Friday, May 25, 2012

Peonies: A One-Act Play

{The Blousiest Betties of Them All}





Peonies: A One-Act Play 
by P. Owney Pickins

Scene One: 
Mid-May, early morning, rural New Jersey, Revolution-era cottage garden (somewhat overgrown and in need of weeding but let's not get ahead of ourselves). Cue birdsong. Then, suddenly! Burgundy shoots, waxen leaves, tight-fisted sappy knobs push up through soil. Enter stage left and right, the ants. En masse.

Scene Two:
Cue Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries. Curtains open, peonies erupt into bloom. Super dramatic. Fragrance fills theater, audience swoons. Ants marching, bees bombarding, corgis chasing adorable baby bunnies through garden (don't let corgis kills bunnies onstage!). Enter stage left: mother and daughter wielding enormous shears, five-gallon buckets, shit-eating grins.

Scene Three:
Curtains open, we are in small but charming prewar apartment (possibly Brooklyn). Place is total fucking mess but no one terribly minds because place is FILLED with buckets and vases and jugs of peonies. (Also, ants.) Young couple flops down on sofa among weekend duffels, newspapers, books, tangle of sundry electronic chargers, exhausted but happy. "Nothing in moderation," says wife, dreamily, burying nose in especially blousey bouquet of Gold Dusted Snow. "Clearly," sighs husband. Couple clinks beers as lights fade.

SCENE. 
--
Happy Memorial Day Weekend, kittens. If you live in the greater tri-state area and you are a peony freak (hmm. check, check), this weekend is PEAK PEONY TIME, and Peony's Envy Flower Farm in Bernardsville, NJ, has extended their weekend hours just for you. I can't imagine anything could rival my mom's old-fashioned fragrant peonies (hullo, o Fat Concubine! delight, o Jade Dragon Five Stars!) but seriously, holy smokes. Have a great long weekend! Also, have you ever seen a flower stick its tongue out at you? Why yes, yes you have:

20 comments:

  1. This made me smile big! Thanks for the Friday afternoon treat.

    I love peonies. They don't grow well in New Mexico, but they usually have them at the grocery store for a week or so each spring.

    Enjoy your long weekend surrounded by lovelies!

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  2. One of the few things bad about California is the dearth of peonies. I will just have to pretend I understand. Luckily, not too hard:). I'll be in the Garden State for my boy's graduation, driving between Princeton and Peapack. But I will probably just have to pass the vicinity of peony farms, and inhale.

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  3. Sooo amazing!! Like heaven in your apartment. I'm constantly stealing things out of my mom's garden too. She always says her best-growing plants are those grown from clippings she stole. ;) Have a lovely holiday too, lady!

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  4. james and i are still undecided about making the trek out of the city this weekend. if we do, i fully intend on filling my apartment with all manner of country frills and flairs, flora and fauna. cheers to it.

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  5. They are just so over the top. I love them.

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  6. Is it possible to wear a fluffy pale pink dress made entirely of peonies?....These frilly lacey beauties are heavenly!

    happy weekend, Lily!

    xo
    cortnie

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  7. Your writing makes me so, so happy.

    I've been rolling around the idea of growing some peonies, but for some reason I have it in my head that they are high maintenance plants/flowers. Is this true or am I crazy? Might have to give it a whirl next year anyhow, being as trying to do more challenging things, you know. :)

    Enjoy the long weekend, lady! xoxo

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  8. i smelt my first peony of the season yesterday en route to the park, and ohman was i excited! i feel like maybe peonies are one of the things-that-make-life-worth-living (superseded only by honeysuckle and lily of the valley)...?

    i'm quite jealous that i can't be surrounded by delicious-smelling flowers right now...i hope you're breathing deeply for me. :)

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  9. Those are so buttery and delicious... I can just imagine myself swan diving into a vat of them like Scrooge McDuck.

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  10. Look at those show-offs. Beautiful.

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  11. AMAZING. Just about dying of jealousy. Our peonies are late due to adverse weather. I hope they catch up real soon!

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  12. I just discovered I have a decent stock of peonies in the garden! They have yet to reach scene two. My shit eating grin is already intact though. Can't wait to bring these babies to work with me - and put all around the house, which is in a state where cut flowers make no sense what so ever...but whatever. Peonies - I got em!

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  13. my favorite flower, and then some. thanks lily xoxn

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  14. Beautiful peonies. Have you ever seen one fall apart, when it is dry and done, sitting in a vase? One, two, three petals fall off....then ALL the rest, in a giant, perfectly arranged clump! One of my favorite things about them. Beautiful blog, by the way. Your work is lovely.

    Signed,
    ex-student of India/ex-resident of Ahmedabad,
    Tiffanie

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  15. peony's envy? genius.
    my favorite fleur.
    xoxn

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