May 18, 2012

Spotted: The First Peonies of the Year

I took this picture two weeks ago and have been waiting for the right time to bust it out here. Maybe when I didn’t have anything to say I could just plop this in, or when I’d taken a truly unfortunate-looking picture of something that was actually delicious I could just show you some pretty peonies instead. You wanted to see pasta and peas? Here are some pretty flowers instead! Well, today’s the day. Not because of any reason I might have anticipated, but because if I wait any longer their sight might not be such cause for excitement: they’ll be everywhere.

Last night I had a celebratory “Yay it’s Thursday!” glass of rosé at a wine bar that always makes life feel pretty and refined, in the most relaxed way possible. The windows were open onto the sidewalk and the back door was propped wide, too, so I could get a catch of the breeze and a peek at the white lights out on the patio. In front of me, standing tall in a slim-necked bottle, were two blooming fuchsia peonies. They are so lush, their petals so wildly overabundant and feminine, like messy pink butter cream on a layer cake or a frothy bell-shaped dress on its way to the ball. Really, how can that ever not be cause for excitement?

So I give you peonies today, because it is Friday, because the sun is shining here and because there’s no reason to hold off remembering the night I look this picture. I was leaving an evening appointment, and delighted to spill out onto a sidewalk still flooded with light, just a few blocks south of Union Square. Outside a bodega, where in the past six months they have set out white buckets of holly boughs, long arms of yellow forsythia, and then bunches of lilacs, they now had peonies, some of their heads still tightly furled. I stopped then and did something I want to remember: I interrupted my march home, pulled out my camera, and snapped a picture. Who would want to forget a spring moment so sweet and so full of promise?

Happy weekend to you all! I hope it’s filled with many such delights!

P.S. Because I can’t resist sharing this. Or this.

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  • cristina: i love to think of and look at peonies this time of year now that i’m away from the northeast. the sonoran desert has many beauties of its own but the lush extravagance of peonies ain’t one of them. (and that boost of cute at the end was DEEELightful!) thanks!6 years ago

  • Monday's Nugget-Lana: I love peonies. My dad used to have them growing in his back yard, and one day after school I came home and they were gone. He dug them up bc they attracted ants. It was a sad, sad day. And to think, he could be selling them for $10 a bunch! JEEZ! Happy Weekend!6 years ago

  • cristina, lush extravagance–perfectly put.

    lana, and it’s $10 for, like, 3 of them!6 years ago

  • Doris: I have peonies in my garden, red ones, like my mom used to have when I was a kid. My mom and dad are still alive, but frail and unfortunately both stricken with serious illness. Those flowers make me feel connected to my parents whom I cannot visit that often as I am living about 400 miles away. And they remind of times when I was little and my mom and dad were young and strong.

    Thanks for this post, Sarah – lovely as always.Happy weekend!6 years ago

  • Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams: So lovely. Happy weekend to you, Sarah!6 years ago

  • Elizabeth: It’s still a little early for peonies here. I do have my igoogle page set with a border of peonies in expectation. Are bushes are up but the buds we have are still tightly shut.

    Ants are to be expected. A popular way to display peonies here are to float a giant bloom in a pretty glass bowl. Unfortunately once the bushes are in full bloom we always seem to get a hard rain.6 years ago

  • Bethany: The peonies always bloom about the week after finals, and I always associate them with graduations and the beginning of summer. And for that reason, they are very welcome, even if they do attract ants.6 years ago

  • Cheryl: I just love peonies. They’re so frothy and feminine and pretty. Sarah, I’ve come back to your blog after a little time away and I’m reminded why I love it so much. Your writing is so evocative and you have such a marvellous view of life. Thank you.6 years ago

  • Dory: Love peonies, and love this post! Thanks for the very needed beautiful burst of spring.6 years ago

  • Sarah: Those peonies look gorgeous! I love the flowers in bloom at this time of year.

    It gets started with the daffodils and then just gets better and better from there onwards.


    Sarah years ago

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