15 minute posts,  I'm an idiot,  raving lunatic rant,  Tis the Season

Mad Over Peonies


I’ve been losing my mind over peonies lately, like I do every year. I haunt Trader Joe’s faithfully until they show up in their tight little clenched balls of fury. This is usually in May sometime. They were super late this year. They didn’t show up until AFTER Mother’s Day which is a crying shame in my eyes. To me, peonies are the ultimate mother’s day present and believe me, everyone in my house knows this. I do not shut up about it.

Finally they came in and I bought a bunch, of course. They were so brilliant scarlet they wouldn’t even show up properly in my camera because the red was just plain out of gamut.


Every time I walked by the bouquet on the table I would try and try again to capture their intensity with my camera. I would stand on chairs straining for just the right angle. This way and that… nothing could really contain their beauty!

These flowers were like bombs going off on my dining room table. I don’t know how people can’t be in awe of them like I am. They must be color blind. Or they grew up in Chicago where they are as common as Oleander bushes along the highway. That is before Oleander bushes got that disease and died out. In Chicago I hear they are as common as freeway flowers. Can you imagine these flowers being as common as freeway flowers?


I cannot. This is art pure and simple. It was hard for me to even format the pictures into a square for optimal website viewing because I just didn’t want to crop them in anyway.

I’m an absolute nut about these flowers. I’m sure Payam will vouch for that. I never shut up about them. There are a few things that I feel this passionately about and they are: Norah Jones, coffee and peonies. Everything else is just not worth getting all worked up about.  I stand by these passions whether they go in or out of style.


I mean, come on. Even in death they take my breath away. As the scarlet color slowly faded out of these blooms and the petals fell ceremoniously on my table, I didn’t even want to clean them up. It was like a week long art installation that we would eat dinner around so as not to miss a single shade of loveliness.


I fully acknowledge that I’ve lost my mind over them.

Le sigh.


  • Stephanie M

    I grew up with them growing in our yard in West Virginia…bushes that are older than me. I love them too, but I can’t have them around anywhere I spend large amounts of time…like by the bed. My nose clogs up and I start sneezing everywhere. Luckily there are plenty of places I can put them that they can’t bother me as much.

  • pinky

    They also smell divine! We have a bush that produces like…four peonies every spring. This year one rotted on the ground so I made sure to cut the other three before they could fall. I love peonies!

  • Jen

    My neighbor has a bush by her mailbox and I walk by them every day. It’s really exciting to see them finally explode open.

    Also, once Emily accidentally called a peony a “peeny ” and I say it almost daily so she can playfully get mad at me. ?

  • Rebecca

    I moved to Iowa from San Francisco four years ago and I’m in awe of the peonies here. Just growing along the road. We have two groups in our yard (light pink and medium pink) that we inherited when we moved into our house. I look forward to them every May. For a couple of weeks I feel like I live in luxury with blooms scattered about our house.

    Also, I’ve visited your blog from time to time for awhile and I don’t think I’ve commented before. But it makes me happy to see you and your daughter so happy these days, so I thought I’d share even though I don’t know you. The internet is weird :)

  • Gingermog

    Do you have any handy tips regarding making poi pourri out of Peonies? My Birthday peonies are starting to drop their petals and they are so pretty. I love these flowers and fancy I wasn’t properly aware of them until I saw your ipad sketch the other day. A weird synchronicity and now thye are my new favorite flower :)

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