moved and I thought I would never be dry again! Needless to say after several weeks underwater, there was not much garden wonder to behold. But I knew the received wisdom for a new garden was to wait 12 months and see what you get.
The following year, some foliage appeared. Looked bushy for a few months, but no flowers, and I had no idea what it was. It died back in September time I think.
2009, it came back and with it a couple of buds. No flowers though and again, a few months later it died off.
2010, back again and this time four buds. They opened up into relatively small peonies and I was beside myself. I LOVE peonies, and I happily cut them as they were weighing the stems down so much, and as soon as I did that, they died. Ah, I thought, bad plan!
So in 2011 I bought bamboo canes and tied the stems up, so the 8 buds this time wouldn't be spoilt then they opened. And open they did and they were gorgeous.
This year, then.... we got foliage and buds and then boy did we get rain, and I thought we'd lose it. Then we got that little heatwave and we got more buds but I still thought we'd lose it, so I watered it. And then, oh my, we got this beauty. And this was the 4th flower to open, I didn't get chance to photograph the first 3 before more rain got them. and we also have these...
I'm mesmerised by how the flowers on the same plant are differently patterned - see this one has deep pink stripes down some of the petals rather than the deep pink centre? This year we have had some 20 buds on the peony, 16 of which have so far opened, the remainder of which are trying very hard.
But this one is my favourite and I can't help but think it's crying out to be a made into a pattern for a cushion cover. So any of you clever sorts who can see a picture and instantly conjure up a pattern from it, give me a shout and tell me how to do that, please!