Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Peonies tame the flower grinch

Call me unromantic, but there's no use trying to woo me with flowers.

Don't get me wrong, I love them (especially roses in all shapes and colours) but to me, they belong in a garden where they can be enjoyed for weeks, not wilt away to a smelly, faded mess in a matter of days. And giving flowers to someone who has lost a loved one strikes me as plain odd; 'I'm sorry xx died, here are some flowers that will be dead soon too, just in case you've forgotten in a couple of days.' We're pre-engineered to coo when presented with a bunch of flowers (even though some bouquets look like botanical vomit) but am I the only one out here on this ungrateful, grinchy ledge?

I can think of one exception: I was overjoyed to have a room full of fragrant roses to mask the hospital smell after having my daughter. But as a symbol of romance? Give me a nice bottle of bubbles anyday.

Except...for a few weeks a year, my flower grinch is tamed with the appearance of peonies. Fat and soft as a duckling, peonies lure me into every florist and fruit shop on the high street. I can't help myself! If I could grow them, I would. But as my husband can attest, even weeds perish when left in my care. So, like any good grinch, I'll enjoy them while they last then get back to my grumbling come January.


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