June 6, 2011

Peonies & Lilacs

Hey friends! Welcome to Flower Week! The weather here decided to catch up with the rest of the known world and act seasonally appropriate for a change. Sunny skies in June? I know, I should calm down, I may be expecting too much but for once the weather delivered!

Want to see my favorite flower? I think the peony is the favorite flower of many and deservedly so. And although it makes an appearance for only a brief period, its fragrance and prolific petal profusion (I live to alliterate, I’m sorry!) make it a bloom that surpasses even the rose. In my humble opinion. Look at this:

This grew in my garden and I kid you not, it had a size across akin to a head of cabbage or cauliflower. I’d like to say I did something special to grow such a specimen but my gardening skills boil down to survival of the fittest plants. This monster peony grew itself! I definitely did not have any hand in the process.

I think of myself as one who tries to be kind to all things in nature. (Except spiders.) And yet....

Me = Destroyer of Plants.

This fact is especially disheartening because I come from a long line of gardening geniuses, truly gifted ones. My mom can produce the most magical roses you’ve ever seen. She’s a rosarian. (That’s someone who knows too much about roses.) My aunt could start her own nursery or farmers’ market. It goes on and on in my family, but it all came to a dead end in me. So I rely on Nature’s goodwill and sheer luck to keep things alive!

The lovely lilac is another favorite flower:

Once again I am plant stymied. I planted a lilac bush last year and got this one lovely sprig from it. I watered it like crazy all that first year. This spring? Nothing. I think it’s not receiving enough sun, so maybe I need to transplant it to an area that gets more sunlight throughout the day? Any thoughts you’d like to share on the care and feeding of lilacs?

Actually, here is my most favorite flower of all, wearing her favorite flower shirt:

THIS one gets all the attention I don’t give to my plants!

Lately, we’ve come across some fantastic books that are all florally titled. How do you feel about Marigolds and Petunias?

Petunia is a silly goose. Really, it says so in the book. And speaking of books, she thinks that because she has found a book and has taken to carrying it around, she is now wise beyond measure.

(She’s not.)

So she waddles about and gives extraordinarily bad advice to her barnyard friends. This sad state of affairs would probably go on and on until she mistakes a box of firecrackers for CANDY and gives the ok for everyone to chow down.

(Not the best idea.)

So, poor Petunia learns a hard lesson. You have to actually READ that leafy white stuff in the middle of books!

Like the old school art style? It was written/illustrated in 1950.

And then we have The One and Only Marigold, a precocious monkey. (What’s up with all the animals being named after flowers?)

This book is fun -- it has four little story sections all about Marigold’s interactions with her favorite purple coat, as well as her love-hate relationship with her BFF Maxine.

Julia also has an often angst-filled relationship with her BFF from preschool and she is VERY interested in this book, we’ve been reading this one over and over!

The stories can be read individually or together as one narrative. Julia got all excited, “It’s like a chapter book!

What I want to know is, where can I find a purple parasol like that for myself? People might say “Who is that?” But I’m thinking not in a good way.


  1. Hey guys, so here is what my darling husband just told me : "Peonies are ugly and they smell like a latrine." Then he wants you all to know that he sat back with a smile of immense self-satisfaction and sipped his tea. ~Melissa

  2. Bully good work there, Andrew. Carry on.

  3. Twins = twin baloney! I think I'll need to do a twin book day and show cute adorable pix of you guys when you were young and find some books on mischievous twins :) ~Melissa