My Mom loved peonies as did her Mom.(Grandma Goldie) I remember every Memorial Day we would gather all the peony blossoms and take them to Grandpa Austin's grave. It was a tradition in spite of the big gray goose that would chase us.
When mom and dad moved to Brown County Indiana, Mom tried to grow peonies but it was tough in the clay soil.
So when at the end of May some 20 years ago we were looking at houses in Kentucky and we happened upon a house that had rows and rows of peonies, I was sold.
Since then I have transplanted the peonies to places they love and now I have more rows and rows of the beautiful May beauty. I would take bunches up to mom every May and she loved them. They bloomed magnificently this year I believe it was in mom's honor.
I have been doing some research on the varieties I have found that I have varieties some that are very rare. I am going to continue my research and label them next spring. So dad would be proud. Because I am saving a peony and maybe earning one as well.
On my bucket list next May is to take some up to my grandma and grandpa Austin's grave site. I wonder if the big grey goose will be there or maybe one of his ancestors any way... I will spread the peony blossoms with pride and fond memories
OH.....and about the ants. Please don't worry or try and spray the ants with insecticide. It is an old wives tale that the ants are needed for pollinating the young buds. (By the way my Mom use to tell me that ) It appears as though the ants are attracted to the sweet nectar in the emerging buds. The ants seem to disappear when the blooms open up. If they persist just shake them off when you bring in the flowers. I find this ant/peony relationship very unique and fascinating.
Most of all pick and enjoy this heavenly flower. They are beautiful in bouquets and so fragrant. I enjoy drying the petals and putting them in bowls. It just helps me keep the love around longer.
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