Sunday, April 26, 2009


If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.
-Audra Foveo

Martha Stewart has a remarkable garden. Not the sort of garden one develops to be believable as a domestic authority, but the sort created for a passionate devotee of cultured growing spaces. The word from people down the way in Westport, where she lived before moving here, is that she has always had a remarkable green thumb and the gardens at Turkey Hill, her home there which she managed largely alone, were magnificent and a rival to the new gardens at Cantitoe in Katonah. I have read Martha Stewart Magazine for years but the photos of the Cantitoe Farm we knew as children and the photos of it today are perhaps the only ones which marked my memory: The gardens are fantastic; the cultivars broad and unusual in every area. This photo still causes me to stare deep into the spring mist to admire and covet these few rows of peace on earth in an early dew.

The field of peonies (Paeonia) next to the paddock. I aspire to rise in room above such a field. This is a dreamscape for me if ever there was one.

I can only hope to return from my morning romp with the dogs with a basketful of peonies such as this. The photo above from the same article in May, 2008, is stirring.

The peony is a favorite of mine, it reminds me of one of my oldest friends. She is a remarkable soul. Some years ago we lost her to Park City, Utah and now to the Williamette Valley of Oregon. Her unforgettable, Jackie-esque Mother left this earth far too young but not before passing her love of peonies to Lois. Lois' wedding paired long turquoise shantung gowns with vibrant pink peonies and passed her great love of peonies on to me. Congenial peacocks roamed playfully around the ceremony. Like she and her Mom, Mary, everything about that day was magnificent: A wash in brilliant color and beautiful fabrics in Cottonwood Canyon as evening set in. A peony will always bring back that afternoon for me. And the feeling that follows is that I wish she could come home again. One bloom visible to the heart of a flower lover carries such a rich fabric of memories.

These are a few of my favorite varieties, available

Sorbet, Fairy's Petticoat, Top Brass

They make striking centerpieces.

And memorable bouquets.

All above photos

They inspire.
My favorite new computer trend from my favorite new graphic laptop skin designer, Lily Pang: the Peony and Butterfly laptop skin.

Peony detailed
laptop sleeve in Swarovski Crystals.

Lollia Peony and White Lily Shea Butter Hand Cream.

Save the Date

Julia Knight Peony cake

Red Peony accent

Vietri Peony

Lotus Tree Peony

Phoenix and Peony

Peony print lined

Peony wedding


LIMOM said...

Lovely way to start the day.

Where did you find the peony print coat?

Shelly said... it all...but oooo...the coat! Must have ;)

An Aesthete's Lament said...

Few things are more beautiful than a peony.

Blushing hostess said...

Hello all,
Actually, the links are in there but for some reason they are not appearing in blogger today. To find the source links just pass your cursor over the sentance under each item and the link underline will appear... nuisance.
Be well,
The Hostess

TreadUpon68 said...

You've just reminded me- better go set those peony rings! As an additional source, you may want to try Hollingsworth Peonies in the fall. Huge selection.

Peonies make such beautiful cut flowers- each heavy June rain I am running outside to cut the heaviest blooms before the rain breaks the stems. I actually dread vacationing in June because I miss the start of the blooms...

Anonymous said...

Ooooh Miss Hostess, this is a glorious post! Not only is it major eye candy, but it also taught me loads about the flowers!

The pictures are just luscious, thank you for such a beautiful end to the weekend!


the southern hostess said...

What a fabulous post! I adore peonies. They were all over my wedding!

Style Court said...

Brilliant. I'm adding this (as a link) to my morning post. Appreciate all of your hard work! Perfect lead quote.

Things That Inspire said...

Beautiful and memorable post. I can't wait for the peonies to arrive in Atlanta flower shops!

Blushing hostess said...

Style Court - my pleasure, I have enjoyed your work for so long, just glad I can return the favor now and then.

TTI = Indeed! Always the brightest sign summer days are surely coming once again.

TU68 - penning that variety down with thanks. But if I forget, tickle me! And the rain is no problem but I do not dig the ants...

Your Highness and Soho - thank you very kindly, lovely to see to you here! And I love the Lilly party kit. Adorable...

GrannySmithGreen said...

I am gasping at how beautiful the MS images are! I too dream of acres filled with beauty like that.

My grandmother introduced me to the peony. I'd stare at the multitude of ants that would wrap up the tight bud. I thought they were harming it in some way, only to find out the lacy flower unfolding in a few weeks.

I saw my first blooms of the season just today!
Beautiful post. Thank you!

Alina said...

Thank you so much for this post; you have paid a serious respect to the most enchanting, graceful flower. By far, one of my most favorite posts.

Blushing hostess said...

It was a happy labor, Alina... thank you for commenting!