The occasional observations of Carolyn Kephart, author

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Unexpected Treasure

3:05 PM PDT, May 20, 2009

I was lucky this year. My pink Minuet peonies were fat spheres packed with promise, on the point of bursting into huge cabbagy bloom right as I was about to leave for a week-long jaunt to Florida, and I deeply regretted that I'd miss them at their peak; but fortunately the weather was unseasonably cold, and kept the flowers in stasis until I got back. Today they're in full perfection, and I have two of them in a vase here at my desk, where I can admire their Fragonard lushness and heavenly fragrance.

To the Chinese, the peony was queen of the garden, a sentiment I share. I can't grow roses because the deer eat the buds, but I add to my peony collection as much as I can. So far all I have are the bush varieties that flaunt their splendor far too briefly, but a friend recently told me that there's a tree version which yields longer-lasting flowers. I shall find, select, and plant straightway, to enjoy at next year's springtide. Mono no aware is an increasingly painful sensation as time passes, and All Now is becoming more and more my slogan.

CK

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