Monday, June 16, 2014

Pooped Peonies

Gardeners across southern Ontario are torn between their love and hatred of the peony plant this late spring. After a long winter, the peonies are just now beginning to bloom. Bright splashes of pink bring gardens to life causing spectators to oooh and ahhh in appreciation.  One cannot help but notice this beautiful plant.
Many blossoms in full bloom.
Many blossoms in full bloom.
And yet, already the voluminous blossoms have surpassed the weight limit of their thin, twiddling stems. Perhaps the flowers have grown so big due to the undying love and affection they receive from their caretakers.  Perhaps instead the flowers themselves have mutated to be disproportionate due to soil content, nutrient, chemical fertilizers or other factors. Perhaps. Whatever the case, peony blossoms everywhere hang like dumb bells, bringing their stalks low to the ground and causing the plant to look windswept, ragged, and plum-tuckered out.  
Peony blossoms drooping low to the ground.

Gardeners mourn for their sad looking gardens.  "I love the peony," says one resident, "but every year I must tie the stalks to posts just to get the plant to stand.  It's an annoyance, really."  Many have had to resort to providing supplementary support to their plants and before the season's over, many more will.

Maybe one day we will find a way to provide rest for the pooped peonies of southern Ontario, but until then, these bodacious blossoms are left hanging.

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