of things that bloom

Springtime along the Front Range is never less than amusing, although this year didn’t seem to have quite the same kick as usual. Yes, we had an 80-degree day followed immediately by snow, but we only had one of those. And where is my rainy season, when it rains every single afternoon from 3:00 to 3:15?

My narcissi came up a month or so ago, followed in short order by my tulips. They’re not spreading as rapidly (or at all) as I would have hoped, but the few flowers that peek up bring me great joy. There should be irises (iri?) in there as well, but nothing is happening along that front so far this year.

And then there’s the peony. I have always loved peonies. Near my last apartment in Boulder, there was a gentleman who carefully tended a yard full of different varieties of peonies. I commented on them once as I strolled by, and he was so pleased that I even recognized them. I guess they’re not as common out here as they are in New Jersey. When Chris bought his little house in north Denver, I immediately planted two peonies to flank the front walkway. I never saw them grow to full force, though he told me they were pretty amazing in time. When I bought my own place in 2003, I planted a peony in a little garden bed I made by the front stoop. Though it had buds on it when I planted it, the shock of replanting, and so late in the season, pretty much took care of stunting its growth that year. The following year, its first in its new location, the plant did not bloom. This is not unusual for a peony. When spring rolled around again, I had a small, raised bed built around the plot I had originally planted. The peony came up, but again, no blooms. Curious. In the fall, I planted bulbs. Spring of 2006 brought me bulbed flowers and peony leaves, but once again, no buds. I did some research online and decided that the raised bed meant that the peony was now planted too deeply in the soil. However, digging it up meant disturbing the bulbs. I decided to leave things be while I figured out how best to handle it. Which meant, for me, not really handling it at all. 2007 brought me peony leaves once more, but now they taunted me, begging me to get off my lazy ass and do something about raising the plant. I still didn’t do it. 2008 came and with it the aforementioned narcissi and tulips, and also the peony leaves once more. I was happy to see them, but also grimaced at the thought of neglecting the problem yet again.

And then…

I noticed…

A bud! A tiny, round, peony flower bud! In time, it has grown larger, though still tightly packed with the petals that will (hopefully) blossom into a beautiful, extravagant bloom. Ants, as per tradition, have also discovered the bud, and are having a grand time marching around it and performing their pollination-for-food dealio. It’s only one bud, on a plant that should support many more, but still, I am overjoyed.

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