White Peonies–A Living Legacy

I have several flower gardens and they have become a comforting peace in my life, especially when I felt I was losing something. One of the best things I ever did was to dig up and replant my mother’s peonies. They have a prominent place in my yard near the entrance of our house. The visual beauty and the joyous spiritual uplift that they have provided has been a priceless gift to me.

My mother had a flower garden in our backyard when I was growing up and she had nurtured perennial beds that were planted all around the house. Purple irises in front and white Easter lilies in the back. My grandma’s deep pink rose bush and Mom’s white peonies were planted next to the sidewalk. A huge lilac bush lined the back alley. For a small yard we were surrounded by color and beauty and my mother took pleasure in weeding and tending these flowers for years. They gave her something to do in her older years and were a source of pride while they bloomed in the yard and adorned our tables for special occasions like showers and graduations. My mother loved to show off her gardens, loved to talk about them and they brought her and I closer. I had very little interest in gardening, myself. I only planted one small wild flower garden in my youth for a neighborhood contest that I sadly didn’t win. I had not taken a liking to gardening until later in life.


My garden as a child was a small plot in the back yard about 12 feet wide when we lived on California Street. It was planted with bachelor buttons, zinnias and marigolds. They were hearty flowers. That was all I knew how to plant. I didn’t know about the huge variety of flowers back then. I entered the garden contest and even though I didn’t win it was a time that brought my mother and me even closer together and I learned some things from her.  My mother said that marigolds were the colors of the sun, bright yellow and rich golden orange. They are hearty and keep the bugs away from other plants in the garden. Zinnias are bright and easy to grow; they bring memories of old friends and lasting affection, she said. Zinnias are long stemmed and come in bold hot palette colors ranging from cherry red to pink, magenta, lavender, lilac and purple. They also come in chartreuse, white and salmon. Some look like daisies and some like double flowered pinwheels. Bachelor buttons are bright cornflower blue with a purple center, the national flower of Poland and a symbol of love, hope and blessings.

To be continued…




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