Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pretty picture: Paeonia 'Hoki'

People seem to like peonies, and I guess I kind of understand -- the flowers are very big and showy -- but I'm not much of a fan personally. Our neighbor had one when I was growing up, and I found it kind of unnerving as a child to see ants crawling all over the unopened buds all the time. (According to the Heartland Peony Society, the ants are neither good nor bad, just attracted to small amounts of nectar produced by the flowers, which may or may not enlist the ants' help in opening the tight and petal-dense buds. When the buds are finished, the ants find new food sources.)

Still, though, there are worse things than ants. And the flowers are pretty.


Diane said...

I've never much liked peonies either - too fluffy and blowsy (is that a word?) and frilly. I inherited one when I bought this house and it's reliable so I let it do its thing. I like the one in the picture, though - a simpler flower with a nice color.
I enjoy watching the ants. The buds seem to make them so happy.

Darla said...

Don't know enough bout them to like them or not. Good picture though.

Donna said...

I like single peonies better than the big double ones, and I luuuuuv the scent. But modern peonies are often without much scent, and traditional ones have those very long floppy stems which have to be staked or look bad, and that is way too much work. . . I like the ants myself. Guess I am on the fence, peonie-wise.

Hugh said...

I like tree peonies. The flowers are a tad too big and poofy (but look good in the rain), but the interesting leaves, with their bluish tinge, are attractive all the way into the fall, when they turn golden with red edges. Herbaceous peonies I would not plant, but would not discard either had they come with the house (which they did).

Am said...

I grow all my plants indoors and if I find ants I go ballistic. I know they don't damage the plants but trust me, living with ants is NOT pleasant.

Peonies are a so-so flower to me. I really love orchids. =)