“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” ~ Lady Bird Johnson
Peony, Chiffon Clouds
Good Sunday morning, dear friends. I believe with all my heart, the words of Lady Bird Johnson, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” When she spoke these profound words, she was giving a talk regarding the war on poverty and the sweetness a few blooms could bring to a sad area. But today, we are fighting a different war, a hideous war. The war of the COVID-19 virus.
Mrs. Johnson had no idea what we would see in our world today. However, during her travels in some of the most impoverished communities in our country, she noticed the cheer, a single geranium blooming in a coffee can, added to a home in the greatest of disrepair. The blooming geranium was a sign of hope.
Now, I am aware everyone has heard more than enough about this deadly virus, so I am not going to dwell on the subject. However, I do want to chat a little about flowers. Their magic ability to touch our hearts, lift our spirits, the feelings they evoke, and the hope they offer.
“In joy and in sadness, flowers are our constant friends.” ~ Unknown
Peony, Coral Sunset
Several years ago I gave my dearest friend, Janet, a peony for her birthday. One of Janet’s favorite colors is coral, so I chose Coral Sunset for her. Coral Sunset is an exquisite peony and an American Peony Society Award Winner. Now, Janet is not an experienced gardener, but she adores gorgeous flowers and blooms. Her peony was shipped to her from Oregon and arrived in the fall. She decided on a location for her beauty, followed the planting directions to the letter, and in the spring her queen bloomed. But this was the last time for several years she would enjoy the magnificent bloom of Coral Sunset. You see, the queen was not planted in an area that received enough sun and her feet were often wet. So, the decision was made to move her to a more suitable location.
Now, while Janet has many wonderful qualities, the one at the top of the list (in my opinion) is patience. Patiently, for the last three years, she has waited for her re-planted peony to bloom once again. And, sure enough, this year while we are all enduring home confinement, I received a phone call from Janet. She was screaming on the other end of the phone, “My peony has a bud on it, it is going to bloom.” You would have thought she was eight years old and just discovered Santa had arrived.
It is said that peonies teach patience, Janet didn’t need the lesson on patience. But, like all of us at this time, she needs hope. Flowers teach us that even during our darkest days, ~ we can always be hopeful.
Peony, Coral Sunset about to bloom in North Carolina.
“We could learn something from flowers. The way in which they so vulnerably open themselves up, knowing how delicate their petals are. Or perhaps the way they simply bring out the beauty in all those around them, just by being nothing but themselves.” ~ Mary Oliver
Most of you know, I am wild about peonies. As in the past, I have posted several of the beauties who reside in our ‘Jardin.’ Oh, but there are many you haven’t seen. So, while we are going through these difficult days, I thought perhaps I would share a few more of my friends. Friends I look forward to seeing each spring and I hope they will make you smile and lift your spirits as they always do mine. Plus, give you something lovely to tuck away in your heart.
Peony, Abalone Pearl
Peony, Carl G. Klehm
Peony, Douglas Brand
Peony, She’s My Star
In closing, I will leave you with an excerpt from the poem, Peonies, by Mary Oliver. If you love peonies, you will enjoy her words.
“…Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
The answer is, yes. I always fill my arms with them and am in awe of every petal. I believe Mary Oliver knew me.
Dear friends, I do hope you have enjoyed your visit and that you and yours are well. Know I wish you a beautiful day and week ahead.
“Someday we will look back on these days and they will forever remind us to never take the little things for granted. They will remind us to hug with all our hearts, to pause to appreciate holding someone’s hand, and to live in the moments that we are surrounded by others.” ~ Laura Jones
Images: JET, M.S. Lambiotte, Song Sparrow Farm