For the first time since I transplanted it four years ago, my tree peony “Hana Kisoi” is blooming. It’s a gorgeous flower, robust and frilly at the same time, about the size of a dinner plate. There are actually two blooms, but I could not fit both in the photograph and do them justice at the same time.
Tree peonies are woody, shrub-like plants, with giant flowers in a wide range of whites, reds, pinks and yellows, down to almost purple. They originated in China a thousand or more years ago. Considered a kind of royalty among gardeners, they take a very long time to truly come in to their own.
I have dug the plant up and moved it along with me a couple of times. It has suffered through the coldest, snowiest winters it’s ever faced since coming out here to the farm. Last year I was sure it was dead. But this spring new growth appeared on it’s meager remaining stems, and then the heads of two small buds followed.
I was ecstatic. To me, it was another sign of survival, of the idea that just when you are about to give up on something, you learn it has a mind and will of it’s own, that there is always the possibility of regeneration. You only have to nurture it, and keeping on hoping for it’s return.
I've never really liked labels: I am this, I am that... But in the interest of introducing myself to the world, I can say that I am many things: nurse, writer, photographer, poet, painter, gardener, friend, armchair philosopher, counselor, nature lover, real-estate aficionado, movie buff, sometime yogi, and aspiring world-traveler. I think that's a pretty good list... for now. I want to become a bigger part of the vital, creative force I feel deeply at work in the world and connect with other people who want to do the same.