If ever a flower looked like it was wearing a petticoat, this is it. It’s hard to believe this bloom is only partially open. The yellow petals in the centre will gradually become more prominent, but I like the flower at this stage while the outer petals are still a pure pink, and are forming a protective cup around the inner petals.
The second peony has it all for me: I love the pearly character of the creamy white petals and the way those yellowy petals create an inner glow.
Double flowers don’t appeal to everyone. I love the way the mingled petals lighten in response to light and deepen where the petal folds create shade, creating a mix of colours.
I sometimes get comments from gardeners who prefer to grow single flowers, which tend to be more attractive to insects. I understand where they are coming from, but believe that there is room for all types of flowers; that anything that creates interest in gardening is, in general, good; and that more flowers, singles, semis and doubles, could be squeezed into most gardens, including every major garden I’ve ever seen.
Perhaps these peonies are a little on the frivolous side. They are excessive. And yes, peonies have a relatively short flowering season. Despite all that, I’m happy to be a cheerleader for them: imagine me, if you will, on the edge of the border, dancing and waving pom poms whenever I see them, because that’s what I’m doing inside.