… and peonies. Despite the ants.

Peonies really are beautiful. (Especially from a distance, when you can’t see the ants.)

You may have noticed there’s been a theme to my posts the past few days. I’ve been thinking, and writing, about various flowers and plants I’d like to have at the Manse, some of which would replicate pretty things that were there when I was a kid. Last on the list – for now, at least – is peonies.

This corner at the front of the Manse is where there once were peony bushes. Seems like it would be a perfectly good place to have them again.

There used to be a peony bush in a shady corner at the front of the house, beside the stairs to the “official” front entrance (that no one ever used). The flowers were, as I recall, a deep, beautiful red. Really gorgeous to look at, but here’s the thing about peonies – at least in my limited experience: they’re always crawling with ants. What’s the deal with that, anyway? Is there a way to lose the ants short of nasty pesticides? Or are the ants there for such a virtuous purpose that they should be left alone to do whatever it is they’re doing?

I do not exactly have my finger on the pulse of cultural trends in the floral area, but I gather that old-fashioned peonies are rather trendy again. You see them in bridal bouquets and in festive arrangements at tony events. And they always look lovely.

But doesn’t anybody worry about the ants?

4 thoughts on “… and peonies. Despite the ants.

  1. The ants, my dear are all over the peony buds to eat up the wax like substance that cverst the bud – therefore “freeing” the bud to open up into it’s glorious grandeur!!! They are garden helpers in this case… TTFN – Ruthanne

    • That is totally good info, Ruthanne – thank you so much! I well remember the tight balls of the peony buds before they bloomed, but I had no idea of the useful role the ants play in allowing the blooms to emerge. And doubtless the waxy substance that covers the buds is of some use to the ants in exchange. Nature is really quite something, is it not?

  2. Peonies! You’ve brought back such a lovely memory of childhood and June and my mother. She would cut peonies (ants be damned) to bring to church on Sunday mornings; they were so regal sitting on the communion table at the front of plain little Glenora United Church…and I would be proud knowing that our flowerbed had yielded that Sunday gift.

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